Sales of fine whisky are booming in India and China as members of the middle classes shake off the frugal habits of past generations. How has the drink come to be seen as a status symbol in the world’s two most populous nations? And why does it appeal to Gen Yers and women in particular?
Varun Suri is an Indian entrepreneur and retailer who operates a popular wine and beer store in south Delhi.
Amrit Kiran Singh is the executive chairman of the International Spirits & Wines Association of India, representing blue chip multinational companies in the industry. He was previously the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce and was the host for President George W. Bush’s keynote address in New Delhi during his India visit in 2005.
Sam Relph is a national newspaper journalist and news editor, with more than 18 years as a storyteller across disciplines and continents. He is director of digital start-up The International Freelancer and has reported for many of the world’s best newspapers, including The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Independent, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Sydney Morning Herald, New York Post and New York Daily News.
India may be an emerging beer market, but increasingly globalised palates and a rapidly expanding middle class mean demand for premium brews is on the rise. Among the brands filling this gap is Bira 91, offering home-grown craft beers for the nation’s young and discerning drinkers.
Just one liquid is trusted to complement Chinese cuisines; ‘lü chá’ – green tea. In a bid to lure drinkers of China’s native firewater Baijiu, Bacardi believes it can transform Chinese dining and drinking culture by distilling green tea leaves to create a pure tea spirit. Will it catch on?
China is a nation well known for its love of tea, but in recent years, its taste for fine wine – especially foreign varieties – has grown. In fact, experts predict demand for fine vintages will outstrip Britain and France by 2020. As this market grows, room is opening up for traditional wine growers to step in.
India may be a nation of tea drinkers, but amid an expanding middle class and a vast young population, coffee culture is gaining ground. Through its cafés, brewing classes and subscription service, Blue Tokai is helping to turn the country’s coffee novices into connoisseurs.