Can you tell us more about your career in producing spirits in India?
I have been working as Master Blender with Radico for 26 years. We are one of the oldest and largest distilleries in India. We distill Neutral Grain Spirit for Vodkas, molasses and cane juice spirit for Rum, and Malt Whisky, as well as having a small craft Gin distillery.
How did you go about creating Jaisalmer Gin?
When creating Jaisalmer Gin, we did lot of research on gin making and the botanicals to be used. We also evaluated the best gins available in the world market for benchmarking. Before finalising Jaisalmer Gin, we tested out more than 100 individual botanicals and distilled them to observe their individual/combined aromatic effect on the nose and palate.
What was the inspiration behind creating Jaisalmer Gin?
After the launch of our RAMPUR Indian Single Malt in global market, we saw a renaissance of Gin in Europe and USA. Undoubtedly Gin is the most refreshing alcoholic beverage in the world. I was personally fascinated by the fresh pine, citrus, floral, sweet and earthy notes of Gin. Once you sniff a good Gin it immediately connects you to the mother nature, such as lush green valleys and dense pine forests.
Gin and Tonic both have a historical connection with India and you find lot of Gins with Indian names or botanicals from India, but there was no authentic Gin from India. That got us thinking. India is famous for its exotic spices and botanicals, so we thought why not craft an authentic Indian Gin. The idea stuck to install a Craft Gin Distillery and launch Jaisalmer Gin to the world market.
Can you tell us more about the Gin Distillery?
This is a craft distillery. The capacity of this beautiful traditional Copper Pot Still is 1,000 Litres, however we only infuse botanicals in 500 Litres of Grain Neutral Spirit. That means we leave enough head space for vapour to interact with the copper during distillation. Since we have our own state of the art Grain Neutral Spirit distillery, we have a greater control over its quality. In fact, we distill our Grain Neutral Spirit three times before infusing the botanicals in the Pot Still for the final distillation.
Can you tell us more about the botanicals used in Jaisalmer Gin?
Jaisalmer Gin is crafted with the basic fundamentals of Dry Gin, i.e. the primary botanical is obviously Juniper, the secondary botanical is Coriander Seeds from India and the tertiary botanical is Angelica root. You will get fresh pine, spicy and green forest notes from Juniper, spicy and citrusy notes from coriander seeds and woody notes from angelica root which beautifully holds the bouquet of various aromas together.
Jaisalmer Gin has 11 botanicals, of which 7 botanicals are from all corners of India. We have some very interesting botanicals like Darjeeling Green Tea, which imparts floral, spicy and muscatel notes from the eastern part of India, Vetiver & Liquorice which impart sweet and fragrant woody notes from northern part of India, and Sweet Nagpur Orange peels from the central part of India. Lemongrass reinforces the freshness and the lemony scent and comes from the western part of India, as well as Lemon peel from southern part of India. There is a beautiful fresh, minty aroma from Caraway, and Cubeb Pepper imparts fresh, minty, spicy, alpine and peppery aromas. Overall it is a classic Gin with a beautiful combination of pine, citrus, floral, sweet, woody and spicy notes that mesmerise you from the very first sip. While distilling we distil at very slow pace and carefully monitor each steps for consistency.
What have been the biggest achievements so far with Jaisalmer Gin?
Jaisalmer Gin has won the following awards.
How would you describe Jaisalmer Gin in 10 words?
Fresh, original and the whole of India in a bottle.
What's your favourite way to drink Jaisalmer Gin?
If you really want to enjoy the true characters of Jaisalmer Gin, go for classic Indian Gin & Tonic. If you are a cocktail lover, I would strongly recommend a Jaisalmer Negroni.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!) / any favourites at the moment?
At the moment I love a Swedish Gin - LAB Distillery Organic Gin by Mackmyra.
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