A bowl of ramen or some hot chocolate is comforting on chilly winter days. But you can’t underestimate the power of a small peg of vodka or rum in this weather–it gives that same warmth and comfort. Am I right or am I right? Whether you’re having an intimate family dinner, a date with your beau or indulging in some me-time, treat your palate to some new homegrown alcohol. Need help to pick? We got you covered. Here are 6 recently launched alcohol bottles to add to your at-home bar.
1. Smoke Lab Vodka
Meet India’s first homegrown premium vodka, which has now entered Maharashtra after making its mark in Gurugram, New Delhi and Goa. Ditching potatoes, this vodka makes use of Basmati rice found in the Himalayan foothills for distillation, resulting in a vegan and gluten free spirit–now that’s unique, isn’t it? The vodka range is distilled 5x times using charcoal filtration. So far there are two variants, the SMOKE Classic and the SMOKE Aniseed. The former is bold yet smooth with notes of fresh nutty aromas and subtle citrus hints–it’s best enjoyed neat or in your choice of cocktail. The latter is an aromatic and refreshing spirit with the distinct flavour of ‘saunf.’
Available in Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurugram and Goa at INR 2,080 (for The Smoke Classic Vodka) INR 2,600 (for the Aniseed variant)
2. No Sleep By Sleepy Owl & Greater Than
Love coffee and gin? You’re in luck. Artisan coffee label Sleepy Owl has collaborated with the gin label Greater Than to give your the best of both worlds! Say hello to India’s first coffee-infused gin ‘No Sleep.’ The limited edition drink blends 100% Arabica Coffee from Chikmagalur, Karnataka in the gin distillate. Its tasting notes? Red cherries followed by salted caramel on the palate and a delicately spiced finish with hints of pink peppercorn. The No Sleep gin is best enjoyed with tonic water and an orange wedge. But you can also use it in cocktails like the Negroni or the Espresso Martini.
Available in Maharashtra for INR 1,850, INR 1,000 in Goa and INR 2,400 in Bengaluru (all for 750ml)
3. Maka Zai
Winters equal to rum and coke weather. But instead of sticking to old classics, why not try something new? ICYMI, India now has its own craft rum, Maka Zai. Translating to ‘I Want’ in Konkani, this alcohol is truly a treat to have in cold weather. Available as a White Rum (the Bartender’s Edition) and India’s first Gold Rum (the Tribute Edition), the variants are made from locally sourced sugarcane from various parts of the country and distilled in Goa. Choose to have it on the rocks or mix it up to create interesting cocktails such as a Rum Punch, Negroni or even a caffeinated concoction in the form of Rumatini.
Available in Goa for INR 1,000 (White Rum) and INR 1,300 (Gold Rum); in Maharashtra for INR 1995 (White Rum) and INR 2,595 (Gold Rum); in Karnataka for INR 2,350 (White Rum) and INR 3,250 (Gold Rum)
4. No Label Original Mead
With meads hitting the Indian market and the urban population beginning to discover it, there are labels that are making it right here. Get ready to ‘mead’ No Label that makes this alcoholic beverage with fermented honey water. Meads is one of the oldest alcohols known to humans and this new-on-the-block label hopes to revive it. The No Label Original Mead is a light beverage with floral and fruity notes. It is low in honey flavours as compared to other meads, which makes it less sweet and easier to drink. So if you want a break from a beer, opt for a mead on a Friday night, and you’re set.
Available in Mumbai and Pune for INR 185 per pint
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Think tequila and you only imagine burning throats and bad hangovers. But this agave spirit from Passcode Hospitality–the group that owns successful bars and restaurants like PCO, Saz and Ping’s Orient Cafe–is believed to be super smooth to drink. It’s got creamy notes with hints of vanilla, caramel and butterscotch. We’re down to try it out!
Available in Goa at INR 2,695 for 750ml
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