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Vijay Mallya

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Mona darling, you can blame it on Narendra Modi. Whisky consumption is down in India and it might have something to with the election cycle says <em><a href=http://qz.com/223810/indias-thirst-for-whiskey-may-finally-be-waning/ target=_blank>Quartz</a></em>. <blockquote>Voting days are dry, and in the recently concluded polls, the Election Commission has been especially watchful.</blockquote> Of course it's not just our enforced electoral abstinence. The sluggish economy, high taxes, rise of wine all played their part in dampening our spirits. 2013 was not good for India as the Whisky Nation - the <a href=http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/indias-appetite-for-whiskey-attracts-diageo/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0 target=_blank>largest guzzler of whisky in the world</a>. Growth in whisky and brandy consumption declined and overall spirit sales were down 2 percent. And it's doubtful if 2014 will usher in better days either. Year on year growth in whisky sales, in fact, have been going down every year since 2010 according to <a href=http://qz.com/223810/indias-thirst-for-whiskey-may-finally-be-waning/ target=_blank>International Wine and Spirits Research</a>. Thank goodness, Khushwant Singh didn't live to see this. The <em>sardar</em> who till the end enjoyed his <em><a href=http://www.uppercrustindia.com/oldsite/2crust/two/khush.htm target=_blank>muchhe-gilli-ho</a></em> peg (moustache soaking whisky) would probably have not survived the news anyway. But we shouldn't get too carried away either. Whisky in India is in no danger of going the way of the Ambassador. However it's also clear that our relationship with the drink is evolving. In a simpler pre-liberalisation India, the rites of adulthood (or more accurate manhood) were pretty clearly marked. Beer in high school. Rum and coke (or rather Thums Up) in college. And finally whisky. Vodka - what was that? Gin - that's what ladies sipped at Calcutta Club. Wine was vinegar. Of course none of us knew that we were drinking what Sanjeev Bhattacharya <a href=http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/india-and-whisky%E2%80%94a-love-affair/1/3537.html target=_blank>calls</a> a molasses-based drek which brazenly defies the definition of whisky as a grain-based product - and therefore isn't whisky at all. (In fact, it's closer to rum, not that you'd ever call India a Rum Nation.) We have the Vijay Mallya, the King of the original Good Times as opposed to today's <em>acchey din</em>, to thank for that. Mallya has been fiercely defending Indian whisky's right to be called whisky to protect what comes out of his UB Group.

Mona darling, you can blame it on Narendra Modi. Whisky consumption is down in India and it might have something to with the election cycle says <em><a href=http://qz.com/223810/indias-thirst-for-whiskey-may-finally-be-waning/ target=_blank>Quartz</a></em>. <blockquote>Voting days are dry, and in the recently concluded polls, the Election Commission has been especially watchful.</blockquote> Of course it\'s not just our enforced electoral abstinence. The sluggish economy, high taxes, rise of wine all played their part in dampening our spirits. 2013 was not good for India as the Whisky Nation - the <a href=http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/indias-appetite-for-whiskey-attracts-diageo/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0 target=_blank>largest guzzler of whisky in the world</a>. Growth in whisky and brandy consumption declined and overall spirit sales were down 2 percent. And it\'s doubtful if 2014 will usher in better days either. Year on year growth in whisky sales, in fact, have been going down every year since 2010 according to <a href=http://qz.com/223810/indias-thirst-for-whiskey-may-finally-be-waning/ target=_blank>International Wine and Spirits Research</a>. Thank goodness, Khushwant Singh didn\'t live to see this. The <em>sardar</em> who till the end enjoyed his <em><a href=http://www.uppercrustindia.com/oldsite/2crust/two/khush.htm target=_blank>muchhe-gilli-ho</a></em> peg (moustache soaking whisky) would probably have not survived the news anyway. But we shouldn\'t get too carried away either. Whisky in India is in no danger of going the way of the Ambassador. However it\'s also clear that our relationship with the drink is evolving. In a simpler pre-liberalisation India, the rites of adulthood (or more accurate manhood) were pretty clearly marked. Beer in high school. Rum and coke (or rather Thums Up) in college. And finally whisky. Vodka - what was that? Gin - that\'s what ladies sipped at Calcutta Club. Wine was vinegar. Of course none of us knew that we were drinking what Sanjeev Bhattacharya <a href=http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/india-and-whisky%E2%80%94a-love-affair/1/3537.html target=_blank>calls</a> a molasses-based drek which brazenly defies the definition of whisky as a grain-based product - and therefore isn\'t whisky at all. (In fact, it\'s closer to rum, not that you\'d ever call India a Rum Nation.) We have the Vijay Mallya, the King of the original Good Times as opposed to today\'s <em>acchey din</em>, to thank for that. Mallya has been fiercely defending Indian whisky\'s right to be called whisky to protect what comes out of his UB Group. [caption id=attachment_1580709 align=alignleft width=380 View full gallery
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