Goa has become the birthplace of homegrown alcohol. The post-pandemic rush has spurred growth in Goa’s alcohol industry as people throng to the place in search of new experiences. The sunny state known for its beaches and nightlife is now the launchpad for premier alcohol–ones that have also gained global recognition. While the gin revolution in India continues, other spirits like whiskey, vodka and rum have also followed suit. Just like us, if you too have developed a fancy towards the Indian alco-bev scene, then you must try these 7 new homegrown alcohol labels that have emerged from Goa.
1. Terry Sent Me
This citrus-forward gin borrows inspiration from the speakeasy culture of the Prohibition Era that celebrates the rebellious spirit and those who embody it. Promising an elevated drinking experience, Terry Sent Me is balanced with secret botanicals that are sourced from India. It is best enjoyed neat with some cubes of ice. The gin is currently available in Goa and will soon expand in Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka.
Price: INR 850 for 750 ml
2. Malhar Indian Craft Gin
Say hello to the newest gin on the block that comes from the creators of Paul John Whisky. Keeping the need of the consumer in mind, the John Distelleries has forayed into the gin space with Malhar Indian Craft Gin. The origin of its name comes from the soulful raga of Malhar that has the power to bring rain. And Malhar Indian Craft Gin is an ode to the Indian monsoon that yields fruits and botanicals. The gin is available in two variants: The Malhar Classic Dry Gin and The Malhar Citrus. The former is a clear, juniper-forward gin that consists of 15 botanicals. Expect an aroma of rich herbs, soft florals and peppery spice on the nose and fruity, sweet and spicy notes on the palate. The latter is a citrus-forward gin (as the name suggests) infused with 11 botanicals with the Indian lime being the strongest ingredient. While it is refreshing and zesty, it also has hints of hibiscus and angelica. Both are currently available in Goa but will expand to other states soon.
Price: INR 3,075 for 750ml and INR 205 for 50ml
After launching Rahasya vodka, Varna Bhat’s Blisswater Industries now introduces a new whisky, Yaksha. This mystical spirit is blended with the Ayurvedic Indian herb Soma, and scotch from the highlands of Scotland that is aged for five years in Bourbon barrels made of American oak. The whisky is charcoal filtered to create a refined texture for that perfect smoky finish. Every sip will highlight the soft smokiness with hints of honey and dates.
Price: INR 1350 for 750ml
4. Earth Rum
We’re often used to drinking rum with coke–it’s a classic combination. But this new homegrown brand from Goa wants you to change the way you drink the dark spirit. Launched by Surabhi Beverages, Earth Rum is a medium-bodied spiced rum infused with pepper, star anise, cinnamon, and clove. That’s why it’s best to have it on the rocks or with a dash of water. If we had to describe it in short, we’d say it’s like Christmas in a bottle. The company also aims to be eco-friendly through its zero-plastic packaging approach and use of biodegradable materials–the sticker on the bottle has no plastic elements and the cork is made of wood.
Price: Rs 1,350 for 750 ml (only available in Goa)
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5. Short Story
With so many homegrown alcohol labels focusing on the ingredients and place of origin, this new brand wants to cut through that noise and let its spirits do all the talking. Launched by Third Eye Distillery, the same company behind Stranger & Sons, Short Story brings three go-to spirits to you–a classic London dry gin with a juniper backbone, a triple distilled, charcoal-filtered grain vodka, and an Indo-Caribbean white rum.
Price: Short Story in Maharashtra, is available at the following prices: Vodka: INR 1,650; Gin: INR 1,850; and Rum: INR 1,950. However, all three bottles can be purchased in Karnataka for INR 1,950 and Goa for INR 1,050 respectively
6. Satiwa – Hemp Craft Gin
Meet Goa’s hemp-infused gin that gives you a happy high. Don’t worry, it’s not what you think. Hemp contains 0.3 percent or less THC (the component responsible for giving a high) and more amount of CBD (the one that doesn’t have intoxicating effects on the body). As hemp still carries a stigma around its use, the founder of Satiwa Gin Sahil Adwalpalkar aims to educate people about its health benefits and get rid of misconceptions surrounding it. The infusion of hemp in Satiwa gives the spirit a nutty flavour in addition to the light, fruity and floral notes on the nose. The best way to drink it? With rosemary, grapefruit, or a slice of orange. But it also works with plain soda or regular tonic.
Price: INR 1,650 (currently available in Goa)
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7. Sector Gin
Goa-based Living Root Distilling Company brings a new London dry gin with Juniper berries from Italy and coriander. What makes the gin unique is how it is distilled. The base gin and citrus distillate are distilled separately and then blended together. But you’ll also get a bright citrusy note from a mix of Valencia Oranges and Grapefruit from Turkey and a soft mouthfeel from turmeric and Orris. The Cubeb Berries, Cochin Ginger, and Lemon Balm give a well-rounded finish. The gin pairs well with tonic water and other cocktails, but you can also choose to have it on the rocks.
Price: Currently available in Goa at INR 850 and in Mumbai at INR 1,650