Cassia wine

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Osmanthus Wine
Osmanthus wine for sale in Dali.jpg
Bottles of cassia wine
PostalKuei Hua Chiew
Cassia wine
PostalKuei Chiew
Kuei Hua Chen Chiew
Traditional Chinese桂花陳酒
Simplified Chinese桂花陈酒
Literal meaningOsmanthus Reserve
A dessert made of Nu Er Hong and Kuei Hua Chen Chiew Cocktail Jelly

Cassia wine,[2] 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%.

While the plant itself is sometimes associated with cinnamon,[1] the blossoms' lactones impart a flavor closer to apricots and peaches.[3]

Owing to the time at which Osmanthus fragrans flowers, 'cassia' wine is the traditional choice[4][5] for the "reunion wine" drunk on the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival.[6] From the homophony between and (meaning "long" in the sense of time passing), cassia wine is also a traditional gift for birthdays in China.[7] It is also considered a medicinal wine in traditional Chinese medicine.[8] Li Shizhen's Compendium of Materia Medica credits sweet osmanthus with "curing the hundred diseases" and "raising the spirit".[9]

Within China, cassia wine is associated with Xi'an[10] and Guizhou,[1][11] but production now occurs throughout China, including Beijing[12] and at the Hong Jiang Winery in Hunan.[13]

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 (Modern Standard Mandarin: guì).[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Small, Ernest. Top 100 Food Plants, p. 179. NRC Research Press (Ottawa), 2009. Accessed 8 November 2013.
  2. ^ Also known as Cassia Blossom Wine.[1]
  3. ^ Chartier, Francois. Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor, p. 199. John Wiley & Sons (Hoboken), 2012. Accessed 8 November 2013.
  4. ^ Qiu Yaohong. Origins of Chinese Tea and Wine, p. 121. Asiapac Books (Singapore), 2004. Accessed 7 November 2013.
  5. ^ Liu Junru. Chinese Food, p. 136. Cambridge Univ. Press (Cambridge), 2011. Accessed 7 November 2013.
  6. ^ Li Zhengping. Chinese Wine, p. 101. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 2011. Accessed 8 November 2013.
  7. ^ Li Xiaoxiang. Origins of Chinese People and Customs, p. 101. Asiapac Books (Singapore), 2004.
  8. ^ Flaws, Bob. Chinese Medicinal Wines & Elixers, p. 17. Blue Poppy (Boulder), 1994. ISBN 0936185589. Accessed 8 November 2013.
  9. ^ "治百病,养精神,和颜色,为诸药先聘通使,久服轻身不老,面生光华,媚好常如童子." – 李时珍 [Li Shizhen]. 《本草纲目》 [Compendium of Materia Medica]. Op. cit. "[1]". Sichuan Online. 22 September 2013. Accessed 8 November 2013.(in Chinese)
  10. ^ Xiang Yang. Xi'an – China's Ancient Capital, pp. 90 ff. Foreign Languages Press (Beijing), 1993.
  11. ^ China Directory of Industry and Commerce and Economic Annual, Vol. 2, pp. 429–430. Xinhua Publishing, 1984.
  12. ^ China Market, Issue 11, p. 15. China Market Publishing Corporation, 1987.
  13. ^ Zhonghua Mei Jiu, p. 408. 中国轻工业出版社, China. 食品工业局. 轻工业出版社, 1985. Accessed 8 November 2013.