- China’s throat-burning national liquor, Moutai, is now available as an ice cream.
- The Moutai-infused ice cream has sparked a Weibo debate over the cost of the treat.
- Moutai’s R&D team has advised consumers not to eat and drink, per CNN.
China’s state-owned liquor brand Moutai has created an ice cream infused with the throat-burning alcohol.
Moutai, better known as “firewater,” is notorious for its high alcohol by volume (ABV), ranging between 38% and 53%.
“The first time I tried Moutai, it tasted like engine oil – fiery and burned my throat on the way down. Now I find it smooth and enjoyable,” Shaun Rein, the founder of China Market Research Group, told the BBC in 2020.
In China, Moutai has been for years viewed as a status of wealth and nationalism. Chinese politicians and business people regard it as the drink and gift of choice. However, the younger Chinese generation no longer values Moutai the same way as their elders did, Jinshan Hong reported for Bloomberg in 2021.
To stay relevant with the younger generation, the spirit brand opened on May 19 an ice-cream store serving Moutai-infused ice cream, according to CNN. The store is located in the lobby of the Moutai International Hotel in China’s southwest Guizhou province.
While a bottle of Moutai ranges between 1,499 yuan ($ 223) and 16,000 yuan ($ 2,381), a scoop of Moutai ice cream only costs 39 yuan ($ 5.80), the outlet said. The affordability has sparked a trending hashtag on Weibo, the Twitter of China. The hashtag, which CNN translated to “Moutai ice cream is 39 yuan per serving,” has over 180 million views as of publish time.
One Sichuan-based user called Moutai “shameless” on Weibo: “It’s too cheap. At least it should start at three digits; otherwise, everyone can afford it,” he wrote.
A user from Hubei also took issue with the low cost, writing, “39 yuan is not worthy of the name Moutai; even if there is no market, it must be at least 399.”
However, others embraced the affordable pricing. “That’s great, people like me who love ice cream and want to drink Maotai but can not afford it,” a Hunan-based user wrote on Weibo.
“If you can not drink Moutai, then you can eat ice cream,” another user from Hunan commented.
Moutai’s Research and Development team told CNN that it is not advisable to eat the ice cream and drive because the Moutai-infused ice cream contains a 3% alcohol concentration. Minors below the age of 18 are not allowed to buy the ice cream.
In 2020, Moutai became the country’s most valuable publicly listed company after its stock grew by over 23% that year.