India saw some spectacular new spirits in 2021. And we are always up for some good times with good alcohol, among our favourite companies. Be it a night out with friends or a house party indoors — nothing is ever complete without some good drinks.
With the launch of these new spirits, give your favourite drinks a break and add these to your home bar this season.
Spectacular new spirits in 2021 for your home bar
Amrut Distilleries recently released the world’s first multi-wood barrel single malt whisky. Made in custom-built barrels christened the Spectrum casks, these are made from four different kinds of oak staves. The liquid goes through a two-part maturation technique beginning with an ex-bourbon barrel and then moving into the Spectrum barrels. 6000 bottles have been released worldwide and Bengaluru has 600 bottles to their name. This is one you want to get on your shelves for its strong aromas of dried fruits and Christmas pudding. It’s great on the rocks with a splash of water.
Highbury Classic Whisky
Bottled in Goa, Highbury Classic Whisky has layered complexity that can only stem from double charred wood which leaves it with caramel biscuits notes, with hints of berries and touch of peat that lingers just long enough. The smoothness of the seasoned malt ensures that every sip has a consistent pleasing sense of taste and is generously satisfying. The master blender’s pursuit of a perfect blend with his passion has resulted in this becoming everyone’s favourite Whisky drink.
Paul John Christmas Edition
The Paul John brand has been releasing a Christmas edition each year since 2018. In this 4th edition for 2021, not more than 7000 bottles have been released worldwide with India getting approximately 600 bottles. The 2021 Christmas edition is the only whisky from Paul John to have a chestnut colour. It has spent five years in an ex-Bourbon cask and is then finished in Portuguese vintage port casks. You will find small hints of peat in all editions. The whisky has the aroma of soaked fruits and the sweetness of port wine.
Greater Than Juniper Bomb
NAO Spirits released their first limited-release gin – The Juniper Bomb this year. This gin escalates the core ingredient of juniper berry, to a whole new level by infusing it in three different ways for thrice the duration as compared to Greater Than. Simply put, the limited-edition Gin has three times the amount of Juniper intensity, which makes for quite an intense cocktail or G&T. Maybe a G&T-themed party can be on the cards. The last few bottles are on shelves now so grab one if you see it.
India has seen a slew of gins hit the market this year and perhaps one that stands out the most is Matinee Gin. Creators Anjali Shah and Lavanya Jayashankar have worked with a collection of botanicals that will make gin lovers sit up and take notice. Think on the lines of snake saffron, white turmeric, kagzi lime, and Goan peppercorn. If you want to kick off a gin discussion at the festive house parties you have lined up, this one is sure to be a conversation starter.
Maka Zai Rum
Maka Zai (meaning “I want: in Konkani) is a completely homegrown rum and like many good alcohols in India, comes out of Goa. It has two editions, the Bartender and the Tribute, white and gold rums respectively. The Bartender edition, a homage to bartenders is made from Maharashtrian sugarcane and gets its notes from the red soil of the region. The gold rum is a blend of molasses spirits, both aged and unaged. The Tribute works best as a drink to nurse, on the rocks, while the Bartender makes for a great cocktail base.
From whisky to gin to rum and now onto vodka. An interesting release this year was Rahasya vodka, with current availability being in Goa and Maharashtra. This vodka came out of the desire to make something truly Indian and for a pan-India appeal. Those who have tried this vodka immediately spot its innate Indianness, though what its ingredients remain a rahasya (secret). Maybe you can turn it into a drink-and-guess game at your party.
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