Luxebook December 2023

NOV/DEC 2023 Luxury Spirits Made in India - A growing demand for Indian single malt Agave catches India’s fancy Gin cocktails for the festive season BREAKING GROUND India’s unending love for single malt expressions

NOV/DEC 2023 THE GIST It has been a good year overall, and it is finally time for our most sought after issue — the liquor special! There are many insights to be gained over the following few pages — from Indian whisky’s growth story, to how Gen Z is consuming alcohol differently. Agave spirit has found a true home and an audience in the country —far away from its birthplace Mexico, as similar weather conditions build familiar conditions for the industry to thrive. As the HNI population gets younger in India, there is a real taste for experimentation, and industry experts expect this to grow going forward. We are far from the days when a whisky and soda would cut it. Indians now come well-travelled, seasoned with the diversity at hand over the world, and expect the bar to be well-stocked, with creative bartenders leading the way. As we approach the new year, we bid 2023 a goodbye with a clink and a toast. Happy New Year to all our readers! Payel Majumdar Upreti —Editor A cocktail of experiments S O C I A L M E D I A ADVERTISING SALES Mumbai (022 - 6846 8500) Regional Manager (West) — Katty Gia (+91 98705 32295) • Senior Manager — Lamont Dias (+91 91674 14988) Delhi (011 - 4562 5810) Sr. General Mgr. (North) — Asha Augustine (+91 98182 80431) Kerala (+91 94140 69321) — Sanjai Krishnan Manager Mktg. Services — Salim B • Client Servicing Manager — Reshma Malvankar This magazine is printed by and produced by Mediascope Representation (India) LLP. Opinions herein are the writers’ and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Mediascope. Editorial enquiries concerning the reproduction of articles, advertising and circulation should be addressed to: LuxeBook, Mediascope Representation (India) LLP., 51, Doli Chamber, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400005, India. Email: Material in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of the publisher. Founders — Marzban Patel / Anita Patel • Director Publishing — Indu Joshi Editor — Payel Majumdar Upreti • Writers — Arushi Sakhuja, Anushka Manik Creative Director — Muhammad Jaan Faruqui Mumbai - Palladium Mall, Lower Parel - Art of Time, Waterfield Road, Bandra New Delhi - DLF Chanakya Mall, Chanakyapuri - Kapoor Watch Co, Emporio Mall - Ethos Summit, Select City Mall, Saket Chennai - Ethos Summit, Palladium Mall I Bangalore - Ethos Summit, UB City Mall Gurgaon - Kapoor Watch Co, Ambience Mall, NH8 I Hyderabad - Ethos Summit, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills Kolkata - Ethos Summit, Shakespeare Sarani Road extend your international limited warranty for up to 8 years on 2|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023

NOV/DEC 2023 2|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 Cover Courtesy: Glenfiddich 04 Trending 10 Liquid Gold 20 Mix it up 40 Festive recipes 22 Liquid Luxury 28 All for whisky 14 Spirited Away 34 Whiskey hunting CONTENTS From Classics to Creativity THE RAFFLES ICONIC BARS Savour good times over classic spirits, iconic reiterations in the Long Bar and The Writers Bar exclusive milieu. Finely crafted melanges add decadence to evenings on our mystical oasis. For more details, reach out to us at +91 2942779000 or email us at

New Liquor Launches In India From whisky to wine, homegrown gin and limited-edition bottles in partnership with urban artists, India has seen some of the most exciting launches BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA Liquor is a word that resonates perfectly with the Indian audience. There is a flourishing demand and apt supply for spirits in the country. The Indian liquor industry is known for its vibrant culture, diverse traditions and booming expansion plans. Liquor has transgressed the notion of simply indulging on a drink on special occasions. Its difficult to choose between a stiff drink (or your favourite cocktail) at any point in time with the liquor industry booming with exciting new launches and the introduction of indigenous craft spirits and distillers. On a parallel plane, the mushrooming of craft distillers across the nation focusing on artisanal techniques, using locally sourced ingredients and time-honoured recipes with rich flavours. In addition, collaboration with artists for limited-edition bottles and flavoured spirits too have taken the industry by storm. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a newbie, there’s never been a more exciting time to explore the diverse world of spirits in India. So, raise your glass and toast to these new liquor launches for they promise a future that fuses tradition with innovation. Chambal Gin Experience the untamed spirit of Chambal with every sip. The newest entrant to homegrown gin is the Untameable – Chambal Gin! Hailing from the heart of India, specifically Madhya Pradesh, Chambal Gin is a masterful fusion of meticulously selected botanicals, poised to transport you to an extraordinary realm of flavour and beauty. Inspired by the captivating Chambal terrain, which features an untamed river, intricate ravines, and a rich tapestry of flora and fauna, Chambal Gin is artfully infused with botanicals that harmonize a symphony of tastes. The botanicals used in the gin are carefully selected to create a unique and unforgettable flavour profile. With every sip, you’ll encounter the delightful aroma of juniper berries, the warmth of wild cinnamon bark, and the tangy burst of citrus from dried lemon peel, all in one sip. The addition of almonds provides a smooth and velvety texture to the gin, which culminates in a refined finish that lingers on your palate. Turning to the design, the bottle recalls the rustic Chambal landscape. Its weathered label boldly showcases motifs of crossed rifles, like the river’s meandering path, the bottle artfully features depictions of gharials, rolling waves, and native wildlife. Traditional design elements, such as the use of local Mandana art, serve as a constant reminder of the importance of staying deeply connected to one’s roots. The bottle design also features motifs of gharials, waves, and indigenous fauna. Chambal Gin is set to launch in Delhi in its first phase, with plans to expand to Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur in the second phase. Macallan Colour Collection The Macallan has launched The Macallan Colour Collection, a new range of exceptional whiskies that showcase the brand’s commitment to natural colour and the influence of sherry seasoning. The Colour Collection includes five age-statement single-malt Scotch whiskies, ranging from the gold oak of the 4|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|5 TRENDING

