Stranger & Sons, one of the first gins to be made in India since the country gained independence in the 1940s, as well as one of only a handful to reach UK shores, has launched. Stranger & Sons is the debut gin from the team at Third Eye Distillery, based off the beaten track in Ponda, a district in South Goa with a rich history of spice farming.
Introducing Stranger & Sons
The creation of Mumbai-based Sakshi Saigal, alongside her husband Rahul Mehra and her cousin Vidur Gupta, Stranger & Sons celebrates the abundance and diversity of high quality botanicals and inherently Indian spices, which provide the gin with its unique flavor.
An ode to India’s agricultural and spice heritage, Stranger & Sons is distilled with a selection of seven botanicals found in the country’s household kitchens, in addition to juniper and angelica root. These include a bouquet of locally cultivated and handpicked spices such as coriander seeds, black pepper and cassia bark along with a blend of four Indian citrus peels.
The resulting gin is a light and refreshing, three-dimensional spirit with spiced overtones, followed by an earthy, sweet aftertaste.
Inspired by the wonderful strangeness found in India’s cultural diversity, colour and customs, the founders named their gin ‘Stranger’, whilst ‘& Sons’ refers to the common suffix of traditional Indian family-owned businesses that are passed down through generations within that family.
Third Eye Distillery
Utilising the best in contemporary technology, Stranger & Sons gin is distilled in small batches in a state of the art iStill which has been calibrated to highlight the individual flavours of each of the nine botanicals and spices that lend this three-dimensional spirit its characteristic complexity and aroma, and ensures a consistent batch every time.
Crucial to the Third Eye Distillery’s operation is the support of the local community. Women from a local self-help group are employed to peel the four local citrus fruits that perfume the gin, before the distillery returns the flesh of the fruit to them. The women then use this surplus fruit to create pickles and cordials for Stranger & Sons’ cocktails, thus providing them with additional income and minimising food waste.
Stranger & Sons has created two signature serves that celebrate the relationship they have with the local community in Goa, and India’s history of pickling: the classic Gibson Martini, made using pickles, and the Gimlet, made with fruit cordial. Versions of these serves are currently available at the likes of Happiness Forgets, Sager + Wilde and TT Liquor.
Stranger & Sons is offering bartenders a cordial invitation to join its peculiar path of pickling, encouraging each to put their stamp on these signature cocktails and inspiring them on a journey of making pickles and cordials.
Stranger & Sons will be available later this month to the on-trade through Scotch+Limon, Third Eye Distillery’s exclusive UK distribution partner.
Speaking on the upcoming launch, Stranger & Sons co-founder Sakshi Saigal said:
“As avid gin drinkers, we always heard of India spoken about in gin circles, as the country has long been a vital supplier of botanicals for the international gin market; but surprisingly there weren’t many craft gins being created in India. So we decided to distil our own quality Indian spirits, starting with this small batch gin which uses common spices and botanicals found in every Indian household.
“We have carefully sourced the majority of our spices from the Indian spice belt, and fruits from across the country to create a gin which perfectly captures the spirit of India. We are so excited to be launching Stranger & Sons in the UK, and we can’t wait to see the creativity of UK bartenders and the serves they come up with.”