India’s first premium artisanal rum, Maka Zai, is available in five states across India – Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Puducherry, and now Delhi. It is an independent, home-grown, startup that blends small batches of artisanal white and gold rum. Maka Zai translates to ‘I Want’ in Konkani. Both variants, the Bartender’s Edition and the Tribute Edition (India’s first Gold Rum), are made from locally sourced sugarcane from various parts of the country.
Since its launch in January 2021, Maka Zai has produced 5000 cases! A milestone for a new-age spirit brand.
Speaking on the occasion, Kasturi Banerjee, Founder and Director of Stilldistilling Spirits, says, “We are humbled by the demand from the market and the abundance of acceptance and love we have received. As a premium artisanal rum brand, it’s encouraging to see the uptake from consumers and the food and beverage community. Since we are the first home-grown rum brand in India, we are trying to do our bit to introduce our product and vision to consumers, while distilling a lot of myths that are associated with rum. This effort and our artisanal rum have helped in our market growth.”
Each edition of Maka Zai rum has unique characteristics, right from the process to the flavour profiles:
Bartender’s Edition: A homage to bartenders’ often-unsung efforts and talents, this edition is a crystal-clear, medium-bodied white rum with creamy and elegant aromas. This beautifully blended molasses spirit has floral, sweet, spicy, and herbaceous nature gives it a unique tropical note. The liquid inherits notes from the sugarcane grown in the rich, red soil around the Panchaganga river in Maharashtra used to make the rum.
Tribute Edition: A premium aged sipping rum, matured for two-and-a-half-years in oak barrels impart a stunning golden hue. The first sip brings out a luscious silky well-rounded mouth feel. On the palate, one can get hints of praline, dry dates, figs, caramel, cinnamon, and honey, along with a vanilla accent, that leaves you with a long-lingering finish giving you a perfect sipping rum. The liquid inherits its notes from a blend of two spirits sourced from the Punjab and Maharashtra region.
A glance at what Maka Zai Rum has done over the past 15 months:
Three-city Maka Zai and Music Tour, called ‘Chasing the Christmas Cheer’ with Carlton Braganza | Dec – Jan 2021-22
Tiki Liberations by Maka Zai – changing the script and perception around rum being a winter drink only
A bartender training program
And a whole list of fruity, summer cocktails made with rum
Bartenders Benison | Mumbai and Goa Chapter – included bringing together close to 60 bartenders for a masterclass by the brand ambassador. It also included special curated cocktails by Santosh Kukreti.