Soon after the launch of Greater Than, the team from Nao Spirits followed it up with their second brand, Hapusa, in 2018. Hapusa means juniper in Sanskrit. Needless to say, the aromas and flavours are packed with Indian botanicals.
It doesn’t have the characteristics of a London Dry gin. It is a Himalayan dry gin because the main character in Himalayan juniper, which gives it an earthy and wild flavour. “When you taste it, it will make you feel like you are standing in the middle of a pine forest,” says Virmani. This gin features indigenous botanicals from different parts of the country, such as turmeric from Tamil Nadu, gondhoraj – the so-called king of limes – from West Bengal and dried mango from Uttarakhand.
Preferred cocktail concoction: Straight up with a garnish of mint.
Nao Spirits was founded in 2015. When the new gin craze, or the “Gin-aissance” was going on, two bar owners in Delhi were patiently waiting for all the India produced gin, but it never came. Even though the Gin & Tonic was invented in India, and popular botanicals are standard spices in India, the India-produced gin was missing. So, they started to make gin themselves with one copper pot still. After a lot of experimenting with the taste and distilling process, they came up with two amazing recipes for gin that is now successful internationally. Their “Greater Than” or “>” spirit is the only London Dry Gin made in India, it is also India’s first craft gin.