In our last article, we have mentioned the gin history, which dates back to the British era, so gin is technically Indian. Finally, India’s gin market is now seeing a big uptick. Though the gin market is not so huge when it comes to numbers. We have witnessed the launch of two new homegrown gins, Terai and Gin Gin. And now, owing to the lockdown and delayed launches, the country has four more gins to be launched. It’s no surprise that they’re all coming out of the sunshine state of Goa. Goa is becoming a new hub for gin production and new gin brand’s birthplace, mainly it is due to rules around liquor production and distribution in the state of Goa which are less stringent as compared to the rest of the country. Ingredient sourcing and other essential elements are easy to get. Goa has developed a complete ecosystem that is easy and convenient for gin manufacturers. While some source their ingredients from as far as Macedonia, other brands are using pepper grown in their factory’s backyard.
India Made Gins from Goa
From the makers of the famous coconut rum Cabo comes Tickle Gin, a dry gin from the state of Goa. Tickle Gin uses botanicals from across the country. There’s Himalayan juniper, orange peel, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander seeds, clove, and even black pepper grown in the factory plantation of Adinco Distilleries. The gin is juniper forward with pepper and cardamom notes on the palate. Thanks to the melange of citrus flavors and spices, there’s an aroma of raw mango.
Tickle is produced using the cold extraction method, which Adinco Director Solomon Diniz tells CNT “helps maintain the characteristics of the spices in the gin and allows the spirit to be infused with a certain freshness”.
Recommended serving: Enjoy it in a G&T with a slice of cucumber or apple
Available in: Goa currently and in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune by the end of August
Price: Rs650 in Goa
Jin Jiji, possibly the first gin in the world to use cashew nuts, an ingredient synonymous with Goa, in its production. Jin Jiji uses juniper sourced from the Himalayas and distills its spirit with other Indian botanicals in a copper pot still.
The jiji in the moniker is derived from the Hindi word jijivisha to describe a passion and lust for life.
The brainchild of UCLA graduate and former PricewaterhouseCoopers associate Aditya Aggarwal, Saṃsāra is the first offering from the house of Spaceman & Company. Distilled in the classic London Dry method using eleven botanicals—organic hemp seeds, rose petals, vetiver grass, green cardamom and juniper berries—Saṃsāra is ﬂoral and citrusy with a hint of spicy earthiness. It is truly an enjoyable and easy-to-drink gin, one we foresee to be a hot favorite among gin lovers in India.
Spaceman & Company has big plans for the Indian craft spirits industry. Once it is safe and travel restrictions lift, you will be able to visit their flagship distillery in Goa for a gin masterclass or to create a custom gin or spirit blend and brand it.
Recommended serving: On the rocks or with a mild tonic, garnished with a slice of ginger or a bouquet of mint leaves
Available in: Saṃsāra will be available in Goa this September and in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago later this year.
Price: approximately Rs1,350 for a 750ml bottle