India is a whisky drinking nation with many Indian whiskies on the world’s top-selling list (by volumes), however, the world does not consider it whisky and so do the finer palates of India as most is made from molasses or a mix of molasses made spirit which is cheaper and grain spirit. Nonetheless India has begun to make a mark in the fine whisky world, and it all started with Amrut a decade back. Here are the 5 malt whiskies from India for the discerning.
Made in Bengaluru, it broke into the world whisky charts when Amrut Fusion was adjudged the 3rd best single malt in the world in 2010.
Paul John named after the founder is made in Goa and was launched in 2012. The Paul John Kanya was the best Asian Whisky of the year in the whisky bible recently.
Master Distiller: Michael D’souza
Made by Radico Khaitan a liquor major, Rampur is distilled in Uttar Pradesh and is a single malt. Like the first two malts, Rampur too took the outside in approach where it was launched for the foreign markets before it came to the country.
Master Distiller: Anup Barik
This is made at Fullarton distilleries; Goa and they call it the contemporary Indian whisky. Their mixed drinks and cocktail focussed approach seems to be working.
Master Distiller: Aman Thadani
From the house of Mohan Meakin know for the Old Monk rum, Solan is perhaps the best kept secret to the malt whisky fans in India. The distillery in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh produced Solan No 1 a malt whisky for decades and has recently launched the Solan Gold a single malt.
Peter Scot Black
Makers of Hercules Rum and Peter Scotch whisky, the Bengaluru based House of Khoday set foot in the Indian single malt category with the Peter Scot black and launched it at a much higher price point than the pioneers in the scene.
Inspired by Mount Kamet in Uttarakhand, Kamet is the latest entry to the Indian single malt scene. Working with different casks for aging including ex-wine, we await Kamet’s launch in Goa early 2021.
Master Distillers: Surrinder Kumar, Nancy Fraley
A good cocktail list with bartenders spreading good vibes is what makes the cut for a great bar. A “good cocktail list” is subjective but for us it is about the choice of drinks, seasonality, ingredients and of course the bartender on the other side. Let us look at our go to list of bars in Mumbai.
High up in the air at the Four Seasons Hotel, the AER is open-air and known for its views as much it is for its cocktails. Modern take on classics has usually been their mantra.
Helmed by Chef Alex Sanchez, the restaurant showcases a drinks menu which is Mumbai inspired. With a lot of home-made bitters and mixes, the Americano offers an experience. Try their Horniman Sour.
Having been crowned the best restaurant in the country, the Bombay Canteen has been living up to the standards even on the cocktail side. Fresh juices, fancy mixes and a great vibe is what you should expect.
The first licensed bar of Mumbai spanning almost 9 decades deserves a visit to soak in the old-world glory with an evolving menu whilst some legends like “From the Harbour Since 1933” are a permanent feature on the cocktail list. It is inside the Taj Mahal Hotel.
House of Nomad
This bar at the Taj Lands End kind of signalled the hotel group’s intention to deep dive into the world of modern drinks culture and it has been earning all the adulation from the time it opened its doors a few years back.
An Asian diner, Koko is known for its thought leadership in the cocktail circuit with use of bold ingredients like the broccoli juice, to Anantmool to parmesan syrup et al. Great place for an Aperitivo evening.
A kitchen laboratory more so, the Masque is known for its progressive cuisine with Indian inclination. The cocktail menu compliments the luxury dining experience well with a to the point approach whilst making an impact.
Vibrant, easy, chill are some words that are top of mind when it comes to O Pedro a space which is Goa inspired and the same reflects in its drinks with ingredients like the toddy, triphal, kokum etc.
A modern Indian restaurant of Dubai fame, the Tresind offers you a culinary experience worth every buck and at the same time they ensure the cocktail list heightens the dining experience with its on the table cocktails, the old-fashioned list and more.
Perhaps the go-to dimsum place in town, Yauatcha an all-day diner is busy all day long with its Yum Chas and more. A well-stocked bar greets one at the entry and the cocktail list with a global perspective, but Asian overtones will leave you happy high.