Colour Collection 12 Years Old to the burnished chestnut of the Colour Collection 30 Years Old. This unique collection is the result of a collaboration with visionary graphic designer David Carson, known for his distinctive collage style. Inspired by the historic vineyards and fine wines of Jerez, where The Macallan’s sherry-seasoned oak casks are expertly crafted, Carson created a series of unique designs featured on the vibrant packaging of the Colour Collection. The new range showcases the stunning natural colours that result from ageing in The Macallan’s exceptional sherry-seasoned oak casks. These casks, crafted according to The Macallan Whisky Mastery Team’s exacting standards, are transported to Scotland, where they are filled with The Macallan’s signature new make spirit, known for its rich and fruity characteristics. Over time, as the spirit and wood interact, they produce the vibrant natural colours and distinctive characteristics that define The Macallan’s single malts. Sherry-seasoned oak plays a pivotal role in shaping the colour, character, aromas, flavours, and overall quality of these exceptional whiskies. However, they are crafted predominantly with the use of sherry American oak casks, complemented with European oak to achieve a harmonious and balanced whisky range. Coming to the packaging, the design draws inspiration from The Macallan’s heritage and its spiritual home, The Macallan Estate, emphasizing its deep connection to nature. The Macallan Colour Collection is now available at The Macallan Global Boutiques and select airports and travel destinations worldwide. Absolut and Osheen Siva’s Limited-Edition Embracing the spirit of young Indians, Absolut has associated with multidisciplinary artist Osheen Siva to launch a thought-provoking limited-edition bottle that celebrates the multifaceted identities that define the youth of India, while looking forward to a hopeful future marked by inclusivity and acceptance. Siva’s design for the limited-edition Absolut bottle showcases a rich blend of the traditional and the modern that reflects the brand’s ethos, as per Pulkith Modi, Head of Marketing – International Brands, Pernod Ricard India. The artwork on the bottle is divided into three parts, with the figure on the left representing traditional values deeply rooted in Indian culture, the figure on the right symbolizing fluidity, queerness, and the future as a non-binary character. The hands in the middle symbolize the confluence of the old and new, drawing inspiration from Absolut’s core values of acceptance and unity. Modi emphasizes Absolut’s commitment to a colourless world without biases and its legacy of working with pop culture to encourage creative expression. He sees the new limited-edition bottle as a celebration of diversity and pluralism in young India. Artist Osheen Siva said that the design aligns with her existing practice and is inspired by the multiplicity and plurality in society, with a hopeful vision for the future. She hopes the artwork resonates with today’s youth. The limited-edition bottle, available in a 750ml size, is now on sale in all metro cities. Beefeater x Lakwena Bringing a modern, urban and contemporary vibe to Gin in India is the Beefeater X Lakwena limited edition bottle that celebrates The Spirit of London. With this vibrant fusion of artistic expression and gin culture, Beefeater X Lakwena’s limited edition bottle offers a spirited taste of London’s dynamic essence. This contemporary masterpiece effortlessly marries urban allure with a burst of multicultural hues, perfectly encapsulating The Spirit of London, the city Beefeater calls home. Renowned visionary artist Lakwena, celebrated for her transformative interpretation of urban landscapes through a vivid spectrum of colours and inspiring slogans, has lent her artistic talent to Beefeater. For the collaboration on the bottle we can see her dynamic designs and striking colour palettes that have revitalized the label of Beefeater London Dry’s limited-edition bottle. The result? A visually stunning piece that radiates positivity and vivacity. But the collaboration doesn’t conclude with aesthetics alone. Lakwena has composed three uplifting mottos, each echoing the values that define The Spirit of London from her unique perspective. First, We Mix and Blend mirrors the magic that occurs in London, a melting pot of cultures, flavours, sights, and sounds, much like the creation of a perfect gin cocktail. Next, We Work and Play embodies London’s boundless opportunities, attracting dream-chasers from around the world, all while offering a vibrant nightlife that captures the relentless energy of a city where work ethic matches its zest for play. Lastly, We Move and Shake narrates London’s history of resilience and transformation, reflecting the adaptability and tenacity of its inhabitants in the face of constant change. 6|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|7

For Lakwena, London is not merely a city; it’s a dynamic and eclectic home, remarkable for its distinctive character. “Partnering with Beefeater to create the limited-edition bottle allowed me to tell a story of the capital which looks beyond the grey of concrete and weather; we’re putting a spotlight on the moments of optimism and verve, to truly reflect the bold culture that makes our home so globally renowned.” Glenmorangie A Tale of the Forest Get ready to be transported to the forest with the introduction of Glenmorangie’s “A Tale of The Forest” in India – an exceptional limited edition whisky that transports the lush woodlands to your glass. Glenmorangie A Tale of the Forest is Glenmorangie’s first whisky ever crafted from barley kilned with woodland botanicals, offering a sensory journey through the forest’s scents, sounds, and sights. Crafted by Glenmorangie’s visionary Director of Whisky Creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, it promises to captivate the Indian palate, making it a standout choice for whisky enthusiasts and collectors. Dr Bill recalled how ancient Highland whisky makers dried their barley with all kinds of forest fuel and began Nashik, Maharashtra: ‘the ancient home of the Warli people and their sacred art and culture.’ With aspirations to establish itself as India’s premier indigenous wine brand, CHANDON Aurva results from a harmonious collaboration between Kaushal Khairnar, head winemaker of CHANDON India and the youngest among CHANDON’s chefs de caves, and Dan Buckle, the winemaking director of CHANDON Australia, renowned for his mastery in crafting Shiraz wines, and focuses on one annual harvest to ensure the quality, freshness, and integrity of the grapes. Using 100% locally sourced Shiraz grapes in Nashik, and aged in French oak barrels for ten months, CHANDON Aurva offers a symphony of rich aromas, velvety smoothness, and flavors encompassing cloves, cherry, blueberry, and plum. CHANDON Aurva, priced at INR 4250 is currently available in Mumbai across select retail outlets and five-star properties. It is also available at the CHANDON winery in Nashik and will be available across other key markets by year end. experimenting by kilning his barley with many different botanicals. After trial and error, he finally selectied juniper berries, birch bark and heather flowers, married with a little peat. The result was a batch of spirit with rare aromas of pine needles and juniper, laced with wisps of smoke. He then aged it in bourbon casks including many refill casks, chosen to allow the spirit’s flavours to shine. This limited edition captures the essence of the forest with flavors of pine, juniper, and woodsmoke. Thai illustrator Pomme Chan, also collaborated with Glenmorangie, to translate these flavours into a fantastical forest design on the packaging. Her technicoloured illustration reflects the whisky’s botanicals, from heather to juniper, creating a visual symphony of the forest’s essence. Chandon, Aurva India has it’s very own Shiraz. Bringing its winemakers’ Shiraz expertise to the world of still wines, CHANDON introduces CHANDON Aurva, A New Indian Classic Wine. With a vision to become India’s premium homegrown wine brand, the wine named Aurva translates to ‘of the earth’ in Sanskrit- paying tribute to the land and mythic beauty of the unique terroir of 8|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|9

