How Camikara Created An Award Winning Rum Rooted In Punjabi Culture

Camikara is a premium Indian rum that pays homage to the roots of Punjab's local Lahaan.
Camikara is a premium Indian rum that pays homage to the roots of Punjab's local Lahaan.Camikara Rum

In the heart of Punjab, where alcohol is part of every celebration, Piccadily Distilleries found inspiration. Distilling cane juice to create the local brew known as Laahan has been a long standing practice in Punjab but is not known to many. The founder's vision and intention were clear - to elevate the legacy of rum in India by reviving the age-old tradition of cane juice distillation. The result is Camikara, a premium Indian rum that pays homage to the roots of Punjab's local Lahaan.

Before The Cane Juice Rum

Piccadily's journey from hospitality to distillation is a tale of innovation. In 1953, K.N. Sharma laid the foundation with Kedar Nath and Sons in Doraha, undivided Punjab. The company's expansion into Punjab and Himachal Pradesh saw them enter the realm of alcohol distribution. The success of Picadili Restaurant and Bar in Chandigarh propelled them into diverse ventures, including theatres and hotels. In a pivotal move in 1994, the company acquired a sugar mill and distillery, marking the beginning of its foray into alcohol manufacturing.

The time post-1994 is marked by significant milestones. In 2008, Piccadily secured the distinction of being the first company granted permission to produce alcohol from cane juice. Subsequently, in 2009, they imported oak barrels from the US, initiating the distillation of spirits from cane juice. The vision furthered in 2010 as Piccadily aimed to create a distillery on par with those in Scotland, commissioning to build one of India's largest malt plants.

The commitment to quality and innovation continued in 2018 when their third distillery was established in Bawal, Haryana, aligning with EU and Scottish standards and phasing out molasses-based whisky. The ensuing years witnessed the launch of Whistler Blended Whisky in 2020, followed by the introduction of Indri Single Malt Whisky in 2021. The pinnacle came in 2022 with the launch of Camikara Rum, India's first sipping rum made from pure cane juice. The timeline culminates in 2023 with the release of Camikara's 3YO Rum and Indri: Dru - a cask-strength Whisky which both solidified Piccadily's standing in the market.

The Tale Of The Pure Sugarcane Juice Rum

Drawing inspiration from the success of the 12YO variant that they launched, Camikara 3 YO was recently released by the distillers - a testament to the company's commitment to making premium Indian spirits more accessible. The rum, aged in American oak barrels for three years, challenges the conventional perception of rum as a seasonal spirit. Bottled at 42.8% ABV, it invites young enthusiasts and seasoned rum connoisseurs alike to explore its versatility—whether enjoyed on the rocks or as the base of a crafted cocktail.

Siddhartha Sharma, the founder of Piccadily Distilleries, expressed his excitement about expanding their pure cane juice rum portfolio. He mentioned how “Camikara was born out of a desire to revive the age-old distilling tradition from India and introduce an indigenous premium category rum. When we launched the limited-edition Camikara 12YO, it became the first ever Indian rum to win a ‘Gold Medal’ at the prestigious IWSC Awards 2023. This inspired us to expand our rum portfolio and make the golden elixir more accessible. We hope that Camikara 3YO will carry on the legacy and cater to a wider audience.”

With a classic, naturally sweet top notes of sugarcane, intriguing hints of funkiness, and vegetal greenness, Camikara 3YO claims to offer a sensory journey. The palate experiences a masterful blend of oak notes and cane juice spirit, resulting in a well-rounded and impeccably balanced spirit. The finish reminds one of fresh sugarcane juice - a perfectly rounded and sweet conclusion.

As the spirits from Piccadilly Distilleries continue to make their mark, both within the nation and on a global stage, it stands as a symbol of India's growing appreciation for high-quality craft liquor and a growin movement towards to reviving traditional distillation techniques.