Is the wax meant to look like a turban?
No but at least it’s on brand.
Is This A Curry In a Bottle?
No. Whenever we go out to do a Crazy Gin tasting, we’re inevitably asked about why we use the particular ingredients that we do. Well, coming from a Punjabi background but being raised in England made for some very interesting culinary experiences during our childhoods. Whether we were having spicy baked beans, or spam curry, there were always certain spices and flavours that were present in every meal. These spices aren’t unique to our childhood alone as they can be traced back generations to the dishes that our grandparents made (and their parents before them). Spices like turmeric, black pepper, and coriander are staples in Punjabi cuisine and are always in the kitchen. In fact you would be hard pressed to find someone of Punjabi descent that doesn’t have a story about turmeric staining their lunchbox, or their fingers while they ate.
When we started thinking about making a British-Indian drink that was representative of us and our journey, it only seemed right to start with these flavours. Gin was a natural pairing in our eyes because it's primary component, juniper berries, complimented and balanced the spices beautifully. Now the yoghurt, yes we know it might seem weird but we felt that if we were going to combine Indian and British cultures, yoghurt would be an essential part because of lassi. Lassi is a traditional Indian drink made of yoghurt, water, and spices but it can include fruit if you want it to be sweet. For our grandparents, who didn’t drink alcohol, nothing went down better than a nice cold lassi on a sweltering summer’s day (however, we’re partial to a G & T). We thought that distilling yoghurt into a gin would be a very true representation of cultures coming together, and it works pretty damn well even if we say so ourselves.
We really wanted to continue looking at different ingredients so that we could produce a flavourful but clean drink. We added pomegranate seeds for sweet notes, while black cumin was added to bring smokiness into the mix. Our final ingredient is ghee, a clarified butter that has a lot of significance in Punjabi culture. We use it in our cooking, and even substitute it for oil in lamps during religious ceremonies. Whenever you’re eating a particularly spicy dish, you can stir some ghee in to balance it out and soothe that heat. We carry that same approach to the harshness of spirits which is why we fat-wash the gin with ghee. Fat-washing is the process of adding a fat like oil or butter to your spirit, then freezing it so the fat solidifies allowing the alcohol to be filtered out. Fat-washing with ghee brings a lovely smoothness and finish to Crazy Gin which is what we really wanted.
When you’re raised within two different cultures, in a way you have to forge a new identity for yourself where these cultures can coexist which is what we tried to accomplish by bringing gin and lassi together. There are a lot of DIY elements in Punjabi cuisine. It was not uncommon for our parents to make their own yoghurt or ghee, and even though we don’t make those ingredients ourselves for the gin, we have tried to capture that same spirit (no pun intended) with Crazy Gin. That’s why we’ve chosen these particular spices and flavours, so that we can tell our story and share it through a drink you’re sure to love.