Today, 26th January, is Republic Day in India and a national holiday, celebrating the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26th January 1950, replacing the Government of India Act of 1935, turning the nation into a newly formed republic.
We therefore thought it appropriate to join in the celebrations and raise a glass with a couple of innovative Indian spirits, namely Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin and Rampur Asava Indian Single Malt Whisky, both of which are produced at Rampur Distillery, which is one of India’s oldest distilleries, located at the foothills of the Himalayas.
Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin gets its name from the historic city of Jaisalmer, the Golden City, which is located in the North West of India in the state of Rajasthan, described by many as the jewel in India’s crown. Jaisalmer is a city filled with colour, festivals and royal traditions. Thus, the richness and splendour of the city is reflected in Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin, transporting you back to the imperial age of the Maharajas and times of leisure and pleasure.
You may hear Jaisalmer Gin being described as “The whole of India in a bottle” which is rather apt, given that the botanicals are sourced from all four corners of the country. Coriander and Vetiver, for example, are grown in the fields around Jaisalmer, whilst the Sweet Orange Peel comes from Central India, the Cubeb Berries and Lemongrass come from Southern India, the Darjeeling Green Tea leaves from Eastern India and the Lemon Peel from Western India.
Rampur Asava Indian Single Malt Whisky is matured in American Bourbon Barrels and then carefully finished in Indian Cabernet Sauvignon casks. The combination of Rampur’s unique distillation and maturation process sees Rampur Asava Indian Single Malt Whisky taking traditional Indian heritage and rooting it in contemporary culture. Rampur Asava is non-chill filtered and bottled at 45% ABV, resulting in a powerful and refreshing expression with perfect balance.
Thanks to the polar opposite climate conditions in The Himalayas, this Indian whisky matures far more quickly than other whiskies, such as Scotch and Irish whiskies, where the climate is more consistent. As the Rampur Distillery is situated at the foothills of The Himalayas, the cold winters and hot summers give their whiskies an added dimension which means that the single malts they produce have a depth of flavour that are smooth and mellow tasting giving an enjoyable long-lasting finish.
Rampur Asava RRP: £68.95 for 70cl. ABV: 45% and is available from: The Whisky Exchange
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Rampur Distillery