sonToday, more and more locally distilled liquors are entering the Indian Alcohol market - this ranges from regional drinks like Feni or Lahaan, with flavours and narratives that honour the varying cultures and influences of the different localities in India, to homegrown brands creating beloved variants of classic liquors like Gin or Rum whose quality parallel the world’s best. But if you are an alcohol connoisseur who wants to elevate your drinking experience even further, more innovations are entering the market that can further your drinking experience.
Meet Otane, a spirit infusion kit brand, whose name is pronounced as ‘oh-tha-nay’, and which translates to ‘pour’ in Marathi and ‘to infuse’ in Sanskrit. Featuring locally sourced ingredients that are combined to create inspired, themed infusion kits, Otane’s catalogue is one that every spirit lover would be excited by.
A great cocktail is a worthy addition to a gathering, or even on a quiet night as a treat for yourself. But rather than going out to a fancy bar, whose artisanal cocktails might have been created with intention, it might also set you back a pretty penny. So when you’re in the mood to step up your booze game for an occasion or a particular dish, Otane is a great brand whose products are worth the indulgence for yourself or a loved one as a gift to create cocktails at home.
Founded by Mumbai-based duo Sharan Kutty and Errol Crasta, who like to refer to themselves as co-pourers, set out to make spirit infusions accessible by starting Otane. While Sharan Kutty is a mixologist who was working in Australia and recently moved back to India, Eroll is an illustrator. They started by launching their first batch of non-alcoholic infusions in 2020, according to Mint Lounge, with local ingredients like vanilla, orange and roselle leaves.
Over the years, the brand has added more mixes to its repertoire. As an ode to the Indian combination of food and beverage flavours - from chaknas to pickles that pairs well with a heady rum or a botanical gin, each infusion is a crafted kit which includes a Hand Crafted Bottle, Infusion Mix, Strainer, Coaster, Tasting Card, and Cloth Bag and most importantly, an “Otane Pustak” - an informative read with notes on the best time to drink & best food to pair with the infusions.
Currently. Otane has four infusion kits. The first two to be launched were Adipoli Spiced and Florified Indigo. While the former is curated for rum aficionados and according to the brand, “cockle-warming spiced concoction that is based on the kind of rich, full-bodied rums that our grandfathers enjoyed years ago. This fabulous winter warmer is a blend of our Grandfather's spice mix, to which we’ve added creamy vanilla, and Ceylon cinnamon with hints of citrus that delivers a uniquely complex taste and is perfect for sipping.” But Florified Indigo is an infusion for Gin and Tonic lovers that combines delicate notes, flavours and aroma to create the perfect base for a great cocktail. According to the team, this infusion is “distinctly fragrant, sweet and sour citrus with a hefty kick of warming rosemary. It is perfumed with balancing sweet notes and herbal elements; this infusion is perfect for an afternoon drink.”
Their Vodka/Gin specific infusion called Laidback Scarlet is essentially a summertime drink that can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, or with soda and a splash of cranberry juice. With the inclusion of Roselle leaves, the infusion has a light scarlet colour and imparts it with sweet, sour and refreshing notes that pair well with its citrus and berry flavours, subtle spice and fennel freshness. The brand finishes off its description of this infusion by saying that it is perfect to make a “rich complex aperitif which works exceptionally in any cocktail.”
Last but not least, the brand launched their ‘Ser Grand Daddy’ infusion kit for winter drinks that was inspired obviously by their grandfathers and is a perfect infusion kit for Indian Whiskey or Bourbon. As an ode to the first people who introduced the founding duo respectively to the Drink and Chakna culture, they have created an infusion that is perfect “to enjoy with cherished company on a slow winter night with the faithful ‘Chakna’ and good ol’ nostalgic tunes.” The infusion whose ingredients include crisp apples, cinnamon, cloves and mace adds a nuttiness and rich creamy notes to the liquor and is best enjoyed neat, slightly or with ginger ale and a splash of lemonade. The brand, as is typical for them, suggests pairing reinforces the need to pair this with the right Chakna to complete the experience and says that this particular drink calls for the Chakli + Schezwan sauce combo or the simple papadam.
Currently, one can order their infusion(s) of choice from Otane directly by DMing them on instagram. The brand delivers pan India, but you can also pick it up directly if you are in Mumbai.
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