A bottle of cassia wine
|Postal||Kuei Hua Chiew|
|Kuei Hua Chen Chiew|
|Literal meaning||Osmanthus Reserve|
Cassia wine, osmanthus wine, or Kuei Hua Chen Chiew is an alcoholic Chinese drink, sometimes sweetened, produced from weak baijiu and flavored with sweet osmanthus flowers. It is distilled, but typically has an alcohol content less than 20%.
Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival. From the homophony between 酒 and 久 (meaning "long" in the sense of time passing), cassia wine is also a traditional gift for birthdays in China. It is also considered a medicinal wine in traditional Chinese medicine. Li Shizhen's Compendium of Materia Medica credits sweet osmanthus with "curing the hundred diseases" and "raising the spirit".
Despite the name, the Chinese cassia tree is not used to flavor cassia wine. References to the osmanthus in Chinese literature and poetry are often translated as "cassia" because both trees were formerly known in China as 桂 (Modern Standard Mandarin: guì).
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- Also known as Cassia Blossom Wine.
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