The Indian gin landscape has been blooming the past few years, and we’ve spoken about it here. It just got four brand new homegrown members, and here’s all you need to know about these.
India in a bottle is how I’d describe Terai. From Karnataka to Rajasthan, Delhi to the Himalayas, you have it all in there. The gin carries notes that are typically a favourite for anyone whose grown up on Indian cuisine–spice, citrus, nutty, and a hint of sweet–you name it and you’ve got it. As many as 11 botanicals make up this craft gin, which is distilled in Behror, Rajasthan and the ingredients are procured expressly from Delhi’s famous spice market, Khari Baoli.
This London dry gin is made with tulsi, coriander, lavender, rose, fennel, lemon and orange peels, almond, angelica and orris roots, and of course, juniper berries. The experience doesn’t stop at the taste, their design has also been curated with much thought. While bottles are an ode to pillars of ancient Indian architecture, creating a play of light and shadow through their angles; the crown is made using Channapatna, an Indian handicraft from the eponymous town in Karnataka, and coloured in the shades of Terai.
What is Terai? It’s ‘the strip of fertile marshland running along the foothills of the Himalayas. Watered by springs, these valleys conjure notions of being lush, bountiful and fresh’ as the makers share, and of course, also the inspiration behind the name. Moreover, the label constitutes most of the botanicals within itself, making a single bottle an immersive experience. Needless to say, this is one launch I’m waiting for.
An Indian dry gin, this one’s based out of Goa. However, the Himalayas play a role here too, with the botanicals being sourced from there. A quirky label and a fun bottle, this one will be grabbing eyeballs. And the equally interesting name is derived from ‘jijivisha’, a Hindi word alluding to ‘lust for life’. The gin’s foundation lays in ‘a desire to spread happiness and positivity in the world’ as the distillers have shared on their Instagram.
The unique flavouring of this gin is what makes it one to look out for–Jin Jiji is the only gin in the world to use cashew nut as one of its botanicals. While they use diverse botanicals from all over India, the Himalayan juniper berry is the star ingredient. One of the few gins to use Indian juniper berries, the atypical ingredients is what makes this one a gin to try.
By the folks at Spaceman Spirits Lab, Samsara has hints of sweet, mild spice, and citrus. These are derived from 11 botanicals, consisting of angelica root, rose, orange, cardamom, and coriander. Taking inspiration for the exploratory, wandering human soul, they’ve titled it ‘Samsara’, a Sanskrit word that means ‘the world’. “We Want the drinking experience to be pure, transparent, simple, and authentic. We strive to make India the new hub for alco-bev innovation” they say on their Instagram. And that in itself is a promise one would like to see materialise with this new launch.
India’s first hemp craft gin is enough to put GinGin on your must-try list. Their nine botanicals comprise some which are away from the usual–Himalayan juniper, caraway seeds, rosemary, cinnamon, lavender, coriander, butterfly pea flower, and the one making the most noise, hemp. Of course, it is the non-intoxicating category of the cannabis plant (the other being marijuana), and you’re free to sip with no consequences except for the interesting flavour profile it adds. As GinGin shares, hemp has been a part of Indian Ayurveda for thousands of years, its savoury taste brings along benefits of vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc, and many other minerals–perhaps a #notguily addition to healthy diets then! Available in Goa at the moment, it will soon enter other cities.