2 Malayalis Launched An Artisanal Arrack Brand In Canada, Inspired By Their Grandpa’s Secret Recipe

by Mallika Khurana
2 Malayalis Launched An Artisanal Arrack Brand In Canada, Inspired By Their Grandpa’s Secret Recipe

In Canada, a touch of Kerala’s rustic charm has found its way into glasses under the captivating brand name “Taika.” Crafted by two enterprising Malayali youths, Ajith Padmanabhan from Vaikom in Kottayam and Sajeesh Joseph from Fort Kochi, Taika is bringing a piece of Kerala’s soul to the world. This artisanal arrack, deeply rooted in an age-old family recipe, made its official debut in December 2022 during a spirited New Year celebration. Since then, Taika has made waves, already selling over 500 litres, and now it’s setting its sights on global expansion.

The Malayali Duo Launched Taika Spirit

Photo Credits; Taika Distillery/Website

As per the reports from OnManorama, the spark of inspiration for Taika ignited during the COVID-19 lockdown when Sajeesh decided to experiment with his grandfather’s treasured recipe. Originally meant for personal use in Canada, this culinary experiment gave birth to a remarkable idea. Ajith and Sajeesh saw an opportunity to share the very “spirit” of Kerala with a broader, more diverse audience. Interestingly, while their customer base predominantly comprises Malayalis in Canada, the unique flavours of Taika have also piqued the curiosity of Canadians from various backgrounds.

What’s the secret behind Taika’s allure? It’s all in the ingredients. Raw fruits, dates, jaggery, and spices are artfully blended in a process that takes place at a leased distillery in Ontario. The result is a 750-ml bottle of Taika that costs 55 Canadian dollars (approximately ₹3,350), and it can be conveniently ordered online through a local delivery partner’s e-commerce platform.

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From Kerala’s Heart To Canada’s Glasses

Taika Kerala
Photo Credits; Taika Distillery/Website

The brand not only aims to cater to the Malayali diaspora but also seeks to enchant a wider audience, symbolised by the presence of the Malayalam script “Nadan Charayam” on the label, alongside cultural icons of Kerala. The name “Taika” itself is derived from the word “tiger,” drawing inspiration from Kraken, a popular rum named after a mythical octopus.

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As for its expansion plans, Taika is charting an ambitious course. As per the reports from OnManorama, discussions with the Kerala State Beverages Corporation Ltd. are in progress to secure permission for sales in Kerala. The brand is also pursuing a licence to sell through Canada’s Liquor Control Board, with dreams of conquering European and Dubai markets. In the years to come, Taika intends to tantalise taste buds further by diversifying its offerings with versions of gin, vodka, and rum.

In a delightful twist of fate, Taika follows in the footsteps of another Kerala hooch, Mandakini, which entered the Canadian market in 2021, crafted from sugarcane extract by a group of passionate Malayalis.

Cover Image Courtesy: Taika Distillery/Website