Just in time for the festivities, we sipped on a new 100-per cent agave spirit in Mumbai, that promises to be a drink for all seasons
The spirit is distilled in Chittoor
Cattle, colonisation and cacti are the few ingredients that flavour the heady journey of Maya Pistola Agavepura — the trippiest new spirit in Mumbai. Sitting in a Lower Parel speakeasy, as we sip on the smooth 100-per cent agave spirit, brand ambassador Kimberly Pereira unravels one of the many legends that surround wild agave Americana — the plant used to craft agave spirits. “Agave Americana grows abundantly in the Deccan Plateau. Legend has it that it arrived here with Queen Victoria. It was used to line either side of the railway tracks to keep cattle away,” she shares.
Decades later, craft distiller Desmond Nazareth tapped into its boozy potential. And amid the lockdown, restaurateurs Rakshay and Radhika Dhariwal, who run PCO, Ping's and SAZ in Mumbai, turned their attention to the spirit. Distilled in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, the 100 per cent agave spirit is then aged, bottled and blended in Goa.
Kimberly Pereira. Pics/Ashish Raje
The label owes its name to the Goddess of Agave, Mayahuel, and pistola, a small hand-gun that, according to the founders, symbolises truth, justice and democracy. True to its name, the spirit — available in six expressions with zero additives — packs in a welcome punch in a market saturated with homegrown gins. While joven, reposado, rosa select and phoenix añejo are available in Mumbai, rosa and añejo will hit the stores soon. Joven is a great way to ease into the spirit, especially if, like this writer, you nurse the trauma of terrible tequila hangovers. Agave is the key ingredient in tequila. Our inhibitions are assuaged in the first few sips, which unlike tequila, don’t burn the throat. We savour it with a couple of ice cubes, which open up the flavours. “If you’re drinking this responsibly, and with water and ice, and no excess sugars, you would not get a hangover. Lot of tequilas are mixtos — agave spirits made with 51 per cent agave while the rest are all sugars, which cause hangovers,” explains Pereira.
Aged in ex-bourbon and virgin American oak casks, the reposado’s comforting woody aroma and sweet, spiced, vanilla-ish finish is reminiscent of a good ol’ peg of whiskey. The rosa, meanwhile, is an easy lure for wine-lovers, with the tannins shining through subtly, and the floral rosa select has a unique crispness. Añejo, meaning aged, tastes best neat, like a sunlight-filtered cognac, while the phoenix añejo, a limited-edition release of just 1,800 bottles, offers toffee-like notes. Despite binge-drinking our way through this tasting, we walked out with a happy mid-afternoon buzz that slowed the world down, ever so slightly. Isn’t that the best kind of high?
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COST Rs 4,295 onwards