Beijing Red Star

Museum in Temple of Heaven Park & Dongcheng South

Fans of Communist ephemera or esoteric booze brands might get a kick out this place set up by Red Star, a popular brand of Beijing báijiǔ, China's famous firewater. There are no English captions on the dioramas showing how báijiǔ is made, which is a shame because it's a fascinating process.

Unlike most spirits, which are distilled from a liquid, making báijiǔ is more more akin to making cheese or sourdough. At báijiǔ distilleries, a solid ‘mash’ of grains and starter is left to ferment in pits – sometimes for months – absorbing layers of flavour-packed bacteria before being steamed and distilled, and then aged in terracotta jars.

You can pick up a bottle from the store, which makes a quirky souvenir. Red Star shares space with the Beijing Tourist Information Office.