World Gin Day is marked in the month of June. On the precipice of a gin revolution, India celebrates the iconic Gin & Tonic with fabulous artisanal homegrown gins. From pure clear ethanol to herb-infused cocktails, a long distillation process occurs before gin is completely created and consumed. Gin’s central defining element comprises of juniper berries. The prominent flavour, for it to be classified as gin, needs to be juniper. India is credited to be the origin of the classic G&T, the British spearheaded the concept through medicinal concoctions. Against the grain, some gin companies have resolved to create layered infusions of gin in India, irrespective of the levels of demand.
The Gin & Tonic revolution has been slowly gaining pace in India. As reported by the Hindu business line, India is the fifth largest consumer of gin in the world. According to Shuchir Suri, founder of Food Talk India, one of India’s first digital food communities that brings together food-lovers as well as creates a celebration of events appreciating the culinary food experience, he speaks about the booming G&T revolution in India, saying it’s “Growing and how! India is undergoing a semi-resurgence I would say. The demand for craft gin is on the rise, ‘Make In India’ has trickled down to Gin and we’ve got some exceptional homegrown brands. The launch of Greater Than Gin - the only London Dry made in Goa was quite a breakthrough. Indian consumers have finally started to appreciate quality and proudly drink ‘own’ brands.”
The Gin & Tonic concoction has been incredibly special to many of us. Shuchir further tells Homegrown why he loves G&T so much, “Well, I could go on and write an essay about why it is a special cocktail but it pretty much comes down to the fact that is one of the most versatile cocktails in the world. Simple, classic, smooth and yet so layered and complex with each sip – not sure how many other cocktails can boast that! My relationship with a G&T is loyal, steady and very exciting!”
Here is a list of craft gins made in India hoping to revolutionize the consumption of gin and tonics:-
The company hails from Goa and has an intriguing origin story. Founder Rahul Mehra tells DSSC, ‘My wife Sakshi, cousin Vidur, and I love traveling and share a common interest of visiting local bars in any city we find ourselves in. During our travels, we noticed many bars were experimenting with gin-based cocktails globally, especially since the rise of speakeasies. While you may not find simple gintos at a premium bar in London, classic gin-based cocktails such as the Gimlet and the Last Word are surely making a comeback.’ Their 9 botanicals flavored gin is made in Ponda (Goa) and compliments the strong underlying flavors of juniper
The description on their site reads, ‘Dedicated to this spectacular way of life, Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin harks back to imperial age of Maharajas and Maharanis and their leisure moments.’
Jaisalmer gin makes use a variance of lovely botanicals. Lemongrass from Western India, that has a sliver of grapefruit infusions, Vetiver, a earthy grass, Caraway seeds to give the gin a tinge of spiciness and of course the famous Juniper berries.
Hapusa is a uniquely Indian homegrown gin and the world’s first Himalayan dry gin. The tasting notes include fresh swathes of bold earthiness and wildflowers. In Sanskrit, juniper is called ‘Hapusa’, and this is what gives the drink its name and profusely untamed aroma. According to the Gin Guild, ‘These botanicals come from all across the country to bring together its varied flavours, cuisines, and cultures to make this a real journey in a glass. From the Pine forests in the Himalayas, your taste buds venture along the banks of the Hooghly River, through the monsoon forests of Tamil Nadu and finally end their journey in the lush spice farms of Goa.’
Available only in Goa and Bengaluru, The London Dry Gin is made in India and uses copper pot distillation with botanicals sourced from India and across the world. Tasting notes include lemon peel and fresh ginger.
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