In recent years, home bars have experienced a surge in popularity. What was once considered a niche indulgence has now become a must-have feature. As more people embrace the joy of entertaining at home, the allure of a well-crafted personal bar has become a symbol of hospitality and a hub for creating unforgettable experiences. A defining element that distinguishes these home bars is the inclusion of homegrown spirits, adding a dash of local flavour and authenticity into the mix. If you're in the process of curating a unique collection of homegrown spirits, we've handpicked our top five recommendations that deserve a place on your shelves.
Mesma is a limited-release barrel-aged rare rum brought to you by stilldistilling Spirits&ndashthe makers of Maka Zai. The spirit was born from blending rum in multiple casks without a specific period in mind, an experiment that resulted in a smooth and MESMA-rising drinking experience. Aged in ex-bourbon casks, Mesma brings out citrus, vanilla, apricot, oak, and cocoa flavours. Its aromatic profile reveals hints of orange peels, banana, tobacco, molasses, and sweet berries. Skip the elaborate cocktail preparations and enjoy Mesma neat, on the rocks or with a splash of water. With only 600 bottles available exclusively in Goa, this is a rare edition you don't want to miss.
This one has an actual love story behind it. The husband-wife duo of Irish biochemist Robert Barrett and software engineer Bhagya Lakshmi Barrett created it. Maharani Gin has become a familiar name among the connoisseurs of fine spirits. Launched by Rebel City Distillery, the couple's own distillery in Ireland's Cork, the gin celebrates a fusion of Malayali and Irish cultures, making it special. The premium gin is zested with pomelo fruit and uniquely spiced with cassia and nutmeg-mace, all sourced from a women's organic farming co-operative in Bhagya's home state of Kerala.
The Lone Beer
Those who swear by a chilled beer bottle will find Lone Wolf fresh, rich, and aromatic. Brewed in Punjab, the beer has a two-year shelf life and is available in two variants, strong and mild lager. With plans to add more variants to their expanding portfolios, Lone Wolf is made with Germany-imported hops and yeasts and is available in Delhi, Haryana, and Chandigarh.
Smoke Lab Vodka
Driven by a craft-oriented approach and conscious mindset, the vodka is manufactured responsibly, one batch at a time, in a state-of-the-art distillery owned and operated by NV Group, one of India's largest distilleries. The vodka range is distilled five times using ultra-modern charcoal filtration. Moving away from potatoes, it uses the finest Indian basmati grains for distillation, resulting in a completely gluten-free and vegan ultra-pure spirit. The brand has two variants &ndash Smoke Lab Classic and Smoke Lab Aniseed. The Classic is intense and complex with a smooth finish, bold flavour hitting the nose, fresh nutty aromas, and subtle citrus hints enjoyed straight or in your cocktail of choice. The Aniseed version is a playful exploration that pays homage to the much-loved Indian herb saunf (fennel), and it's a delicate mix of fennel and liquorice notes for a creamy and sweet palate.
Maka Zai Rum
Unless you live under a rock, you would know that Goa has become quite the hotspot for small, local, and artisanal liquor brands. One such is Maka Zai, which translates to 'I Want' in Konkani. The brand has a white rum - the Bartender's Edition, and India's first gold rum - the Tribute Edition. Both variants are made from locally sourced sugarcane from various parts of the country, blended on Indian soil, and nourished by the sweet waters of Goa. Each edition of Maka Zai has unique characteristics, right from the process to the flavour profiles The Bartender's Edition is a homage to the often unsung efforts and talents of bartenders this edition is a crystal-clear, medium-bodied white rum with creamy and elegant aromas. The rum's floral, sweet, spicy, and herbaceous nature gives it a unique tropical note. The Tribute Edition is a high-quality, two-and-a-half-years old matured gold rum with a silky character that gives one the feeling of a late, sunny afternoon. It makes for a perfect sipping of rum with hints of praline, dry dates, figs, caramel, cinnamon, honey, and a well-rounded vanilla accent.
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