Hapusa gin launches in Bengaluru. Learn more about its flavour profile and food pairings
The past three or four years have seen a rise in the popularity of gin in Bengaluru. Local brands, as well as international ones, have found a huge market here. The latest gin brand to enter Bengaluru is Hapusa, world’s first Himalayan dry gin, a product of Nao Spirits and Beverages. Boasting indigenous Indian ingredients and botanicals, Hapusa (named after the Sanskrit word for juniper), does not have any artificial sugars. We speak to Anand Virmani, the CEO and Distiller at Nao Spirits and Beverages, about the flavour profile, food pairings and the gin market:
What is a Himalayan dry gin?
A dry gin is the one which is devoid of any artificial flavour or sugar. Hapusa is called a Himalayan dry gin as we use indigenous juniper berries found near the snowline in the Himalayas.
How would you describe Hapusa's flavour profile?
Hapusa is Sanskrit for juniper. The untamed flavour and aroma of the juniper triumphs in the gin and is further complemented by other indigenous botanicals such as the gondhoraj lime, fresh turmeric, raw mango, ginger, cardamom, almond and coriander seeds. Found near the snow line in the Himalayas, the elusive Juniper Berries provide a beautiful structure to the gin while the turmeric and the delectable raw mango make Hapusa, a unique contemporary gin, ideal for sipping.
What other flavours does it work well with?
Hapusa is a sipping gin that can be enjoyed all by itself straight from the freezer at “mountain temperature” or as part of classic spirit-forward cocktails like the martini or the negroni. A gin and tonic with Hapusa would be best enjoyed with a wedge of orange which is squeezed and dropped into the glass.
Are there any food pairings that you recommend?
Yes. Lots! When having neat or in a martini, Hapusa pairs really well with complex cheeses – Matured cheddar or Blue cheese pair perfectly. Hapusa also finds a great match in rich, dark chocolates.
What do you feel about the Indian gin market and your competitors?
India has usually been dominated by brown spirits, especially whiskey and rum; however, a shift in the preference of the consumers has been noticed as urban Indians are gravitating towards Gin as their go-to drink. The Gin market in India is dominated by the value and low-price category but the real growth is in the premium and standard segments currently dominated by imported brands.
There has been a spurt of new home-grown brands that have entered the space and we couldn’t be more excited. Gin culture in India is at a very nascent stage and the flames need to be fanned for it to really take shape. New brands and launches add excitement and create overall interest in the category. This is bound to benefit each brand individually.
The brand has already done well in a few a European countries. Why did you decide to launch in Bangalore only now?
Bangalore has a great gin-loving audience. We always wanted to make Hapusa available to them but unfortunately Karnataka is one of the most expensive markets to operate in from the perspective of excise tax investment. We’re happy to have finally crossed that hurdle.
Rs 3,750. In select retail outlets