5 unique local brews to try out when in Goa
Goa is a state that is known for its vibrant atmosphere as well as the oh-so-affordable alcohol. Though the local Feni is a popular drink, other brews can also be a perfect accompaniment to your plate of Xacuti or Fish fry. Read on to know the five best drinks that you must not miss out on when in Goa.
This staple drink of Goa was introduced to the coastal state by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and since then has been a part of the Goan food tradition. Feni is made from cashew or coconut palm sap. Cashew fruit juice (base for cashew feni) or toddy (base for coconut feni) is fermented and then distilled twice to produce the finest Goan Feni. It has an intense odour and a strong aftertaste. One must be careful while trying out this local spirit as it can get you drunk in a few shots (owing to the 43 – 45% alcohol content). The good news is it doesn’t give you a hangover. It is also a traditional remedy of the state, used to combat common cold, cough and flu. You can find this everywhere, right from the beachside shacks to 5 star resorts in Goa.
Goans have been drinking this drink since the late 1700s. The first distillate of Cashew Feni, it has a characteristic sweet, fruity taste which is enjoyed even by non-Feni lovers. If you do not like the taste of Feni, you should try a glass of this cloudy nectar. It is enjoyed with lemonade, ice, and soda. Urrak is less potent than Feni (less than 30% alcohol) and is available only in summers. This seasonal drink has a short shelf life as it doesn’t contain any preservative or artificial flavours. Urrak is readily available in bars at 5 star hotels in Goa, as well as other restaurants. Don’t miss out on it when in Goa.
If you are looking for a legendary beer, look out for a King’s Black Label Premium Pilsner. Adorning the shelves of Goa beach resorts, King’s Black Label Premium pilsner is exclusive to Goan territory and is brewed and sold only in Goa. This clean & crisp drink is made using maize and tastes delicious with authentic Goan seafood. It is a pale light liquid with its signature smoky malt aroma and has no aftertaste, unlike other beers. It is available only in 330ml pint bottles with 4.85% alcohol.
This spice liqueur is based on a centuries-old family recipe that lies with the maker’s family dating back to the times of the Portuguese Empire. This dark amber spirit has won the Gold Outstanding medal at the International Wine & Spirit Competition for two consecutive years. Armada is handcrafted in small batches using Brazilian sugar, Indian spices and Portuguese fruit. It is made without any artificial colours or flavours and is 30% alcoholic. Armada is used to make some great cocktails and is also used in preparing desserts.
It was the Portuguese, who first brought Port Wine to Goa in the 16th century AD. It is an eloquently sweet red wine which is mostly served as a dessert wine. Also known as Vinho do Porto, Port wine was the first wine that was produced in India at Vinicola. This unit was set up by Ivo da Costa in 1965 outside Margao town. Vinicola port wine is available in dry, semi-dry and sweet varieties, both as a table and fortified wine.
Love wine? Whether it is a drinking session with your friends that you are looking for, or a quiet evening with your loved ones, The Leela Goa is the place to be. The sommeliers at this five star hotel in Goa have in-depth knowledge of wine-pairing. Ask them for suggestions on what can go best with your meal. You can also attend the various wine-tasting sessions that take place at this Goan beach resort to sample the local brews.