India’s unending love for single malt expressions Announcing the launch of Time Reimagined Collection – a remarkable collection of aged and exclusive single malt whiskies representing the ultimate expression of time – Glenfiddich introduces the very first of the collection in India – The 30 Year Old, embodying Suspended Time. The Glenfiddich 30 Year Old depicts the moment when Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Malt Master, suspends the whisky’s maturation to bottle it, capturing the whisky at the precise moment in time, a perfect expression, preserved for all eternity. It has a rich, bronze colour to it with a taste that has deep, woody flavours combined with delicate floral accents that last for a long time in the mouth. It is like a deep rich Christmas cake, with a lovely syrupy fruitiness. The outer packaging design evokes this moment through moving ribbons, each one frozen in time to form elegant cut-out windows, revealing the regal decanter inside. With the moment of maturation captured in all its splendour, the dynamic lines and complex structure create an illusion that the bottle is suspended effortlessly, in mid-air, suspended in time. The Glenfiddich Grand Series celebrates the unexpected marriage of two traditional worlds to take luxury to a new level. With a time-honoured vision, desire and determination to do things differently, Grand is a beautifully disruptive series of single malts that promises pleasure, celebrates milestones and oozes opulence; the crescendo to every occasion. Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura – Limited Edition Release Glenfiddich has created the first Single Malt Scotch Whisky to be finished in rare ex-Awamori casks, the latest release within the renowned Grand Series. It is a limited-edition fusion celebrating the finest from Scotland and Japan, with only a handful of bottles available in India. Grand Yozakura is a 29 Year Old Whisky matured at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown and finished in oak casks that previously matured the oldest distilled alcoholic spirit in Japan, Awamori, producing a finish unlike any other. Grand Yozakura celebrates Hanami - the “cherry blossom festival”, where Japan appreciates the temporal beauty of nature through the sakura. A time for renewal and optimism, the festival is best experienced illuminated after dark where it is known as the Yozakura or ‘night sakura’. This fleeting moment captures a time where nature is honoured and this marriage of rare liquids, once gone, will never be replicated presenting a transient chance to experience a beautiful collision of cultures and flavours. BY PAYEL MAJUMDAR UPRETI As India’s share of HNIs increases, we are in the era of quiet luxury. A great whisky experience is the centrepiece on many celebratory occasions, the rarer the better. It is par course to hear of regular patrons, keeping a bottle of the rarest single malt separately for them at a luxury hotel, for their indulgence. The demand of the audience for a good whisky entails the entire experience – from luxury packaging to limited edition releases, surprise elements and the rarest of the rare for special occasions and holidays. Glenfiddich, the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, has tapped into the burgeoning interest in newer expressions and a market ready for complex tastes, with the release of their finest expressions in the country such as the Gran Reserva 21 Year Old, Glenfiddich 23 Year Old Grand Cru, Glenfiddich Grande Couronne 26 Year Old, Grand Yozakura 29 Year Old, and finally the Glenfiddich 30 Year Old Suspended Time from the Reimagination of Time collection. The first of the Grand Series - Gran Reserva, its 21 Year Old expression was the first to be released in India. When this pioneering scotch was released, it received an enthusiastic reception by Indian patrons, becoming an instant favourite. Glenfiddich has responded to the demand for rare and limited edition releases by coming forth with whiskies that have been crafted to elevate a traditional celebratory occasion in a new, relevant and compelling way. Glenfiddich Grande Couronne – Crown The Occasion Grande Couronne is the epitome of true opulence, uncorked at only the most majestic and meaningful of gatherings. Its very name, meaning crown in French, is the promise of the pleasure to come. The pinnacle of the night’s revelry. A unique expression that’s been matured in American and European oak casks for 26 years with an extended finish in rare and meticulously selected French cognac casks. The final toast is a majestically smooth marriage of café crème, brown sugar and spice. While sweet toasted oak and the delicate scent of 10|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|11 LIQUID GOLD

patisseries swirl in the air, the long-lasting sweet and velvety finish makes every dram a gilded tribute to true opulence. Glenfiddich Grand Cru – Celebrate The Occasion Daring and unexpected, Grand Cru encapsulates the very spirit of luxury and craftsmanship of Glenfiddich while surpassing the very notion of Single Malt, as it sets out to redefine moments of celebration through a new and extraordinary drinking experience. An exclusive expression that’s been matured for 23 years and elegantly finished in rare French cuvée oak casks, it fuses together the finest flavours from Scotland and France to create a true taste of luxury to be enjoyed with others. Every drop of Grand Cru is the result of up to 6 months marrying time, adding new layers of luxury with a myriad of aromas from apple blossom to candied lemon and freshly baked bread. On the palate, rich vanilla, sweet brioche, sandalwood, pear sorbet and white grape build a beautiful harmony of flavours; enhanced by a long, opulent finish for an unforgettable experience, to be shared and remembered. Glenfiddich Gran Reserva – Embrace The Occasion The remarkable liquid is matured in a combination of American and European oak casks for 21 years and finished for four months in bourbon barrels seasoned with Glenfiddich’s own Caribbean rum, imbuing the whisky with extra exotic notes. The 21 Year Old is the only Glenfiddich single malt to undergo this unique finishing in Gran Reserva casks that once contained premium Caribbean rum, specially imported to The Glenfiddich Distillery. The rum is blended to the Speyside distiller’s secret recipe from several tropical Caribbean islands to awaken distinctive notes of ginger, lime and banana within the rich smoothness of the patiently mellowed 21 Year Old. The packaging continues to reflect the rich heritage of William Grant & Sons family, with a refreshing Caribbean flavour. 12|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023

