One of liquor industry’s biggest trade events, ProWine 2022 was a heady affair this year with top national and international brands showcasing the best products for businesses and consumers over a two-day period. Organised by Messe Düsseldorf India in partnership with All Things Nice, it was held on 17 and 18 October at the Jio World Convention Centre in BKC, Mumbai.
The event was also a curtain-raiser of sorts into some of the best new spirits that you need to check out at your nearest liquor store. Here's a list of a select few bottles:
1. Hayman’s Sloe Gin
There are gins and then there’s Sloe Gin, which is actually more of a red liqueur made with gin and sloes, a fruit related to the plum family. Hayman’s Sloe Gin has one of the best liqueur-gin combos thanks to its wild-foraged berries grown in the British Isles that it could easily be in a category of its own. If you’re someone who’s had enough of juniper-forward gins and is looking to expand their palate with a fruitier and liqueur-style gin, there’s nothing better than the new Hayman’s Sloe Gin.
₹ 5750 for 700 ml in Maharashtra
2. Grover Zampa’s Signet Spectrum
After spending close to a year behind closed doors and accessed by a select group of wine aficionados, Grover Zampa is all set to launch their premium Signet series for a wider audience.
The Signet series consists of five Shiraz red wines and holds the record for being the first in the country to be aged in foudres, amphoras and concrete tanks. While foudres are large wooden vats that are bigger than usual oak barrels, amphoras are ancient storage jars that have been used to make this modern wine.
We would recommend starting with the Signet Spectrum, a dry red wine that is a blend of Shiraz, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Muscat, with a deep cherry red colour aged for 12 months in concrete egg-shaped tanks.
₹ 4000 for Signet Spectrum in Maharashtra
3. Bush Rum Mango Spiced
It might have been on the backburner for a while but make no mistake, rums are coming back in roaring fashion. UK-based Bush Rum is one of the many new entrants in the Indian market with a portfolio of four new rums now available from the brand. The most exciting variant though, has to be their Spiced Mango rum. Made using ripe mangoes and Caribbean rum along with sweet spices, this flavoured rum is a discovery of all of the nuances packed into it. Especially recommended for those who thought rum is a boring spirit.
₹ 5150 for 700 ml in Maharashtra
4. The Choya Extra Shiso
If you haven’t ever tried meshu liqueur from Japan, here’s a great way to start. The Choya Extra Shiso is made with Japanese ume fruits (some of which are in the bottle) and flavoured with shiso leaves. This is then aged for two-three years leaving a slightly bitter and herbaceous taste profile on the palate. This one is best had on the rocks or with a bit of soda to cut the sweetness. Fair warning though, Choya Extra Shiso has an addictive taste and at 17% ABV, is easy to drink for hours on end. There are two other versions, namely The Choya Extra Years, which doesn’t use shiso leaves, and The Choya Royal Honey made with honey and no added sugar in the series as well.
₹ 4500 for 700 ml in Maharashtra
5. Tenjaku Gin
By this time, you would be forgiven for balking at the thought of trying yet another gin. But, this Japanese gin with botanicals that include yuzu, sansho pepper, green tea and peach among others, has one of the most interesting flavour profiles. The botanicals make for a mellow taste that complements the juniper-light drink. Whether you have it neat, with tonic or mix it up in your favourite cocktail, Tenjaku will work in all three ways—and more.
₹ 3500 for 750 ml in Maharashtra
6. Yaksha Whisky
Goa-based Blisswater Industries’ latest new launch after Rahasya Vodka is Yaksha, a blended Scotch whisky inspired by the mystical soma plant from Vedic ages. The brown-coloured spirit is smooth, malty and fruity on the nose with a trace of smoky finish. Yaksha is currently available in Goa with plans to launch in Karnataka, Daman, Maharashtra and Rajasthan by end of the year.
₹ 1350 for 750 ml in Goa
7. Pistola Añejo
This is the one that’s been worth the wait. Añejo agave spirits are usually ones that are aged for over a year with Maya Pistola Agavepura’s Añejo spending 20 months in virgin American oak casks that gives the spirit a distinct golden hue. Añejo spirits are made to be had neat and mixing them into cocktails is usually frowned upon. Indeed, Pistola’s Añejo is best savoured neat to enjoy the notes of candied fruits, roasted almonds, vanilla and sweet spices.
₹ 6999 for 700 ml in Goa
With so many new spirits to try, it’s an exciting time to be adventurous and find something new that might turn into a favourite.
Also read | Toast to the festive season with spiced spirits