Bamboo was already one of the most versatile resources available to man, but villages in various parts of China have come up with yet another use for the giant grass – living casks for maturing liquor.
Villagers and liquor producers in several Chinese provinces have come up with a way of using living bamboo trunks to produce alcoholic drinks that are proving very popular with tourists. By using high-pressure injection techniques, they fill up sections of living bamboo trunks with rice wine or sorghum and leave it to mature for several months, up to a year and a half, during which time the liquor is infused with flavone (the liquid naturally released by the trunk) and the sap of bamboo. This apparently gives the liquor a pure, pleasant aroma and detoxifying properties. It also lowers alcohol content, as the plant absorbs part of it.