The Tequila Takeover of India The spirits distilled from the agave plant are finding much favour in India, through homegrown spirits, cocktails and focussed bars BY JOANNA LOBO The first time I tried mezcal was at the now shuttered restaurant, Xico, in Mumbai. A friend and I were there to check out the Mexican food, an experience that started with tacos and ended with fried grasshoppers and mezcal. The spirit, an expensive and rare commodity in bars then, was smooth, a touch of smoke, and some earthiness Many years later, I tried mezcal again, at a restaurant named after it. At Mezcalita, the mezcal has a more pronounced smokiness and goes down smooth. The spirit and my experience with it haven’t altered much, but the industry around it? That’s another story. Agave spirits (collectively called mezcals in Mexico) like tequila are having their moment in the Indian sun. We have two homegrown brands, DesmondJi, and Pistola offering agave spirits. Last November, Delhi had an agave fest. There are now agave-focussed bars like Barfly in Goa, and tequila bars like Juju in Pune. Elsewhere, Latin American, and Mexican themed restaurants are creating cocktail programmes that showcase agave spirits, namely tequila and mezcal. Pernod Ricard recently mentioned they are planning on bringing tequila brands to India citing growing interest. Earlier this year, the 30 Best Bars’ report, What India is Drinking 2023, said tequila is setting the spirit world ablaze. ‘The growing popularity of Mexican restaurants with Juju Cafe 14|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|15 SPIRITED AWAY

matching cocktail programmes, as well as Agave-focused bars is indicative of the fact that at some point in the future, Agave will start to make a mark for itself that will sustain the category for years to come. “Globally, there is a flattening of the curve for gin and steep increase for agave spirits, mostly tequila,” says Keshav Prakash, founder-curator of fine spirits platform, The Vault. Birthing a trend It all started with a margarita. Desmond Nazareth was known for making good margaritas, when he was living in the US. On his return to India in 2000, he found it difficult to make his signature drinks because of the unavailability of ingredients. He set out to rectify that. In 2007 came the craft distillery and company, Agave India, and in 2011, two products — a 100% Agave, a 51% Agave. The agave used here comes from a blue green Agave plant, grown in the Deccan Plateau, with a history going back to the Columbian Exchange. As is often repeated when talking about Nazareth, he was ahead of his time. He is the pioneer for agave spirits in India. “This interest in agave is an offshoot of the general surge in agave spirits worldwide, a trend that has recently washed over India and shows no sign of receding,” he says.“The simple thing is we have been besieged by people for our agave spirit for the past year and a half. We are selling every drop of agave we make.” Another homegrown brand is Maya Pistola Agavepura or Pistola (they used the spirit from Agave India). Rakshay Dhariwal of Passcode Hospitality launched the brand during the pandemic because he noticed a “lot of whiskey drinkers and gin drinkers were moving to drinking tequila”. Pistola now offers different expressions: Joven, Rosa, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo’ in addition, there is the limited edition Rosa Select and the collector’s edition, Phoenix Añejo. “The main growth comes from the premium segment, with 100% agave. We see a huge growth for these spirits in my restaurants…it is the third largest selling spirit. It’s doing better than vodka and rum,” he adds. Tequila is considered to be a ‘healthier’, lower-calorie spirit, with a lower chance of getting a hangover (especially for quality spirits made without additives). Prakash calls it an “exciting drink”, with a character that goes well with Indian food. He further adds that he is glad that people have stopped shooting tequila and are moving to sipping tequilas. Anggel’s Share, an import and distribution firm, has seen a dramatic increase in imports of tequila, and mezcal. “This is a global phenomenon which hit India two to three years ago. Top bars are putting tequila and mezcal cocktails forward too,” says Nikhil Agarwal, sommelier, and partner. A niche market “Tequila’s international recognition, availability, and appeal make it an attractive addition, catering to a wide, cosmopolitan clientele,” says Sunny Sara, co-founder, The Ribbon Room Bar & Tequileria, Mumbai. It is this reason that compelled them to focus on a bar that highlights this spirit. “The interest and demand for agave-based drinks reflects a broader trend in the exploration of unique and complex flavours, as consumers seek innovative and refined taste experiences beyond traditional options.” India’s booming culinary space is seeing a rise in the number of restaurants and bars dedicated to agave spirits, and/or tequila. Goa has Barfly, which launched in August with an exclusive agave bar. “The consumer is becoming more adventurous and experimental in terms of spirits and we saw a demand for tequila and mezcal cocktails,” says co-founder, Karrtik Dhingra. He, too, has moved from drinking whiskey to tequila because “the drinking experience is better. I don’t feel heavy and bloated, and it feels like a ‘healthier option’”. Over in Pune is a tequila bar, Juju. “High-quality, aged tequilas are appealing to connoisseurs and those seeking a more refined, culturallyrich drinking experience,” says co-founder Karan Khilnani. In Delhi, Agave Hospitality began their journey with tequila many years back with Arriba, a Mexican Grill & Tequileria. They call it ‘Delhi’s first tequila bar’, and followed it up with the Mexican restaurant, Miss Margarita (in Delhi and Goa). “Over the past year, tequila and agave have taken the Western world and Europe by storm, becoming one of the most highly desired spirits for customers and mixologists,” says Noah Barnes, head chef and co-Founder, Miss Margarita.“Just as the gin revolution reshaped the cocktail scene, we are currently witnessing a Tequila Revolution.” Going beyond shots One of the biggest misconceptions linked to tequila is that it’s only meant for shots. Not anymore. Mixologists and bars are having fun with this versatile spirit, creating exciting and innovative drinks. Juju’s menu pairs tequila with spicy mole, cucumber, ancho peppers, taco mix, even absinthe. The Ribbon Room has drinks like Guyaba Punch (tequila with guava) and El Mango (mezcal and mango). Barfly’s agave bar has ten cocktails on the menu Margarita Combo, Mezcalita, Mumbai Oaxacan Treasure Los Cavos Barfly Pistola, Phoenix Añejo 16|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|17

