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World Gin Day: Tracing trends and our guide to events in Mumbai

Updated on: 11 June,2022 10:44 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sukanya Datta |

The past few years have witnessed the spirit attract a new-found following in India. On World Gin Day, experts decode prominent trends that are here to stay

World Gin Day: Tracing trends and our guide to events in Mumbai

G&T by Saz American Brasserie; (right) Litchi tonic by Salt Water Café

The serious gin-drinker

Gin-maker Anand Virmani, co-creator of Greater Than and Hapusa, believes that it’s an exciting time for the industry, with the spirit gaining prominence. “We’re definitely going to see a lot more limited-edition gins coming out, and more experimentation on the distillers’ part,” he says. Meanwhile, bartenders will also play around with gin-based concepts. 

Anand Virmani at the distilleryAnand Virmani at the distillery

Over the past two years, tipplers have been experimenting with gin at home. Virmani is keen to watch what happens now that bars are opening up and people are drinking out again. “I think the expectations from a cocktail are much higher now, because people have more knowledge about these drinks,” he reasons. With palates and lifestyle choices evolving, there’s a shift from the classic G&T to gin on the rocks, gin and soda, and martini, which, he terms, a “serious gin drink”. For such discerning tipplers, brands will be creating gin experiences that are more sustainable, especially in the drinking-at-home space. “[With DIY kits and cocktail mixes] the idea is to get people to replicate these drinks for the rest of their lives, and not be just a one-off party trick,” he adds.

Broadening bank of botanicals

Karina Agarwal

The great thing about gin is that it is customisable, points out Karina Agarwal, vice president at TERAI, a craft Indian gin. “We’ve almost made a ritual out of how we consume gin — be it with tonic, mixers, infusions or syrups. So, there’s more investment in your drink rather than just opening a bottle of beer,” she reasons, pointing to why the spirit has been gaining popularity. Going forward, the Indian gin renaissance will witness a focus on more indigenous ingredients, she believes, whether it is different kinds of fruits, spices or vegetables. “The bank of botanicals will broaden and we will also see a lot of flavour mixers coming into play, whether it’s in the form of tonics or flavoured sodas, iced teas and botanical waters.”

Gin on the go

Dhruv Sachdeva

With a rise in boutique gin options, gin drinkers are likely to get more vocal for local, asserts Dhruv Sachdeva, bar manager, Perch Wine & Coffee Bar. He forecasts an era of flavoured gins. “People will be interested in drinking gin not only at a bar, but also pouring themselves a drink at home. Flavoured gins make life easier, especially when, say, you’re having a house party and you would love to make a cocktail but need a lot of ingredients,” he elucidates. The gin market will also witness the rise of more and more pre-bottled gin-and-tonics. “You just have to chill it and consume it. Moreover, the DIY cocktail trend is also here to stay,” Sachdeva notes.

Tonic twist

Nilesh Patel

With the boom in the Indian craft gin scene, there’s been an evolution in the tonic water space, too, shares Nilesh Patel, beverage head (west), Impresario Handmade Restaurants. “Earlier, there was only Schweppes, then came Svami, Jade Forest, and many others, who are experimenting with flavoured tonic waters such as elderflower, grapefruit, jamun and more,” he informs us. The mixologist observes that Indian spices are taking centre stage in the gin culture. Boutique gin distillers are using Indian botanicals as their base flavouring agent, and pairing these gins with Indian spices at the bar is an excellent choice.

Gin on the menu

Gin on the menu

. Perch is hosting a bar takeover with Greater Than, inspired by English artist William Hogarth’s Gin Lane (1751), a work that was published as a pair with Beer Street during a campaign against the uncontrolled production and sale of cheap gin. The mood at the resto pub will be far less morbid, with new cocktails and interactive activities. But if you want to stir your own drink, get your hands on a gin box (in pic, above) that they have collaborated with Hapusa to create; it comprises a bottle of gin, recipe cards, tonic, gondhoraj cordial, camphor syrup, orange slices and more. 
ON Today, 8 pm onwards  
AT 12 Union Park, Khar West. 
CALL 9321375915
COST Rs 6,006 (gin box) 

.At Salt Water Café, indulge in cocktails such as litchi tonic, sage smash, gimlet and cold brew, with Tanqueray doing a bar takeover.  
TILL Today, 9 am to 1 pm
AT Rose Minar, Chapel Road, Bandra West.

.Think you know your gin? Svami is back with the third edition of Gin Drinker of the Year that will see a virtual happy hour with gin distillers, followed by a quiz.  
ON June 11, 6.30 pm onwards 

Gin on the menu

.Build your own G&T at Saz American Brasserie, with the spirit and infusion of your choice. Turn bartender and pick your own garnish and tonic too.
ON Today and tomorrow; 5 pm to 8 pm 
AT Ground floor, Jio World Drive, BKC.

.Check out citrus passion, cool your sol, gin up (inset) and other cocktails at Smoke House Deli’s Gin-Dig celebrations.
TILL June 11, 9 am to 11 pm AT BKC,
 Colaba, Pali Hill and Lower Parel. 

.Jamjar has curated a new, month-long gin-special menu featuring basil smash, grand sunset, red rider and more.
TILL July 15, 9 am to 1 am 
AT Versova and Bandra.

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