With the Indian diaspora developing a taste for global brews, tons of new brands are setting up shop in the subcontinent, aiming to please Indian millenials. The lineup includes single malts from Scotland, wines from new-world countries, dry gins from the UK, and homegrown beers. This is a selection of some of my favorite new entrants!
Note: The prices (wherever mentioned here) are retail prices (MRP) in New Delhi. The MRP may vary from state to state.
Longmorn traces its origin to the vision of John Duff who started the distillery in the 1890-s. The meticulous craftsmanship and use of exquisite ingredients distinguish Longmorn as a rarefied whiskey with a unique sensory experience. There’s a whole lot of ginger, chocolate and toffee in "Longmorn - The Distiller’s Choice".
The Star of Bombay
The gin revolution has enveloped India today, and one of the newest offerings from the house of Bombay Sapphire is called the "Star of Bombay". Along with all the botanicals and the dominant juniper berries that characterise the Sapphire, there is an added hint of bergamot orange from the mediterranean, which adds a spicy citrus feel to the gin, making it all the more interesting.
The century-old Aberlour whiskey is now on Indian shelves! With a double-maturation process that involves sherry and bourbon caskets, the Aberlour comes with a flavor-cocktail of sweet raisins, spices and a strong hint of oak.
Dr Zenzen Reisling
One of Germany’s favorite grapes comes to town from Rhineland, bottled beautifully. The "Reisling" from Dr Zenzen’s winery has a floral and fruity bouquet on the nose. An off-dry wine with a palate of pears and pineapples, it's a wine that you just cannot miss out on!
From the house of hebridean distilleries, comes an unpeated whisky which has me hooked with its floral and fruity notes, with a subtle background of oak and barley.
Umeshu (popularly known as "plum wine" in english) is a Japanese delicacy made from green ume plums. An interesting mix of sweet and sour, it can be consumed chilled, on the rocks or even with just some warm water. The Choya Umeshu is going to be part of the first Sake Social, which will be organised at Kofuku, New Delhi.
Stranger and Sons
A gin with a taste of gondhoraj lebu is enough to make any bengali fall in love! One of the first gins to be manufactured in India, Stranger and Sons is an authentic pot-distilled beverage from the house of London Dry Gins. It also hosts flavors of mace, coriander, liquorice, pepper and nutmeg on top of macedonian juniper berries.
The connoisseur's selection
No wine selection is complete for a true connoisseur without the right utilities to go along! Listed below are two of my favorite accompaniments. I'm a man who enjoys his liquor in the right vessel, with the right sides. If you share that emotion, you might find these useful!
Svami Artisanal Tonic Water
The gin revolution may be sweeping the country right now, but gin will never be complete without tonic water. India’s newly launched Artisanal Tonic Water is a testament to the popularity that the evergreen gin & tonic combination is enjoying right now.
Svami’s Tonic water contains a lot less sugar content than other commercially available tonic water brands, and is available in three different flavours -grapefruit, cucumber, and Indian.
Wine is zilch without the right glasses! A traditional drinking glass will never be able to match up to the gusto of a custom wine glass.
The large bowels and the curls at the bottom of Lucaris glassware enable the perfect amount of micro-oxygenation, which really 'opens' up a good red wine.
In image: The d’Arenberg laughing Magpies Shiraz-Viognier ’12 in the "elegant red glass" from Lucaris, which we tried out, happily, I might add.
Price range: ₹4,000-₹5,000
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