Source: Artem Beliaikin

History of Gin in India & Interesting Facts

India: Birth place of Gin & Tonic

Gin in India! We all know the popular brands, inspired from India, like Bombay Sapphire and many others, but they are not from India. Instead, these gins are produced in Great Britain. When Britain occupied India in the 18th century, the soldiers had to ingest quinine every day to prevent Malaria. To cover the bitter taste, the smart Britains added water, sugar and lime. One day, someone got the glorious idea and added Gin. The first Gin Tonic was born. That means, that India is the Birth Place of this famous Long Drink which saved so many lives. The Prime Minister Winston Churchill reportedly even quipped: “Gin & Tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the medical treatments by doctors in the Empire.”

Since 2000: Ginaissance in India

The successful story of Indian Gin began in fact in our millennium. Until then, the Indians cherished above all the taste of Whiskey, hence there are so many Whiskey distilleries in the whole country. Since the 2000s, they have been discovering Vodka and cocktails. Gin finally entered Indian Market after more than 200 years as a perfect product for mixing cocktails and long drinks. In the last years, the love and demand for gin increased rapidly, and so, finally very creative & great Indian gin distilleries & brands emerged. This trend would rise rapidly as experts have predicted.

Spiraling increasing demand: India is fifth largest market for gin in the world

Some of Indian gin brands are exported due to the urge to expand Businesslike for example Nao Spirits and Jaisalmer Gin. The most popular gin distilleries are in Goa, although the producers are mostly from the metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai. This is due to the fact that drinking is allowed and the laws permit its sales and consumption. Hence, Goa is the easiest space to create new delighted spirits. Specially striking is the data: Despite the low volumes – 1% of all distilled drinks sold in India, India is already the fifth largest consumer of gin worldwide. Sales are expected to rise from a million cases in 2017-2018 to over three million a year by 2022-2023, said a report by the Dublin-based Research and Markets. This would be an incredible increase of 200%!

Why is India a good place for Gin?

Numerous parameters promote the production of high-qualified Indian gins and hence, its increasing requirement. First advantage: Many of the ingredients that go into a good gin – coriander seeds, cinnamon and other spices – come from India and are particularly aromatic. Besides, the small craft gin makers have the advantage of selling at low prices, compared with international brands. Anand Virmani, co-founder of Nao Spirits, says: “Our uniqueness comes from consumer perspective. It’s a question of buying a specially crafted bottle of gin against buying something mass-produced in a factory.” To stand out in the market, they have taken care with the design of the Bottle, for example by creating a simple and sleek black-and-white bottle for Greater Than. The Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin comes in a decanter style art deco bottle in a dark purple – the exact colour of a ripe juniper berry. They want to do away with the usual exotic snakes and elephant route and give it a modern style. For Vidur Gupta from Stranger & Sons, the most important thing is to create new flavours. “We want to tell you the Indian story of gin,” Virmani adds.

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Melanie Rahimpour

Melanie Rahimpour

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