GUWAHATI: In a creative endeavour that blends tradition, sustainability, and the essence of Meghalaya’s famed rains, a Shillong native has successfully turned the region’s unique rainfall into a distinctive product that captivates both locals and tourists alike.
Mayukh Hazarika, drawing inspiration from the lush beauty and incessant rains of Sohra (Cherrapunji), embarked on the journey of crafting a gin that encapsulates the spirit of the region.
“Rain is nothing but distilled water, and distilled water is used extensively in alcohol—that’s where the idea for a gin came from,” Hazarika told a national daily.
The process involves a sustainable rainwater harvesting system set up in Mawsynram, the neighbouring town in the East Khasi Hills.
The rainwater, caught in stainless steel tanks, undergoes meticulous filtration, eschewing the use of caustic soda or demineralisation.
Hazarika said, “Our way of life in Meghalaya is sustainable. I wanted our simple way of living to reflect in the manufacturing.”
The simplicity extends to the packaging—a reusable stainless-steel bottle adorned with vibrant art showcasing Meghalaya’s elements, such as bamboo forests, mandarin pickers, a colonial-era Bedford bus, and the rain permeating the mountains and the earth.
Hazarika explained, “Our steel bottle weighs just 148g, addressing the issue of size and weight that discourages people from reusing traditional glass spirit bottles.”
Cherrapunji Gin’s botanicals are sourced exclusively from Northeast, each with its own story.
The orange peel, derived from the GI-tagged Khasi mandarin of Meghalaya, peppers from the state’s forests, and the tea from Assam pays homage to the local tradition of concluding meals with black tea.
On the sensory front, Cherrapunji Gin boasts zesty citrus notes on the nose, followed by a palate bursting with bright, vivacious flavours of fresh junipers, pungent peppers, spices, and a subtle smokiness reminiscent of the region’s culinary practices.
With its bold and punchy profile, Cherrapunji Gin stands as a testament to the rich heritage and flavours of Meghalaya, offering enthusiasts a unique and sustainable spirit that captures the very essence of the rain-soaked region.
Currently, Cherrapunji Gin is priced at Rs 2500 in Meghalaya and by December, it will be available in Assam and other parts of the country by next year.