Raise your glass

Homegrown libations to begin the year with, from a coffee gin to a 100% agave spirit

Published - January 24, 2022 05:55 pm IST

Gin is still a hot trend globally, but Tequila and mezcal will soon catch up, according to bar consultants and celebrity promoters like The Rock. And that’s why we have a new 100% aged agave spirit in the country –Maya Pistola Agavepura. Since Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the blue Agave and produced only in Mexico, what is distilled from agave in India is simply termed as ‘agave spirit’. Desmond Nazareth, the man who launched DesmondJi and India’s own 100% agave and 51% agave spirits 12 years ago, has had a role to play with this second 100% aged agave spirit in the country.

Recently launched, Pistola comes from Rakshay and Radhika Dhariwal, the sibling duo behind Passcode Hospitality and popular bars like Jamun, PCO and Ping’s. It appears the pandemic kept them busy creating a domestic product at a time when sourcing international premium liquor was a challenge. Nazareth helped the duo set up a distilling facility in Chittoor, from where the agave travels to Goa to be blended and bottled. The first variant to hit the markets is the Reposado, aged for five months on average, in virgin American White Oak and ex-Bourbon casks in Goa. Currently retailed in Goa only (soon Delhi and Mumbai).

Meanwhile, for gin and coffee fans, a collab between NAO Spirits (Greater Than and Hapusa) and Sleepy Owl Coffee has resulted in the country’s first coffee-infused gin. Launched on Christmas, No Sleep, a limited release gin, is the result of infusing a cold brew using 100% Arabica coffee from Chikmagalur, Karnataka, in their gin distillate. They say the coffee’s bold, fruity aromas rise to the surface with a splash of tonic water and an orange wedge. Also suitable for cocktails like the Negroni or the Espresso Martini.

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