Alcohol: Resolute Vodka
When was the last time you sipped vodka neat, without a grimace? Unless you’ve been drinking expensive imported brands, chances are, never. Because the stuff bottled in India is usually no damn good.
Not this one, though. Made by Sipping Spirits, a start-up, Resolute is licensed from a Dutch company, made from locally-sourced grains put through a proprietary distillation and filtration process, and is bottled in Goa. It comes in three flavours: crystal (unflavoured), black (a blend with black catechu, the heartwood extract of a type of acacia plant), and pink (with strawberries and raspberries).
It has the smoothness and subtlety of an imported vodka at a slight premium over domestic brands. It is easily the best “Indian” vodka I’ve tasted.
The black is full, warm, with hints of dark rum and cola; the pink has a mildly-sweet berry fruitiness. All three can be mixed into cocktails, but if you’re sipping them straight, chill well beforehand. It’s easy to get carried beyond your normal ‘limits’ with Resolute. A bottle of Black we broached as a late nightcap at a Goa poolside was half-empty in an hour, as person after person poured drink after drink saying, “Hmmm, interesting... and smooth.”
Resolute is available only in Goa and Kolkata, and there are plans to introduce it in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. It costs Rs.495 for a stylishly oversized hip-flask-shaped 750 ml bottle in Goa; regional taxes might up its price in other states.