11 Homegrown Liquor Brands You Should Definitely Know About

Local alcohol doesn't necessarily have to hold the bad-kid reputation it usually does, not if you know the art of discernment, and concocting well-balanced drinks using them.

So, for all you kids out there who are looking to learn more about interesting liquor brands we've got here in India, we've curated an awesome list of homegrown alcohol for you guys to explore.

Charosa Tempranillo Reserve

The Charosa Winery is located in Charosa village, Maharashtra, and the Charosa Tempranillo is considered one of the best red wines of our country.  It smells like coconuts, chocolate, and vanilla, and is a dry, red wine. You can taste hints of fruits like raspberry, strawberry, and plum. It's best paired with red meat (or great Galouti Kebabs) and grilled vegetables. 

Price: INR 2,500. You can ideally get a bottle at any wine shop in Delhi.

Woodburns

Woodburns is a beautiful Indian malt whiskey produced in the Fullarton distilleries in Goa, made without any traces of foreign malts. Woodburns has an iconic charcoal and smokey taste to it - which although might take some time to get used to - assures the full bodied malt experience. Know more about it here.

Price: INR 1,500. You can maybe ask your Bombay/Goa friends to get it for you from Peekay Wines in Crawford Market, or from Choice Of Wines in Calangute, Goa. 

DJ Mahua & DJ Mahua Liqueur

Agave India has produced so many interesting spirits that we for sure cannot overlook a recent addition - Mahua spirit and liqueur. Mahua is a nectar rich flower of the Madhuca longifolia tree, and this indigenous drink is rumoured to be known as the elixir of the Gods and the weakness of deities. But, to be honest, what's most important about DJ Mahua and DJ Mahua Liqueur's identity is that it's an alcohol that is a product of this country's rich tribal history. 

Price: INR 975. You can get this one at Chetan Wines in Parel or Tito's Super Market in Baga (basically, where the distillery is based out of). 

Simba Beer

Simba Beer is one of the best craft beers in India. It has this super cool lion logo that cannot be missed! Originally, Simba started with two variants, their wheat beer and their stout. You can taste hints of lemongrass and coriander in it, and we've heard that the fragrance is not as pungent as other wheat beers. 

Price: INR 130 per pint. You can get it at Ashok T. Gulrajani Wine & Beer Shop in Jangpura, Cafe Delhi Heights, The Beer Cafe, Tonino & more places across Delhi NCR. Check out their website for more details. 

Cazulo Feni

Cazulo Feni was recommended to me by a good Instagram friend. A resident of Goa, she told me about a beautiful cocktail that you can make by mixing sugarcane juice and Feni. When I asked her to recommend a Feni brand for the same, she suggested that I try Cazulo. Their Feni's are aged for a year in glass carboys-garrafaons, and bottled depending on provenance.  We love that their agenda is all about keeping this heritage drink's authenticity alive. 

Price: INR 500 and above. Cazulo can be found in wine and beer shops in Goa quite easily. 

Stranger & Sons Gin

This is another great spirit born out of Goa. Stranger & Sons Gin is a product of the Third Eye Distillery. It tastes slightly citrus-like and spicy but not to the extent that the taste of Juniper is oppressed. It's interesting to note that this gin has ingredients like black pepper, nutmeg, mace, coriander, liquorice and Casia bark, sourced from local coastal regions. 

Price: INR 1,450. Since it's distilled in Goa, this one is also more easily available in Goa. 

Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin

Expect it to smell citrus-y and of course, of Juniper. You can taste the liquorice in it very evidently (but not overwhelmingly), along with the angelica, cubeb pepper, and juniper. The Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin would go very well with orange and lemon peels added as garnishing. 

Price: INR 3,500. You can also find this at the Ashok T. Gulrajani Wine & Beer Shop in Jangpura. 

Smoke Vodka India

Smoke Vodka is a product of the NV group and is derived from saunf. There are two variants you can get; one is the classic one, the other is the aniseed one. It's a pretty smooth vodka (doesn't burn your throat like you're downing in the fires of hell) and will go well with any and every cocktail.

Price: INR 2,000. At the moment, La Cave in Saket is one of the places where you can buy it. 

Forrest Wine Barna

Forrest Wine Barna can easily be classified as a dessert wine. Especially if you choose to try their Mango wine. It's sweet and leaves a slightly strange aftertaste which is only noticeable during the first few sips (I guess it had more to do with the fact that it was the first time I was trying a fruit wine). 

Barna is only available in Himachal Pradesh, so if you have a friend who lives there or is travelling to Himachal, you might want to ask them to get it for you. 

Price: Around INR 700.

Siqera

Siqera is an artisanal cider and therefore, the new cool kid on the block. For those of you who are not familiar, cider is traditionally an apple beer that contains no malt grains (where as beer can contain fruit and other ingredients), but does taste a lot like beer. This brand does two types of ciders - one is the classic, apple option, second is the mango one. 

Price: INR 200 (for a pint). You can easily get this at most of the wine and beer shops in Gurgaon. 

Bellissima Big Banyan

Bellissima is another great dessert wine that you might want to check out. It's been produced by the Big Banyan Winery. They've got several other wines that are just as great. Try their Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc too while you're at it. 

Price: INR 400 and above. The winery is based a few kilometers from Bangalore, so it is mostly available in Bangalore and Goa.