Desi Daru

Country Liquor (Desi Daru)

Beyond whiskies and rums and other spirits, there lies a category of alcohol. Raw and rustic, it is alcohol at its very essence. Having names that are straight-forward and fruity, these come in compact quantities and aim to simply do what alcohol does best; give you a quick high. These are the country liquors or ‘desi daru’ as we here at AllAboutDaru prefer to call them.

Types of Country Liquors
The country liquor is primarily distinguished from the variety of flavours it offers. The alcohol content is the same throughout. They come in a myriad collection such as:-

  1. Santra (Orange)
  2. Nimboo or (Lemon)
  3. Coffee
  4. Sugarcane (widely known as Doctor)
  5. Saunf (Fennel seeds)
  6. General grain spirits

Manufacturing
Desi Daru is the most basic form of alcoholic beverage, the lowest form of alcohol fit for human consumption. This is generally formed through natural fermentation of fruits or grains. Generally, Desi Daru is made of rectified spirit which flows from rectification of molasses. It generally does not undergo distillation and is definitely not subject to multiple distillations as is the case with most foreign liquors. At far, it may be vacuum distilled. This causes the solution to have a higher amount of untreated low quality alcohol. This is diluted to bring the alcohol-by-volume (ABV) percentage down to 42.8% or 36%. This depends on the region it is being sold and the purchasing power of the lower masses. Discussions are on-going to reduce the alcohol content to 28.5%. This is then filtered either via gas chromatography or fine resin filters to take away impurities. Post this point, the flavour is added. These can be natural extracts or artificial flavours. Flavours can range from simple ones like Orange or Lemon to downright bold such as Masala or Mango Tango. These flavours are generally decided as per the popularity in that region and the consumption pattern. Once flavoured, these are then bottled. The bottling quantity is generally 180ml or 750ml but mostly it’s the former. Since country liquor is mostly consumed by the lower working class and daily wage earners, this quantity of 180ml bottles remains handy and within their budget.

Preferred Brands
Country liquor brands vary all over India. Southern India has totally banned country liquor; hence, you will not find any of the aforementioned types. However, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana continue to be strong in country liquor whereas Maharashtra remains the biggest state in desi daru production in Western India. Country liquor is generally priced very cheap with a 750ml bottle costing just around a hundred rupees since the Indian government abstains from levying hefty excise duties on them. Some big producers of country liquor are: Rajarambapu Group – Owners of a huge sugar factory in Sangli, Maharashtra, this group remains the biggest liquor manufacturer in Maharashtra. Producing alcohol from the sugarcane molasses, they offer country liquor in various brands such as Caffe Gold, Doctor Blendy, Maharanjan Caffe, Mumbai Santra, Deccan Queen Santra, etc. They are ISO-9001 certified. Globus Spirits – Established in 1992, they are also known for their flagship liquor brand, Country Club. Their country liquor section offers four variants, two of which are the usual Orange and Lemon. The other two; Ghoomar, which takes its name from the folk dance of Rajasthan and is a blend of grain spirits widely popular in Rajashtan winters, and Heer Ranjha, which is a tribute to the romantic tale of Indian folklore.; are quite unique in their own respect. G.M.Breweries – A legendary name in country liquor production, it was setup in 1981 by Jimmy Almeida. Their bottling plant is established in Virar, Mumbai and boasts fine quality liquor at cheap price. Their G.M Santra variant retains its #1 position in the country liquor category. G.M Doctor and G.M Limbu Punch are also offered. A special blend having a flavour of fennel seeds, G.M Dilbahar Sounf, is liked by consumers, too.

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