Kaia is Man Gone Going, a Margarita-style drink with some complexity: a raw mango infusion, a liqueur of ripened mango and sticky rice, and a rim that’s a mix of Aldona and Colva chillies with green spices, and an edible mango leaf garnish. At a recent Halloween event at Nava, Mumbai, he made Queen of the Gods — using tequila, pomegranate liqueur, agave, and kharwas. “Mezcal is gaining popularity among those looking for a more artisanal and unique agave experience,” says Sachin Yadav, head mixologist at Mumbai’s Mezcalita Cantina y Tequila Bar. The bar focuses on mezcals, tequilas and agaves and standout drinks are Cha Chinga (tequila, agave, charred cucumber, jalapeno) and Tulum Tamale (tequila, ancho chilli and charred corn) besides margaritas, and Mezcalised Classics, which are to “show people that you can also drink this spirit in your favourite drink, not just with ice or soda”. Looking ahead It seems quite evident that agave spirits, homegrown and imported, are finding a new and growing consumer base in India. But, there are challenges. A growing demand worldwide has led to agave shortages and higher production costs. Many restaurateurs and owners mention shortages of certain premium products. Growing agave for tequila takes years (seven years and above) and the process from plant to bottle is quite complex and laborious. Prakash is surprised to see the trends in the market moving towards very expressive brands and anejo tequilas, both of which are not the norm in native country of origin, Mexico. “When you zoom out, tequila or even gin is a negligible part of the overall spirits’ market. It is tiny compared to whiskey. It’s not going to alter the course of alco-bev in the country or significantly contribute to any measurable dollar value. It is creating a buzz in a certain section of society,” he says. But, the growing interest is likely to lead to more specialty agave/ tequila bars, and an increase in imports. Pistola has gone global. DesmondJi’s agave spirits (sold as Indian agave) can be found in Scandinavia, and the US. In India, they recently entered Hyderabad. Khilnani believes the growing interest in tequila and agave spirits could encourage more homegrown agave producers to explore the market.“This interest in agave spirits is reshaping the industry and fostering a culture of appreciation for these distinctive and culturally-rich beverages.” The 30 Best Bars report says, ’Agave is poised where gin was 5 years ago – readying itself for the top of the charts’. We raise our margarita glasses to that. including signatures like El Gusano (Fandango Mezcal, Wild Turkey, watermelon, soy), Caprese (Patron Resposado, cherry tomatoes, basil), and Arabica (Jose Cuervo gold, kahlua, coffee, lactose).The bar at Los Cavos in Mumbai, is focused on tequila, mezcal and pisco. One of the signatures is Oaxacan Treasure, with smoky Fandango Mezcal infused with dark chocolate and black raisins, and Amaro Montenegro. “Agave is really a great spirit and simultaneously delicate for cocktail experiments,” says assistant general manager, Pratik Keer. Expectedly, margarita remains a hot favourite. Miss Margarita offers more than 30 different margaritas, made with cucumber, gondhoraj, agave, jamun, kaffir lime, pickled beetroot brine, and hibiscus. The signatures are Frozen Coconut Margarita and Grogurita (basil, Mandalorian Agave). The first cocktail Fay Barretto made in life was a margarita. Today, as the founder of bartending collective, Mr Bartender & The Crew, he makes different twists on them. Barretto has worked on the menu for Gigi’s and Tijuana in Mumbai, both of which have separate tequila bars, and Kaia in Goa. “While the gins were stepping back, tequila was the next spirit to rise up. A lot of people are going for the picante style, like a spicy savoury angle to the cocktails, or margaritas, or just consuming tequila with water or soda,” he says. The best-selling drink at The Ribbon Room Pistola The Ribbon Room 18|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|19

Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin with Campari and Martini Rosso, this cocktail undergoes a 24-hour aging process in an oak barrel, unlocking a depth of flavours. Jaisalmer Gin 1 part Martini Rosso 1 part Campari 1 part Ice Method: Combine all ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and stir. The Golden Fort Served over ice and garnished with a fan of green apple slices, this cocktail is a symphony of sweet, spicy, and fruity notes, making it a standout choice for festive celebrations. Jaisalmer Gin 50ml Lime Juice 15ml Cinnamon Syrup 10ml Cloudy Apple Juice 50ml Sliced Green Apple Nutmeg (optional) Ice Pour Jaisalmer Gin over cubed ice, add lime juice, cinnamon syrup and cloudy apple juice. Garnish with an apple fan of 3 slices. Dunes of Jaisalmer Transport yourself to the golden dunes with this refreshing cocktail. The Dunes of Jaisalmer combines Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin with basil leaves, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and tonic water. Jaisalmer Gin 60 ml Basil leaves 2-3 Grapefruit juice 90 ml Lime Juice 15 ml Ice cubes – 5 to 6 Tonic water 60 ml Garnish – Grapefruit slice and golden hearts Glass – Old fashioned Method: Add all ingredients, ice and shake it. Strain over ice in an oldfashioned glass. Add a splash of tonic. Garnish with grapefruit and basil leaves. The Black Buck G & Tea For a unique and tranquil experience, indulge in The Black Buck G & Tea. This cocktail combines Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin with Darjeeling green tea, among other flavours. This hi-ball glass delight is a harmonious blend of flavors, marrying the botanicals of gin with the earthiness of tea. Jaisalmer Gin 50ml Darjeeling Green Tea 100ml Lemongrass Syrup 15ml Lemon Juice Pinch of Matcha Green Tea Powder Ice Fill a high ball glass with ice and pour in Jaisalmer Gin. Add freshly mixology, making it the go-to spirit for those seeking a refined and memorable drinking experience this holiday season. The evolution of gin-based cocktails reflects a celebration of craftsmanship and an exploration of flavours that promises to redefine the festive libation landscape. Among the many options, the Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin stands out, adding a twist to the classic cocktail experience. Here are five creative recipes that define this season’s gin cocktail trend. The gin has seen its fan-following increase due to its versatile nature, making it apt for all sorts of cocktails. Bottled at 42.8 v/v, it has 11 botanicals — Cubeb Pepper, Angelica Root, Coriander, Liquorice, Juniper Berries, Caraway Seeds, Vetiver, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange Peel, Lemon Peel and Darjeeling Green Tea. Here are a few cocktail recipes featuring this versatile gin, that are perfect for the festive season ahead, with Christmas and New Year almost here! Get in the mood and clink your glasses away for the remaining bit of the year! Golden Sands G&T The Golden Sands G&T offers a different take on the classic Gin and Tonic. Infused with gold dust, the Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin transforms this simple concoction into a glamorous elixir. Jaisalmer Gin 50ml Edible Gold Dust 10 gm Indian Tonic Water 125ml Orange Peel Ice Fill a Copa glass with ice. Add Jaisalmer Gin and top up with Indian Tonic Water. Add gold dust and swirl. Garnish with orange peel twist. The Jaisalmer Negroni For those seeking a more mature flavour profile, The Jaisalmer Negroni: Barrel Aged is a true revelation. Blending Ever since Gen Z has entered the game, festive celebrations are much more fun! Young adults are veering away from traditional highvolume categories such as wine and beer and moving towards white spiritbased cocktails, liqueurs and aperitifs, as seen in a study by International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR). Gin cocktails are the rage this season with upcoming Christmas and New Years festivities. The art of cocktail making has taken a glamorous turn, with enthusiasts and mixologists embracing creativity and sophistication. At the forefront of this trend stands the versatile spirit of gin, emerging as the most preferred base for cocktails, cutting across ages. The botanical complexity of gins, coupled with the diversity of flavours they offer, has captured the imagination of connoisseurs. From the shimmering allure of gold-infused concoctions to the nuanced richness of barrel-aged blends, gin has become the canvas upon which mixologists paint their festive masterpieces. Its ability to seamlessly integrate with an array of ingredients, from citrusy twists to herbal infusions, has elevated gin to the pinnacle of brewed cold Darjeeling tea, fresh lemon juice and finally top with homemade lemongrass syrup and a pinch of Matcha green tea powder. Stir gently. (To make lemongrass syrup – add 500g of sugar to 500ml hot water and add 2 sticks of lemongrass into sugar syrup to infuse.) Whether you prefer the shimmering elegance of the Golden Sands G&T or the mature complexity of the Barrel Aged Negroni, elevate your festive occasions with these recipes that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate and your guests. Cheers to a season filled with sophistication, style, and the joy of exceptional cocktails! Festive cocktails that add sophistication to celebrations These Jaisalmer gin-based cocktails add an element of fun to the season 20|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|21 MIX IT UP

7 of the World’s Most Expensive and Exclusive Wines From Domaine de le Romanée-Conti to Screaming Eagle these bottles of fine wine are rare to find. BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA Wine, often hailed as the nectar of the gods and holds a unique place in the world of indulgence. Thus when it comes to indulgence a fine bottle of wine is often called Liquid Luxury. It’s not just a beverage; it’s a journey through time, and an embodiment of craftsmanship. Wine enthusiasts and collectors, know the sourcing the best bottle of wine is a hard task and the allure goes beyond the taste. Rather, the come with quite a hefty price tag that is always justified upon having the first sip. But what makes some wines so exclusive (and expensive) is that they are rare. However, several factors like terroir, vintage, and the winemaking process itself all play pivotal roles in shaping these vinous treasures. For instance, wines produced from grapes grown in a specific terroir often possess an unmatched character that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Vintage variation, the fluctuation in grape quality and yield from year to year due to weather conditions, is another pivotal element. Limited production, whether due to the nature of the vineyard or the winemaking process, can turn a wine into a rare commodity. And finally, the winemaking process itself, the artistry of the winemaker, can elevate a wine to legendary status. Collecting fine wine is like buying fine art, so we’ve rounded up of the finest wines in the world that are expensive and exclusive. Avenue Foch 2017 Mig designed ape-clad Magnum Price? $2,500,000! You may ask WHY someone would spend such a hefty amount on a bottle of wine. But the irony is that this isn’t just a bottle of wine. The bottle, which is a combination of wine, digital tokens, and art, is a collaboration between Mig, who became famous for his Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, and British entrepreneur and luxury Champagne collector Shammi Shinh. Just one bottle of this 2017 vintage premier cru wine was made. The crypto currency NFT’s gives the owner the intellectual property rights to the image of the Bored Ape Mutant and the other cartoon figures that appear on the bottle. Purchased by two Italian brothers Giovanni and Piero Bruno, Mr. Shinh hopes that the sale will help to raise awareness of NFTs so that people will be able to better understand their purpose and how they work. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1945 Priced at a whopping, $558,000, Romanée-Conti is the Mount Olympus of the wine world. Situated in the hallowed vineyards 22|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|23 LIQUID LUXURY

