We’re living at a time when young Indians much prefer the fireworks exploding inside their brains, rather than IRL. It’s no fun adding to noise pollution or scaring street animals, irrespective of how quintessential a ritual bursting crackers might be. Besides, it’s definitely more entertaining to dance, hangout and make merry with your near and dear ones on an adequate amount of booze.
Luckily, the Indian alco-bev market has a plethora of options, thanks to the boom of homegrown craft spirits, and this Diwali, not only do you get to get high on Indian liquors but also, choose from a fresh volley of launches. Have a look at our list of brand-new alcohol launches in India, across segments like whisky, gin, rum and wine, to understand what to stock your Diwali bar with. Wishing you all love, light (and a manageable hangover).
Fullarton Distilleries — which owns Woodburns Whisky, Pumori Gin and Segredo Aldeia Rums — has collaborated with alcohol experiences platform, All Things Nice, to launch a limited edition whisky called Woodburns: A Tale Of Oak, a fruity, well-rounded single malt with notes of oak, vanilla and sherry that’s sure to pair well with all the chakna at your house party!
Price: Rs 13,500
Treat yourself and your guests to Metaxa, a new spirit on the market, from the Rémy Cointreau group of brands. The smooth and deep alcohol is derived from a wine made from Muscat grapes that can be found in the semi-mountainous regions of Samos, an island in Greece. Though a little too on the nose, this spirit may find takers among those who like intense spirits. Best way to enjoy it? With citrusy mixers, like a tangerine or grapefruit tonic.
Price: Rs 6,900
There can never be enough gin in the world and alco-bev entrepreneurs seem to have taken note. A new entrant in the Indian homegrown gin space, Sector is a smooth, herbaceous spirit made with botanicals, Valencia oranges, Turkish grapefruits, turmeric and ginger, with juniper berries taking the centre stage. The citrusy-fresh gin from Living Root Distilling Company is a must-have in your Diwali stock, we say.
Price: Rs 850 (in Goa) and Rs 1,650 (in Mumbai)
A triple distilled and sprightly gin from the house of Third Eye Distillery — which also owns Stranger and Sons and Plantation Rum — Short Story is a refreshing spirit with heavy notes of juniper. The London dry gin makes use of coriander, bitter orange, lemon, grapefruit, cubeb berries, long pepper, angelica, hazelnut, black cardamom and star anise, all of which together afford it a truly bracing profile. And we’re excited to crack a bottle open with our Diwali gang. Oh, and they have a rum too, which is unsuspectingly smooth.
Price: Rs 1,870
Rum enthusiasts now no longer need to limit themselves to bad and less bad options this Diwali. A local brand, Rock Paper Rum comes in two desi flavours — Indian Spiced and Coastal White, both of which promise to knock the socks off any pirate with their spiced, woody and sweet profile. Make sure to enjoy the former with your choice of dark liquor and the latter with a white spirit or cocktail mixer.
Price: Rs 1,500 (Indian Spiced Rum); Rs 1,350 (Coastal White Rum)
Made with corn and barely and aged in American white oak barrels, this Japanese whisky will lift your spirits this festive season. Sold in both blended and pure malt, it’s a keeper. The blended variant comes with a crisp and mellow note of flavour. The pure malt, on the other hand, offers a polished and slightly bitter mouthfeel.
Price: Rs 2,980 onwards (Tenjaku Blended); Rs 4,850 (Tenjaku Pure Malt)
Looking for something more tropical? Try the new CHOYA Fruit Liqueur collection, which offers a bevvy of flavours and is derived from the sweet and tart Japanese plum, ume — also the source for umeshu. Available in four options: The Choya Single Year, The Choya Extra Years, The Choya Extra Shiso, and The Choya Royal Honey, there’s something for everyone, and it’s a surefire way to lighten up your Diwali.
Price: Rs 3,500 onwards
Made as a tribute to the Indian monsoons, the Malhar Premium Indian Craft Gin may just be the cooling refresher you need to calm your festive nerves. Buyers here have two options to choose from — the classic dry gin comes with a spicy and earthy profile, whereas the Citrus Gin offers a key-lime flavour that’s sweeter and more welcoming.
Price: Rs 3,075 (Available only in Goa)
With festive preparations in full swing, one may feel like ditching the whisky glass for something calmer. Keeping that in mind, Grover Zampa has introduced a new line of red wine called the Signet. Available in five different varietals, each one offers different flavours and aromas, and come with the potential of amping up your Diwali celebrations veritably.
Price: Rs 4,000