In China, alcohol is also called the "Water of History" because the stories of wine can traced back to almost every period in Chinese history. It is believed that China has about 4,000 year’s history. A legend said that Yi Di, the wife of the first dynasty's King Yu (about 2100 BC) invented the method to make alcohol.
In ancient China, since alcohol was regarded as sacred liquid, only when people made sacrificial offerings to the Heaven and the Earth or ancestors was it used. After the Zhou Dynasty, alcohol was deemed as one of the Nine Rites and every dynasty put much emphasis on alcohol administration to set up special ministries to manage alcohol producing and banqueting. Later, along with the development of zymotechnics and brewery, alcohol became an ordinary drink. Thus, many customs concerning alcohol formed and evolved which had and have various relationships with our daily life.
Wine and its brewing technology were once introduced from the neighboring regions in the Han, Tang and Yuan Dynasties. During the Tang dynasty, wine was popular and was highly praised by many famous poets. It was served as the designated offerings for the Royal Ancestral Temple during the Yuan Dynasty.
In the beginning, millet was the main grain to make alcohol, thus the so-called “yellow wine”. Then rice became more popular. It was not until the 19th century that distilled drinks become more popular. After the fermentation process, the Chinese alcohol has a balmy fragrance and is sweet tasting with no sharpness. Traditionally, Chinese distilled liquors are consumed together with food rather than drunk on its own. Alcohol always accompanies delicious dishes either when people first meet or when old friends have a reunion.