of Burgundy, France, DRC is synonymous with perfection and revered as the holy grail of wines. Its ethereal wines, produced from a mere 4.5 acres of land, command astronomical prices and have an almost mythical reputation. The vineyard of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are renowned throughout Burgundy and is well known for the highest quality standard of wine. There were only 600 bottles made of the 1945 vintage, which is actually heralded as the unicorn vintage. This is not only the most expensive bottle of Burgundy ever sold but is the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold. It was purchased by a collector in 2018 at a Sotheby’s sale in New York of the estate of Robert Drouhin. Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is a highly esteemed and sought-after wine produced by the Screaming Eagle Winery in Napa Valley, California. The 1992 vintage, in particular, is renowned for its exceptional quality and a notable event where it was sold for an astonishing $500,000 at a charity wine auction in Napa Valley in the year 2000. This Napa Cabernet is opaque purple in color with a beautiful blackberry flavor and has aromas of toasty oak, vanilla, and mint. The wine is known for its meticulous winemaking process and bottled unfined and unfiltered, allowing it to retain its natural character and depth. Additionally, it is aged in 60% new oak barrels, which imparts a refined oak influence that beautifully complements the wine’s fruit profile. On the palate, the Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 is known for its opulent blackberry flavor, which is intertwined with the oak’s richness. The combination of fruit and oak provides a balanced and luxurious tasting experience, with a long and harmonious finish. Château 1947 CHEVAL-BLANC The 1947 French Cheval-Blanc is widely recognized as the most expensive sold bottle of vino in history at $304,375. Château Cheval Blanc is one of the most famous properties in Saint-Emilion, founded in the 15th century. The 1947 vintage was declared as one of the finest Cheval Blanc vintages that have ever been produced, and also consider it as being one the best clarets made in the 21st century. The winemaking style that was used by the winemaker was risky, but so successful in creating a combination of voluptuous flavours and lush texture made it beautiful to drink. Only 110,000 bottles of the vintage were produced. In 2010, the 67-year-old bottle was sold to a private collector at a Christie’s auction in Geneva. As per the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine, the Cheval Blanc has a class A status, and of all the merlot wines, there are only two which were granted with this classification. The grapes were said to be legendary between April and October of 1947, and the survivor bottle is the only known bottle in the Imperial format from this particular Saint-Emilion vintage. Jeroboam of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945 Jeroboam of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945 is one of the most prestigious wines made in the vineyards of Nathaniel Rothschild. The 1945 vintage is considered among the best produced in the last 100 years. Each vintage has a label that is specially designed by a chosen artist. The 1945 label created by Artist Philippe Julian displays the words, “Année de la Victoire” (year of victory) and production of the wine for the 1945 vintage was carefully supervised by the famed cellarmaster Raoul Blondin. The wine has elegant blackberry and oak flavour and an opulent nose of mint, vanilla, and baking spices. The Jeroboam (which holds three 75cl bottles) was sold to a private collector in 1997 for $310,700. Shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck Heidsieck & C° Monopole is one of the oldest Champagne houses in France.The 1907 vintage of Heisieck & Co Monopole Gout Américan is considered one of the most expensive Champagnes in the world. Although, T\there are still bottles available today, yet the quantities are minuscule and very hard 24|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|25

to attain, making this an elusive and prized bottle of wine. The shipwrecked bottles were recovered in 1997 from the Jönköping shipwreck in the Gulf of Finland. Divers discovered nearly 2,000 bottles of perfectly preserved Champagne, which included bottles of the 1907 Heidsieck. These bottles had been resting at the bottom of the sea for nearly eight decades in ideal conditions for aging. This Champagne is known for its deep and complex flavor profile. It may offer a combination of caramelized and candied fruit notes, along with a toasty and nutty character. The long aging process can lead to a rich and harmonious taste with a lasting finish. Bottle #1392 was sold to a New Zealand wine collector for $275,000.00 in 2003. Château Lafite-Rothschild 1869 Château Lafite Rothschild has four hundred years of proud winemaking history and the vineyards are some of the finest in the Médoc region. Sourced directly from the cellars of the Château, this rare bottle of 1869 Lafite was sold at Sothby’s in Hong Kong on 22 November 2010. A standard size bottle of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1869 was sold for $233,972 given that there were only three available 1869. It made history by being the most expensive bottle of wine on the planet. The estate is one of the five First Growth wineries in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, which is a classification of Bordeaux’s top vineyards. 26|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 Walking Down The Aisle In Your Andaz #PerfectlyYours 4O1 Rooms & Suites 124Apartments 375OO sq ft Event Space HYATT name, design and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. © 2023 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved

India’s tryst with whisky What is India’s contribution to the global uptick and how is Asia paving the way for the revolution? BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA When one thinks of fine whisky making, Scotland and Ireland often come to mind, but when thinking of consumption, India scores high on the charts consistently. According to IWSR 2022, the global benchmark for beverage alcohol data, India is now the number one market globally for whisky, rum and brandy. Whisky is a spirit that is poison for most Indians, Whisky on the rocks is a standard choice for many. Sommelier Nikhil Agarwal, CEO - All Things Nice told Luxebook, “India has always been a whisky-drinking market where a serious volume is produced, imported, and consumed. In a scenario that is unique to India and perhaps China, the number of people entering the legal drinking age is in the millions. Therefore, more consumers means more consumption. In addition, because there is generally more income per capita and certainly a lot more income per capita in the top 10% of India’s top income group, there is serious premiumization in consumer demand like never before.” In agreement with the scope of growth in the country, Vijay Dev, Category Lead – Whiskies at Bacardi in India shared, “Home to a sizable population of modern whisky appreciators, India has established itself on the global map as the number one market for whisky. IWSR 2021 data confirms India’s status as the largest whisky-drinking nation by volume. Simultaneously, evolving tastes and preferences of India’s whisky aficionados are driving the growth of the whiskies – priming this already popular segment for its next stage of evolution.” The hills of the Scottish Highlands and the lush landscapes of Ireland have long been associated with the world’s finest spirits. However, there’s a quiet revolution underway in the whisky world, with the growing Asian drinkers. While Japan has always been known for its exquisite whiskies, other region like Taiwan and India are booming as well with homegrown distilleries and brands. “There is a huge demand for Japanese whiskies, especially at the higher-end spectrum. Irish whiskey like Jameson has been consumed in vast volumes across India for years but even here we see whisky drinkers wanting to experiment with higher-end distilleries from Ireland. There is increasing demand and availability when it comes to highquality American whiskey in the Bourbon and Rye categories,” adds Nikhil. As per reports by the Scotch Whisky Association, the AsiaPacific region overtook the European Union to become the biggest buyer in the $7.5 billion Scotch whisky export market last year. In the first half of this year, six of the 10 largest export destinations for the spirit were in Asia. While India might at the forefront when it comes to consumption, Asia, is 28|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|29 ALL FOR WHISKY

