Now, take a swig of Rajasthan's royal liquor
It's a royal Indian handout that is sure to be lapped up by the masses and classes alike.Updated: Feb 18, 2006 12:16 IST
It's a royal Indian handout that is sure to be lapped up by the masses and classes alike.
Once consumed only within the aristocratic walls of Rajasthan's magnificent forts and palaces, the secret brew of "heritage liquor" will now be available for the world to guzzle.
Peculiar to the beautiful desert state's erstwhile royal families, the entirely herbal liquor has been probably one of their best-kept secrets.
For the royals, meanwhile, sharing a part of their keenly preserved heirloom is a matter of great honour.
"It is a matter of immense pride for me and my family. This will definitely make our name shine. My forefathers made a lot of effort on collecting these recipes and maintaining a record of them in several books. Today, we are happy that it will benefit the masses. Otherwise, they would have only collected dust and would have got lost in the pages of history," says Man Singh, a member of the Royal Family at Kanota Thikhana in state capital Jaipur.
Singh's recipe of "Chandrahaas Liquor" is among five other recipes borrowed from princely families across the state by a state-run distillery based in Jaipur.
Christened "Royal Heritage Liquor", the copyright for the brews have been bought by the Rajasthan State Ganganagar Sugar Mills.
With 84 spices, herbs and dry fruits, manufactures believe the royal intoxicants would be difficult to resist.
The exotic spices are soaked in spirits and water for seven to eight days and are then put into a distillation plant before they are brewed.
From the initial procuring of high-grade ingredients to their final bottling, the entire process is bereft of any synthetic colorants or additives.
"In other whiskeys, artificial essence and synthetics are used. But in heritage liquor, we do not use any artificial essence. We also do not use artificial colours and use saffron that actually gives it the yellow colour. There are no artificial flavours and the whole taste is natural," says Arvind Mittal, Chief Chemist at the distillery.
To retain the tastes and fragrances of the original spirit, manufacturers have procured teakwood tanks and copper vessels as prescribed by the royals to get the unique flavours.
The royal liquid has a royal price tag as well, at least according to the general standards.
From an affordable 11 US dollars, the price of one of the varieties can go up to nearly 50 dollars per bottle.
The people in the meanwhile are getting ready for a royal high, as the spirit will soon be retailing at their neighbourhood liquor vend. Three brands are scheduled to hit the markets this month - Mauvlin, Mahanser Saunf and Chandra Haas.
The distillery also plans to retail their liquor to markets across Europe and the US in the near future.
And as Singh says he still has more than 100 recipes of various liquors stacked away safely in his vaults, there is a virtual treasure-trove waiting to be discovered.