Indulging in quality spirits that induce a stunning kick is an exercise all too familiar in Indian culture. Here are some interesting Indian spirits that might vie for your attention the next time you set out on a solo trip to discover the multicultural bounties the country has to offer:
February 01, 2024
A popular drink in southern India and parts of neighbouring Sri Lanka, this alcoholic beverage is made by fermenting the sap of sugarcane and coconut flowers. Arrack is high in alcohol content and would be recognised more quickly by its colloquial moniker, desi daru, or country liquor.
Made from fermenting cashew sap, feni is a translucent liquid with a distinct aroma and a rather sharp taste. Today, the rights to produce and sell this prevalent indigenous spirit lie solely with the Goan region, as it recently acquired the Geographical Index (GI) tag.
If we trace the history of Indian distilling and liquor-making processes, one of the spirits we’d be able to locate to a time of yore is the mahua. This drink is named after a tropical tree whose sweet flowers are used to make a delicious and aromatic floral spirit.
One needs no introduction to toddy. Mainly found in Kerala, where it is known as kallu, it is made by fermenting the sap of coconut palm trees, a variant of the palm tree species. The collected sap is left for the yeast in the air to do its trick and produce a slightly tart but sweet drink.
A spirit from the northeastern provinces of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Apong is a beer made by fermenting rice cakes, whose methods differ from region to region. Known by names such as Xaj in Assam and Chubitchi in Meghalaya, the recipe infuses the rice with different spices and herbs to imbue vibrant flavours into the spirit.
Godawan Artisanal Single Malt Whisky pays homage to such royal heritage. It uses a formula of delicate Indian botanicals to create a malt out of the six-row barley growing in the region with water scarcity.