taking the global whisky market by storm. So what makes Asia an emerging dominant player? The reason for the uptick in Asia and India Whisky’s popularity in Asia, in India particularly, has a rich tradition of whisky consumption, with millions of cases sold annually. The country’s affinity for whisky is deeply ingrained in its social fabric and culture. It’s a no-brainer that India is a whisky powerhouse, and its contribution to the global whisky market is substantial. The warm climate in most parts of India accelerates the aging process, resulting in unique and flavourful expressions. “In the current landscape, I’ve noticed Scotch whisky’s popularity continuing to surge in India and throughout Asia, propelled by the burgeoning population, increased disposable income, and a growing appetite for premium luxury brands such as Dewar’s ‘Double Double’ range, (21yo ,27yo and 32yo). In addition, innovative consumption approaches allow whisky enthusiasts to embrace novel trends through Whisky Highballs and Cocktails, fostering exploration and experimentation across the region,” said to James 30|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|31

Cumulatively, these trends are compelling brands to maintain agility and creativity, thereby accelerating the growth of India’s whisky market.” Moving to the Asia Pacific Region, Asian whiskies have received numerous prestigious awards and accolades on the international stage, in the recent past further fuelling their popularity. Japanese whiskies have often outshone their Western counterparts at global competitions, and Indian single malts have also received critical acclaim. Yet another noteworthy aspect is that Whisky tourism has become a growing trend in Asia. Distillery tours, tastings, and whiskyrelated experiences are attracting enthusiasts from around the world. Countries like Scotland, Ireland, and Japan have well-established whisky tourism industries, and Asia is also beginning to explore this avenue. In addition for Agarwal there is more awareness and willingness to experiment along with growth in consumption not only in the top three cities but also tier one and tier two cities. This hence strengthens India’s position on the global map, and specifically in the Asia Pacific region. “At All Things Nice, we host a vast number of whisky promotional events and now also focus on smaller cities since the market there is growing and is even more curious,” quoted Agarwal. Types of Whisky in India While blended scotch has always been a favourite in India but now the rise of Singla Malt Scotch is gaining prominence. The expert and mind behind All Things Nice added, “In India Blended Scotch Whisky has always been popular and is continuing to grow. In the last few decades, Single Malt Scotch Whisky has gained tremendous popularity which is a direct result of people upgrading and getting deeper into their whisky preferences. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the availability of more options, older age statements, or variants of single malt whisky distilleries already in India, is not in line with the demand for this category. Identifying the prominent choice of Whisky in India, James Cordiner told LuxeBook “One of the key distinguishing factors that elevate Scotch to an esteemed status is its access to ample, fresh spring water sources and Scotland’s cooler climate, enabling a gradual maturation process that gives rise to distinctive wood-derived flavours. With under 2% loss of Scotch volume arising during maturation due to evaporation from oak casks, known as the ‘Angel’s Share,’ the contrast becomes apparent when compared to hotter climate countries like India, which can experience over 8% annual volume loss, leading to differing whisky styles.” However he went on to say that there is a potential future challenge for Scotch with the emergence of exceptional World and Indian Malts and Blends, fostering intensified market competition and the likelihood of future market saturation. The Future of Asian Whisky The Asian whisky revolution shows no signs of slowing down. As the world’s largest whisky consumer, India will continue to be a major player, with distilleries aiming to produce increasingly sophisticated and diverse expressions. Other Asian countries, such as Japan and Taiwan, will maintain their strong presence on the global whisky stage. Many new brands have been introduced in India over the last 15 years spanning. A spate of high-quality whiskies from India like Indri, Amrut, Paul John, Woodburns, and Rampur have also come into the market further helping to grow the market. “These brands cater to many styles and price points creating options for Indian consumers. At the top end, there needs to be more options however it is important to note that we pay premium or even luxury prices for brands that are considered every day. The sheer number of whisky tasting events have shot up dramatically creating many opportunities for people to learn and experiment with fellow whisky enthusiasts which helps create a broader market for whisky,” concluded Agarwal. As the global whisky map continues to evolve, it’s clear that the east is rising, and with it, the spirit of whisky is thriving as never before. Cordiner, DEWAR’S Whisky Brand Ambassador- North and East India, Bacardi. One of the primary drivers of the whisky revolution in Asia is changing consumer preferences. As the middle class in Asia grows and disposable incomes rise, there’s a greater appetite for premium products which are savoured. People have started sipping whisky rather than consuming them purely in cocktail format believes Nikhil Agarwal, and this for him is a prime reason for the uptick of whisky in India.“India is taking a huge step forward in creating fantastic whiskies at home, there is momentum in Indian craft single malt and blended whisky categories.” “Today, Indian consumers are driving the demand for premium whisky, with Scotch sales skyrocketing over the past few years,” accurately point Vijay Dev. He continues to say, “Beyond Indian and Scotch whiskies, Indian consumers are exploring the newer tastes of Japanese, Irish, Bourbon whiskies as well. Deviating from the usual whisky-on-therocks, they are embracing new and exciting flavors, leading to a surge in demand for whisky highballs. A demographic shift is also apparent as the category draws in more female drinkers. 32|LUXEBOOK|NOV/DEC 2023 NOV/DEC 2023 |LUXEBOOK|33