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美国人出书向世界介绍中国白酒

2014-03-13    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Can there ever be a good reason for drinking 300 shots of baijiu, China's distilled liquor famed for burning the esophagus and causing calm people to burst into song? For American Derek Sandhaus, the answer is yes.
这种令食道产生灼烧感、让沉稳的人突然唱起歌来的中国蒸馏酒吗?对美国人德里克・桑德豪斯(Derek Sandhaus)来说,答案是肯定的。

All that 'research' paid off for Mr. Sandhaus, who lived in China from 2006 to 2013. His book, 'Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits,' will be released this month by Penguin China. The author, who now lives in Virginia, also has a blog called '300 Shots at Greatness,' where he posts pictures of his liquor cabinet, describes his Kansas-born parents trying baijiu, and recounts a story of President Nixon nearly burning down the White House after attempting to set some baijiu on fire.
桑德豪斯的“研究”终于有了成果,他的新书《白酒:中国烈酒必备指南》(Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits)本月将由企鹅中国(Penguin China)出版。现居住在美国弗吉尼亚州的桑德豪斯曾在2006至2013年间在中国生活,他还有一个名叫“300 Shots at Greatness”的博客,该博客张贴有自己酒柜的照片,描述了自己出生在堪萨斯州的父母试饮白酒的故事,还讲述了美国总统尼克松(Richard Nixon)试着点燃白酒结果险些在白宫引发大火的轶事。

Mr. Sandhaus admits he probably imbibed closer to 600 shots of baijiu in the course of his work. Scene Asia talked to the 31-year-old about his love of China's national drink. Edited excerpts:
桑德豪斯坦言说,自己在创作这本书的过程中可能喝了将近600杯白酒。“风尚亚洲”(Scene Asia)栏目与31岁的桑德豪斯聊了聊他对这一中国名酒的热爱。以下是经编辑的访谈摘录:

How did you get the idea for the book?
问:你是如何想到要写这本书的?

It came to me several years ago, when I was on my way back from one of the banquets that people in China often get invited to. I was thinking how unpleasant I found the experience of drinking lots of shots of baijiu. I wanted to figure out why foreigners dislike the experience so much, whereas the people of China love and celebrate it.
答:几年前我参加了一场酒宴;在中国人们经常会受邀参加此类酒宴。在回去的路上我在想,白酒喝多了的感觉非常不舒服。我想弄清楚为什么外国人如此厌恶这一体验,而中国人却酷爱并且颂扬它。

Did you ever learn to like it?
问:那你后来喜欢上白酒了吗?

There was a theory going around that if you drank 300 shots that was the threshold - you would go from someone who hated it to someone who appreciated it. That theory sounded like hogwash.
答:如今流传有一种理论,说如果你喝够了300杯白酒,那你就能对白酒由恨转爱。这理论听着很扯。

Did it take you 300 shots?
问:你是在喝了300杯白酒后喜欢上它的吗?

It didn't even take 100 shots. It came down to just finding types of baijiu that appealed to my tastes. China has around 10,000 distilleries of almost all shapes and sizes. There is almost certainly one that is better suited to your taste.
答:连100杯都不到我就喜欢上了。其实就是要找到能迎合自己口味的白酒。中国有上万家酿酒厂,产品种类繁多,几乎各种规格都有,肯定有一款白酒更符合你的口味。

I hate baijiu.
问:我很讨厌白酒。

When someone tells you they hate baijiu, the first thing to remember is that baijiu at the standard level is about 50%-60% alcohol by volume, whereas vodka or whiskey is around 40%. So the trouble is not the taste, but the taste of that much alcohol. Some baijiu are watered down to 38%-40%, which might make it easier, although you're still dealing with a lot of weird tastes and flavors.
答:当有人说讨厌白酒时,首先要记住的是,标准白酒的酒精含量在50%至60%之间,而伏特加和威士忌的酒精含量在40%左右。所以说问题出在了白酒酒精含量太高,而并非酒的味道本身。有些白酒的酒精含量被冲淡至了38%到40%,喝起来可能会舒服一点。不过你仍要在千奇百怪的口感和香型中进行挑选。

Also, baijiu is the Chinese word for all of their traditional spirits. When a lot of people say they don't like the taste, they don't like the specific taste of the type of baijiu they're drinking.
还有一点,白酒是中国所有传统烈酒的统称。很多人说自己不喜欢白酒,实际上指的是其所喝某一类白酒的特定口感。

Any big surprises?
问:这一过程中,你有什么惊奇的发现吗?

