Food & Drink | January 29, 2023 1:58 pm

India Is Becoming a Destination For Memorable Gin

Some of it's starting to make its way overseas as well

It's time to expand your gin horizons.
Bjarne Vijfvinkel/Unsplash

Is India about to join the list of nations known for producing great gin? That’s one of the big takeaways from a recent New York Times article that explores the growth of distilleries in India. What’s perhaps most interesting about the article are the ways in which it illustrates how history and geography have converged to give rise to a growing industry. As it turns out, fans of great gin both in India and abroad are the likely winners there.

The article points to two factors in particular. One is the fact that the state of Goa has more permissive laws concerning alcohol than the rest of India, as a result of its colonial ties to Portugal. The other has to do with a crucial ingredient in gin: juniper berries. Turns out the Himalayas produce some especially delectable varieties of juniper — something that the distillers the Times spoke to have taken advantage of.

Some Indian brands of gin are starting to make their way to international destinations. The article cites Hapusa as one of them, and based on this review of their Himalayan Dry Gin, it sounds especially intriguing. Writing about the gin in VinePair, Tim McKirdy observed that “this gin’s aromatic spice and rich fruit notes open up a world of possibilities for adventurous cocktail creation.”

If the distillers profiled in the Times are any indication, there also seems to be a mood of experimentation at work for many of the gins, which is always encouraging. The article alludes to “a gin smoked with the wood from Indian cricket bats,” to cite one example. It’s an intriguing flavor combination, to be sure.