LIVERPOOL will host Europe’s first bar to focus on ‘baijiu’. The national drink of China is the most consumed spirit in the world yet remains relatively unknown in the West. The city joins New York and Beijing to boast only the world’s third dedicated baijiu destination. The new pop-up bar, FU, is just five minutes away from Liverpool’s Chinatown (the oldest in Europe) and based in the Ropewalks area renowned for experimental mixology. Baijiu, meaning ‘white liquor’ and pronounced ‘bye-joe’, represents a category of Chinese spirits distilled mainly from fermented sorghum. The spirit, with a history over 5,000 years old, has an unmistakable flavour and aroma. It is known for its powerful kick with an average ABV of 40-60%. Baijiu is a cultural phenomenon that deserves respect and requires a discerning palate. FU offers guests a variety of ways to get acquainted with baijiu. Baijiu is categorised by aroma, rather than taste, and so FU stock baijiu from each of the four primary aroma categories: strong, light, sauce and rice. Adventurous guests can sample baijiu in the traditional Chinese style: as straight shots. Glasses are clinked in the lowest possible position to demonstrate humility and then a toast is shouted: ‘gan bei’ which translates to “dry the glass” so you can guess what you have to do next! For those seeking a more Western experience, FU have crafted a range of unique infusions and cocktails. Infusions include saffron, vanilla, pineapple and cinnamon with each bringing a new twist to the Chinese spirit. The cocktail selection has been lovingly developed to celebrate the unique flavour of baijiu with the end result a range of drinks unlike anything you have ever tasted before. Baijiu goes best with a bite to eat so FU offer handmade ‘ghetto dim sum’ to enjoy between baijiu toasting rounds. Think: fennel, radish and shallot spring rolls, slow roasted pork belly in sticky black bean sauce and tempura seaweed crisps. FU, is the creation of the team behind epicured, the experimental food and drink venue next to Wolstenholme Square, on Gradwell Street, where the pop-up bar is based. Co-founder of FU, Elliot Robinson, had his first taste of baijiu when visiting China in 2012: “We are thrilled to introduce the world’s most prolific spirit, which few people will have tried before, to Liverpool. The food and drink scene in Liverpool is so exciting at the moment and there is so much experimentation with flavour and ingredients; there are vibrant microbrewers, coffee roasters and home-grown food producers popping up all the time. I see FU, with our unique focus on mixing and infusing baijiu, as a continuation of the Liverpool-spirit to innovate, explore and introduce the public to flavours and sensations they have never experienced before!” You can find out more at www.fubaijiu.com and receive updates and news via @FU_baijiu .