From A Rising Agave Revolution To New-Age Brands, How The Indian Alcohol Industry Is Growing

by Tejashee Kashyap
From A Rising Agave Revolution To New-Age Brands, How The Indian Alcohol Industry Is Growing

As one of the fastest-growing alcohol markets globally, India’s alcohol industry is pushing new horizons.  But what fuels these new changes? This is fueled by changing consumer preferences, disposable income, the emergence of innovative beverages and more. Traditionally, India has been known for its love affair with spirits like whisky, rum, and brandy. However, in recent years, there has been a noticeable shift to other alcohol choices for good.

While the Indian alcohol industry has made impressive strides, there are certain trends that we witnessed, thanks to a survey, ‘What India Is Drinking 2023’ by the bar rating platform, 30BestBarsIndia. As the industry continues to adapt to changing dynamics and consumer demands, here are the trends worth noticing:

Is There An Agave Revolution?

As India’s working class expands and global exposure increases, consumers are becoming more adventurous in their taste preferences. This shift in the consumer palate is a significant driver behind the growing demand for agave-based spirits. Meanwhile, the rise of cocktail culture in India has further accelerated the popularity of these spirits. This type of alcohol is quickly gaining ground in India, both in terms of consumption and the establishment of regional brands.

Thanks to local producers like DesmondJi, and Pistola–these brands have paced Agave’s steady growth. The growing popularity of Mexican restaurants with matching cocktail programmes, as well as Agave-focused bars goes to show that this alco-beverage is definitely in its growing stage. As more Indians explore and appreciate the world of agave-based beverages, the Agave Revolution is poised to make a lasting impact on the country’s drinking culture.

Growing Preference Towards Aperitifs & Digestifs


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A post shared by Aperol Spritz (@aperolspritzofficial)

While challenges exist, such as high import costs and a lack of awareness, the prospects for aperitifs and digestifs in India are promising.  Due to its therapeutic characteristics, what was long considered a pre or post-dinner digestif is now making its way into India’s developing cocktail culture. Thanks to expert mixologists and intrepid drinkers, creating signature cocktails that cater to local tastes and preferences.

Although the Indian palate tends to prefer sweeter flavours, more and more sophisticated drinkers are favouring cocktails with amaro as an ingredient. In simple words, Amaro is a bitter. When it comes to bitters, there is a growing interest in Campari which forms the essence of some of the most well-loved cocktails. The report tells that Campari followed by Aperol secures a permanent spot on every bartender’s shelf.

The fascination with these beverages lies not only in their flavours. This cultural connection has started to resonate with Indian consumers who are increasingly seeking holistic dining experiences.

Also Read: From Gin To Whisky, What Is India Drinking? This Report Lists India’s Favourite Alcohol

Dynamic Homegrown Brands Continue To Shake Up The Alcohol Industry


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A post shared by Quaffine (@quaffineliqueur)

Indian spirits and wines are making their mark on the international stage. Indian whisky, for example, has garnered global recognition for its unique flavours and craftsmanship. Brands like Amrut and Paul John have received accolades at international spirits competitions, challenging the dominance of traditional whisky-producing countries.

Most of these Indian alcohol brands are educating consumers about the diversity of alcoholic beverages. Take these brands, Short Story, DesmondJi, Quaffine, Stranger & Sons and many more–they are introducing them to new flavours, and encouraging exploration beyond mass-produced options. This increased knowledge drives consumer demand for premium and artisanal products.

Moreover, craft breweries have been at the forefront of the homegrown alcohol movement, giving us delectable wines and gin brands. Although enough has been said about the gin revolution undergone by the country to Maharashtra being the country’s Napa Valley for wines, it’s the other alcohol bases that are slowly coming up. Those would be homegrown rum, agave and vodka. As consumer preferences continue to evolve, these spirits are likely to play an increasingly important role in the future of the Indian alcohol industry.

Well, definitely, the Indian alcohol industry is on a dynamic trajectory!

Cover image credits: Canva

PS: Drinking is injurious to health. Be safe – don’t drink and drive.