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Mijiu (Chinese: 米酒; pinyin: mǐjiǔ; Wade–Giles: mi-chiu; literally: "rice wine") is a Chinese rice wine made from glutinous rice. As a fermented beverage, it is categorized as a form of huangjiu. It generally looks clear and tastes somewhat sweet, similar to its Japanese counterpart sake. The alcohol content ranges between 12% and 20%. Rice wine was made around or before 1000 BC by ancient Chinese and then the practice spread to Japan and other countries. Since then, it has played an important role in Chinese life. In most Chinese supermarkets there are various kinds of rice wines. It is a traditional beverage to the Chinese and some of the families still follow the custom of making rice wine by themselves. The rice wine is made using sticky rice, Chinese yeast and water. It is also served as an appetizer and is believed to be beneficial in improving metabolism and skin.
Mijiu is usually drunk warm, like the Japanese sake, and is also used in cooking. The cooking mijiu available in Asian grocery stores are generally of a lower quality, and often contain added salt to avoid an alcohol tax. Mijiu is produced both in China and Taiwan.
A potent distilled spirit called rice baijiu (米白酒; pinyin: mǐbáijiǔ) is distilled from mijiu.
An unfiltered form of Chinese rice wine containing whole glutinous rice grains of extremely low alcoholic content and often consumed by children is called jiǔniàng or láozāo.
Mijiu is often consumed by women who are pregnant. The traditional way to use mijiu is to boil three bottles and evaporate the alcohol while cooking with the chicken. People truly believe that by using this recipe one can help women's rehabilitation wound.
Mijiu is used in desserts such as:
- Rice baijiu, a distilled alcohol made from rice
- Huangjiu, another Chinese "wine" made from rice
- Cheongju, a Korean equivalent
- Sake, a Japanese equivalent