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Chinese White Spirit
Chinese White Spirit

Three thousand years ago, the Chinese began to make alcohol. It is early in the Xia Dynasty (21st-16th century BC) that alcohol was firstly made. In the early Xia Dynasty, an official make alcohol out of leftovers and presented to Yu the Great, an outstanding leader in the prehistoric times of China. He found it of great mellifluence and signed with emotion, 'In the following dynasties, some emperor may get nation conquered because of his fanaticism on alcohol'. Consequently, making alcohol was forbidden by law. In later dynasties, most literates were fond of alcohol and they always wrote articles after drinking. Elegant names were given to alcohol which became an essential part of the bookmen and the common citizens.

 See Drinking Vessels 

The Chinese alcohol falls into white spirit, wine, beer, yellow wine, medicine liqueur and others. Among them, the Chinese white spirit enjoys a great reputation and is beloved all over the world.

The noted brands of white spirit are Guizhou Maotai Liquor, Guizhou Dongjiu, Sichuan Wuliangye, Sichuan Jiannanchun, Sichuan Luzhou Laojiao, Shanxi Fenjiu, Anhui Gujinggong, Jiangsu Yanghe Daqu. Yantail Wine, Beijing Zhongguohong Wine, Hebei Shacheng White Wine, Henan Minquan White Wine, Yantai Weimeisi, Yangtai Brandy, Shanxi Zhuyeqing, Fujian Chengangjiu and Qingdao Beer.

Drinking Game

The Drinking Game (Jiuling) is a unique kind of game played to add fun to feasts in China. This custom has existed for a long time. It appeared during the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-771 BC), and has been very popular among all ranks of people since the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

The game is generally played like this: all the people at the feast first elect a compere who will conduct the game. People play the game in turns and the one who disobeys or loses the game has to drink. It can be generally divided into two categories: the elegant and the popular drinking games.

The elegant drinking games are usually played by the literati and other persons of poetic temperament. The games usually focus on taking up one's poems or couplets, guessing words or riddles, speaking tongue twisters and telling jokes. This kind of game requires the participants to be literary talented and smart. On the contrary, the populace usually plays some easy games to excite guests. The popular drinking games include shaking the elbows, drawing cuts, guessing figures and numbers, passing flowers or other small objects, and other simple games.

Figure-guessing has long been the most popular drinking game. It is played by two people at a time. The game is like this: they both make a gesture of a number, and speak out a number at the same time. If one speaks out a number which equals the summation of their gestured numbers, he will be the winner. The loser has to drink. If they speak out the same number, there will be no winner or loser. Before speaking out the number, they usually also speak some propitious words. 

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