GREATER THAN GIN
There are so many gins claiming to bestow India’s rich flavours, and yet not one of them is distilled in the country itself. There is, however, one that is. Greater Than Gin, and we were lucky enough to meet the founder, Anand Virmani, for a coffee in a relatively civilised Delhi suburb before our forthcoming tour of his distillery. Having pre-warned us that he had recently become a father and was facing the sleep deprived challenges that are part and parcel of it, we were expecting to meet a man sapped of all energy. But as soon as Anand entered Perch Coffee and Wine Bar, he exuded sophistication and charm, and like the brand itself, complete authenticity.
“THERE ARE SO MANY GINS OUT THERE TELLING THE INDIA STORY, BUT NONE ARE ACTUALLY MADE THERE…”
Anand explained that “there are so many gins out there telling India’s story, but that none actually made here, or made with Indian botanicals.” Back home, we love trying brands that have a unique selling point, and with travel being one of our personal interests, we are often drawn to those that explore flavours from other cultures. But we are often left disappointed to learn that their botanicals are not even sourced from the country they so confidently boast about. Many gins try and talk the talk, but only one really walks the walks, and after tasting it, Greater Than Gin literally struts.
The Indian gin scene seems to be a little on the sparse side when compared to the UK, but it looks like it is most certainly on the rise. Anand revealed that the spirit we all love only accounts for 2% of those sold in India. Crazy right?! But surely with pioneering brands like Greater Than, that could all be about to change…? Having being part of the team that launched Hendricks into India way back in 2009, he knows what he is talking about and he admitted that the launch was met with a rather… unappreciated reaction. Anand exasperated that he would often receive comments like, ‘who drinks gin?!’ or, ‘it’s not a serious bar drink!’
But, alas, there is a glimmer of hope. slowly but surely, these ludicrous opinions are changing. It is these very same naysayers that Anand often finds praising new and upcoming gins on their social media pages…
It looks like the Gin and Tonic could be about to stand up and reclaim it’s homeland.
So, until next time - Bottoms up!
7th March 2018
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