Nao Spirits, India's craft Gin producer and the distillers behind Greater Than London Dry Gin and Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin, has been nominated for the 2021 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) International Gin Producer of the Year trophy - nothing short of the Oscars for the global wine and spirits industry.
Other global brands shortlisted for the same category are Herno (Sweden), Four Pillars Distillery (Australia), Never Never Distilling (Australia), and Number One Drinks (The Kyoto Distillery, Japan). The final results of the winning brand will be announced on 1st November at 3.30 PM IST.
For competition, this large, which has included Gin-Giants year after year, to have taken note of this homegrown craft producer speaks volumes of the distiller's belief in Quality over Quantity. To be included in the shortlist of 5 Gin distilleries worldwide is even more incredible given that Nao Spirits only came into existence four years ago, before which India had no craft Gin to call its own.
"This is a bolt out of the blue for us. Totally unexpected! We could not be more humbled and honored to be included alongside international distillers we have looked up to from the very beginning of our journey. To be in the nominees' list is a watershed moment for us and Indian Gins on the whole. It is a validation of the hard work and creative spirit that has got us this far. Whether we win or not is immaterial - we will be celebrating this one!" said Anand Virmani, co-founder, chief executive officer, and Distiller at Nao Spirits & Beverages.
While this is the first such nomination for Nao Spirits, it isn't their first recognition from IWSC. Earlier this year, the distillery's Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin bagged a Gold Medal at the IWSC with 95 points scored in a blind tasting of Gins from around the world.
The trio behind Nao Spirits - Anand Virmani, Aparajita Ninan and Abhinav Rajput - are out to make great Gin accessible to more people than ever before, creating a gin revolution of sorts in India. Greater Than, their London Dry Gin has fast become the preferred brand of Gin for bartenders and consumers alike. It has also been the first from the country to be recognized by the Gin Guild!
Hapusa on the other hand is the first-of-its-kind in the whole world. A contemporary Himalayan Dry Gin, Hapusa means "Juniper" in Sanskrit. The first Indian Gin made using Indian botanicals (found in almost every household), and with juniper that is foraged from across the Himalayas.
The IWSC is the world's most prestigious international competition for spirits, with more than 3000 entries from across the globe. This nomination prominently places Nao Spirits and their Gins on the global map.