#WorldGinDay: 5 Homegrown Labels That Are Taking The Indian Gin Industry By Storm

Since World Gin Day has fallen on a weekend this year, we’re calling today a gin-gin situation! And what better way to celebrate it with a classic G&T or a gin cocktail with homegrown craft gin labels. Up until six years ago, we limited ourselves to the globally known labels available in the market and there wasn’t much to experiment with. However, founders of Nao Spirits, Vaibhav Singh and Anand Virmani saw this gap and introduced the country’s first London Dry Gin, Greater Than in 2015. Fast forward to today, there is a bunch of new and upcoming craft gin labels that are being fancied by all gin enthusiasts as well as people who like to explore and expand their palate.

Make way for ELLE India’s recommendations of Made-In-India gins that are sure to uplift your spirits.

1. Hapusa

Derived from the Sanksrit word for Juniper, Hapusa is the world’s first Himalayan Dry Gin. Launched in 2018, the Goa-based gin that comes from the same company as Greater Than is gaining recognition for its exquisite flavor, which comes from the use of local ingredients (ones you’ll also find in your kitchen) such as coriander, ginger, cardamom and more. Notes include Pine forest on the nose with a bold earthiness and wildflowers on the palate.

How To Drink: The sipping gin is best enjoyed when had straight by itself from the freezer or in cocktails such as Martini or Negroni.

Price: Approx. INR 2,600 for 700 ml.

Photograph: Instagram via Hapusa

2. Terai

Known as a grain-to-glass gin, Terai is the brainchild of the Swarup family of Globus Spirits, one of India’s largest distillers. All the 11 botanicals are picked from India, excluding Juniper, which is sourced from Europe. Apart from its distinct flavor, which comes from tulsi and fennel, it is also the impressive bottle design inspired by pillars seen in ancient Indian architecture that has caught our eye. Don’t forget to check out its cap, which is an ode to the local craft from Channapatna that is famous for lacquerware.

How To Drink: Since it has a hint of sweet, spicy and citrusy notes, try making a Martini with this gin.

Price: Approx. INR 1,800 for 750ml.

Photograph: Instagram via Terai

3. Samsāra

Founded by Aditya Aggarwal, Samsāra from Goa is another classic London Dry Gin. Its floral, citrusy and subtly spicy flavour can be attributed to 11 handpicked botanicals used to make the gin namely hemp seeds, juniper, Indian blood oranges, cassia bark, angelica root, and rose petals. But the hemp is the key flavour-imparting ingredient. From sourcing local botanicals to organic packaging material to running a women centric production facility, the brand stands for environmental benefits and the communities it serves.

How To Drink: Although Samsāra is a sipping gin, it tastes the best with tonic water.

Price: Approx. INR 1,350 for a 750 ml

Photograph: Samsāra

4. Stranger & Sons

If you like your gin bold and robust, pick Third Eye Distillery’s Stranger & Sons. Based in Goa, the brand was founded in 2018 by three friends from Mumbai- Rahul Mehra, Sakshi Saigal and Vidur Gupta. The spirit includes a blend of nutmeg, black pepper, coriander, mace, liqourice, cassia bark, angelica, and a mix of citrus peels like Ghondaraj lemon, which is specially sourced from Kolkatta.

How To Drink: The warm, peppery gin tastes best in a gimlet squeezed with lime.

Price: Approx. INR 1,855 for a 700 ml

Photograph: Instagram via Stranger & Sons

5. Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin

Luxury meets royalty with the Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin. And this is evident not only from its classy look but also its taste. Sourced from various parts of India, the triple-distilled neutral grain spirit is infused with Darjeeling green tea, lemongrass, vetiver, sweet orange peel, lemon zest and coriander to name a few. The liquid is distilled in a copper pot at the Rampur Distillery, which is what results in a great depth of flavours.

How To Drink: This gin is best enjoyed with tonic water or cocktails like Aviation and Tom Collins.

Price: Approx. INR 3,650 for 700 ml

Photograph: Instagram via Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin

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