Indians are known for their penchant for sniffing the best wines and sipping on rums from across the world. If only there was a way to get the party started without some daaru on the side. While you love your Glenfiddich and Hendrik’s there are some total kick ass home grown Indian brands that can give their firang counterparts a run for their money!
An ultra smooth light spirit for English parties, Xing Vodka is perfect for those high voltage pub parties and formal outings. Available in five refreshing flavours- Green Apple, Peach, Coconut, Orange, Lemon, grab a casket meant to be exported to Europe and Latin America, along with Old Tribute whisky, Seven Knight whisky, Hunter rum, Club 10 semi-premium whisky. A big bargain is on the cards for sure.
Humble origin in lavish hills of Raia Salcette in Goa, Kandara Cabernet literally means caves or hills. The tropical wine is loved in the Caribbean and Africa. At 12 % daaru content, take your tangdi kabab and panner tikkas to a higher plane.
Other than Punjab and Goa, finding Vinsura elsewhere in India is nothing short of a treasure hunt. Nudge that fetish for desidaaru, and try Vinsura. Though a premium table wine brand, the way it makes you feel is amazing. The two variants bearing Vinsura tag often grace German and English Thanksgiving parties and Halloween in USA- Vinsura Merlot and Vinsura Rose. But for you, how about trying it on Holi and birthdays! Bhaang-da tashan…
Honey Bee Brandy 750ml
A very popular brandy in cosmopolitan cities, the brand retains its status as a hermit for years now. The reason- Its enthralling fan following in Middle East and South East Asia, but aloofness in India. Loved for its rich honey dew aroma, the minty fragrance and superfine citrus fruit zing makes it a cool cocktail drink. An absolute old fashioned brandy for those who love it rough and hard!!!
AmrutFusion Single Malt
One of India’s oldest known single malt whiskey brands, Amrut Fusion is a premium range daaru kept exclusively for high-end customers. Mostly gracing the formal parties in Bangalore, finding it elsewhere in India could lead you to many trade secrets.
Paul John Single Malt
Another single malt single cask whiskey, Paul John has a grand fan following among beach resort and garden party merrymakers. It is largely exported to the UK, UAE, Angola, Congo, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, Oceania, Scandinavia and Canada.
A regular in south Indian state of Kerala and some bars in Goa, finding it elsewhere will take lot of digging, despite its reputation as one of the world’s best whiskies.
As the name suggests, this is a brand for those in love with Goan psychedelic tequilas. Produced and distributed by Agave India, Desmondji derives its name from Desmond Nazreth, the owner. Unofficially a tequila, Desmondji is available in distinct flavours, for exclusive Margarita sippers, cocktail clubbers and pool party organizers.
Solan No. 1
Sharing its legacy with Old Monk, Solan No.1 is one of the lesser known brands in India largely overshadowed by its premium and more popular siblings like Diplomat Deluxe, Colonel’s Special, Black Knight and Summer Hall. Mohan Meakin’s reclusive brand is popular in army parties, and makes up its sales through exports to Canada, Greece and Scandinavia.
Try tapping London Dry and Big Ben gins, and Kaplanski vodka from the same line of brands.
Other local brands you would love exploring are Old Tavern, Four Seasons Zinzi White and Zinzi Red, and of course GAPL’s 24 Carat Whiskey.