NEW DELHI : Four years ago, Khalil Bachooali and Devika Bhagat went to London and had craft gins that inspired them. The two came back and decided they wanted to distil a gin for the Indian market that hadn’t been done before.


This one would have around 16 botanicals such as coriander, cardamoms black and green, lemon verbena, sweet lime, grapefruit, Cubeb pepper, lotus flower and seeds, and fennel.

Their firm, Adventurist Spirits which they set up in Goa, the hotbed for all things craft liquor, was the birthplace of Tamras gin, a spirit that retails for more than 3,200 per bottle in Mumbai and select parts of the country. Next on the company’s map is distribution across India in Karnataka and cities such as Gurgaon and Pune.

“We are banking on mass gin consumption of heavily marketed gins to open the category up for more evolved drinkers. Every craft drink is about education. The whole category will grow,” said Bachooali.

Gin that sells for 3,000 or more have had a distinctive growth path with the drink gaining in popularity in India. This category is seeing swift value and volume in this segment has grown by more than 90% in 2021 compared to 41% in 2020, says IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

Gin at that price point had a more than 78% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 2016-2021, it said, and is projected to grow at 30% CAGR between 2021-2026. Gin at that price point represents about 2.3% of total gin sales volume, but about 20% of total gin value, in India.

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Among gins in that price category, almost 68% of that volume by sales is imported. The category, both imported and domestic, grew in value by about 95% last year. The total gin consumption volume in India grew by almost 47% in 2021 after declining 54% in 2020.

Indian firm Radico Khaitan which makes the popular Jaisalmer gin, has recently launched Jaisalmer Gold. This has 18 botanical ingredients. It will only be available in the international market to begin with.

The distillery is working to scale up to cater to the demand for Jaisalmer, said Amar Sinha, the company’s chief operating officer. The gin distillation capacity will be expanded as part of its capex plan.

“We witnessed an exponential growth of the brand last year but it is still in its nascent stage. A luxury category such as this drives value over volume,” he said.

There is an influx of more top tier brands whether they are Sipsmith from Beam Suntory or Malfy and Kinobi, both launching soon from Pernod Ricard, which are helping the popularity of gin overall, said Vikram Achanta, founder and chief executive officer of Tulleeho, a drinks training and consulting firm.

Large scale consumer facing events have helped premium gins in the 3000 plus category gain visibility, Achanta said. These include Indian brands such as Hapusa and Tamras and international ones such as Roku, Hendrick’s, and Tanqueray 10. Pernod Ricard India saw volumes of its mass market brand Beefeater and premium brand Monkey47 gins combined growing by 80% between July 2021-June 2022 compared to the same period the year before.

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“We see increased momentum and growing conversations around the versatile white spirits with the resurgence of gin,” said Kartik Mohindra, chief marketing officer, Pernod Ricard India.

Stranger & Sons, an Indian gin brand, closed FY22 with 40,000 cases sold and is expecting to grow its revenue by three times this year across all brands and launches from Third Eye Distillery, its parent company.

One retail firm, importer and distributor in Mumbai, Monika Alcobev Ltd., has added five new imported gins to its portfolio in 2022. The business has seen a growing demand. It has brought in Hayman’s Gin from the makers London’s Family Gin Distillery which it said has seen a lot of success here. Similarly, Langley’s Old Tom is another popular brand in its portfolio. It has also added other unique labels like portfolio Gin Mare, Bathtub gin & June gin.

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