Two strong women entrepreneurs Anjali Shahi and Lavanya Jayashankar would be launching Matinee, their own brand of gin, this year. Scheduled to launch in Goa on March 13, interestingly, it is currently a two-woman team, with external consultants engaged on a case-to-case basis.
Anjali who was living and working in London in 2017, home to around 300 brands of gin, and with India at that time didnt have much to show as a local brand apart from Blue Riband. The irony which didn’t escape her was that several of these brands used Indian spices.
The idea then sprung to create an indigenous craft gin, using snake saffron, white turmeric, kagzi lime and Goan peppercorn — spices that make Matinee distinctive (even if Singapore’s Brass Lion Gin, run by Jamie Koh, does something similar — using torch ginger flowers, lemongrass and the like, says Shahi).
Although the gin landscape in India has changed a fair bit over the last four years, the duo, in their mid-thirties, still felt that there was a gap. “Matinee is here to liven up the party as gin has been taking itself too seriously,” says Shahi, sharing their plans to enter Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh this year.
Meanwhile, Jayashankar was focussing on the label and creatives. “We wanted a bottle that would catch even the corner of your eye,” she says, adding, “One of the key lessons I have learnt in 15 years of working on brands is that balancing both feminine and masculine energies leads to the most well-rounded products, services, and communications.”
To be available in Goa at ₹1,490 for a 750ml bottle