I found out that I actually did like baijiu. Another thing is that I found out just how essential alcohol is to Chinese culture. Evidence shows that the Chinese might have been making alcohol even before they formed a civilization, and that alcohol might have played a central role in the creation of their civilization.
答:我发现我其实挺喜欢白酒的。还有就是我发现,酒对于中国文化有着极其重要的意义。有证据显示,中国人在其文明形成以前可能就开始酿酒了,而酒可能在中国文明的创造过程中扮演了一个至关重要的角色。

The book seems to be everything you ever wanted to know about baijiu. So your readers are not Chinese?
问:这本书似乎是以对白酒的全面介绍为内容。所以说本书的读者定位并不是中国人?

I don't think the Chinese need my help in appreciating their culture. But outside of China, the level of understanding is low, even in people who are experts in spirits: bartenders, wine and spirit writers. This is the book I wish had existed when I first started researching baijiu. It allows you to walk into a Chinese liquor store and know what's on the shelf. Normally, you walk into a store and see a wall filled with Chinese characters. You have no idea what you're looking at.
答:我觉得中国人并不需要我来帮助他们品鉴本国文化。然而在中国以外,人们对白酒知之甚少,甚至连烈酒专家--调酒师、葡萄酒和烈酒作家亦是如此。我多么希望在我研究白酒之初就能有这样一本书。它让你在走进一家中国酒水店的时候能知道架子上摆的是什么。而通常情况下,你走进一家酒水店,眼前是一整 的汉字,你根本不知道那都是些什么。

Where did you live in China?
问:此前你住在中国的哪里?

Shanghai and then Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan province). Sichuan is the center of China's baijiu industry, so I got a chance to do a lot of firsthand research, visit distilleries, and see the business inside out.
上海,然后是四川省省会成都。四川是中国白酒产业的中心,因而我有机会做了许多第一手调查,走访了一些酿酒厂,并透彻地观察了这个行业。

Do you have a favorite baijiu?
问:有哪款白酒是你的最爱吗?

Since the book lists about 90 baijiu, I probably shouldn't pick a favorite. But there are some I really like. One is called Lao Guilin by Guilin Sanhua. It's a really smooth kind of sweet, but not cloyingly, so it's kind of reminiscent of sake. Another is Laobai Fenjiu by Xinghuacun Fenjiu. And then my go-to favorite Sichuan baijiu is Luzhuo Laojiao.
答:这本书列出了大约90种白酒,所以我不太应该说哪个是自己最喜欢的。不过有几款白酒我都觉得很棒。一款是桂林三花股份有限公司生产的老桂林,它有种滑而不腻的甘甜口感,有点像日本的米酒。还有一款是山西杏花村汾酒集团生产的老白汾酒。四川的白酒中我最喜欢泸州老窖。

You must have some good drinking stories.
问:可否和我们分享一些有趣的品酒故事?

We were at a lunch banquet thrown by the Sichuan government affairs office and only had two or three shots of baijiu. It was upper-end baijiu and that was the first time I drank it and thought, this is something I could really start liking. Then, in the afternoon, they put us in some ridiculous traditional costumes and marched us out to a big performance in the center of town. There were tens of thousands of people there.
答:有一次在四川政府事务办公室举办的午宴上,当时我只喝了两三杯白酒。那是一款高档白酒,也是我头一次喝下后觉得这酒味道真不错。之后那天下午,他们给我们穿上了一些很滑稽的传统服装,并带着我们去市中心参加一场大型表演。当时那里有上万人在场。

They got me up and had me perform a traditional Chinese drum dance with all these 8-year-old girls who had been rehearsing for months. I kind of think it would have pissed me off but for the fact that I had a few shots of baijiu at lunch, which made the whole thing so hilarious and fun. It is one of my best memories of living in Sichuan.
他们把我推上台,让我和一群演排了好几个月的小女孩一起表演传统的中国鼓舞。现在想来,若不是因为那几杯酒,我或许就不会感觉整件事那么好玩,反而会很生气了吧。这是我在四川生活的日子里最美好的记忆之一。

So baijiu makes everything better?
问:所以说,白酒让一切都变得更好了?

That for me was the crucial insight in my quest to understand baijiu. Whether you enjoy the drink itself, the fact is, if you can go with it and learn to at least tolerate baijiu, you will have a much better time in China. It's one of the only times when random people will cut loose and show you this jovial, fun side of themselves that they don't show strangers.
这是我在探寻白酒的过程中所洞察到的重要收获。实际上无论你是否喜欢白酒,如果你能放宽心去接纳它,你就可以在中国收获一段更加美好的时光。白酒能让人摆脱束缚,展示出自己平时不会呈现给陌生人的愉快有趣的一面。



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