The coastal land of Goa in western India is popular for its pristine beaches, colonial architecture, galvanic parties, and of course, alcohol. Goa and alcohol are historically intertwined since Portuguese rule. It is, therefore, a vital factor of Goan culture. So, it wouldn’t be a shocker to know India’s first-ever ‘Alcohol Museum’ has been set up in Goa, and it is now open to visit!
All About Alcohol
Located at the coastal village of Candolim, “All About Alcohol” is the first of a kind museum dedicated to all things alcohol. houses hundreds of artifacts that elaborate on the enriching brewing history of Goa, glassware, and distilling equipment from the 15th and 16th centuries.
All About Alcohol is set in a 13,000 square-foot tavern divided into five sections, which is anticipated to expand more in the near future. Four of these sections and an outdoor area are designated solely to display the manufacturing process, distillery, fumigation, transportation, and history of creating Goa’s very own fermented drink, Feni. Feni is a ‘traditional liquor distilled from the fermented juice of cashew apples.’ Cashew was first imported to Goa from Brazil by the Portuguese in the 1700s. Feni was concocted soon after, thereby making its roots well into Goan history.
“To me, feni is an ode to my motherland,” said founder and businessman Nandan Kudchadkar to the Indian Express. Through All About Alcohol, Nandan aims to signify the rich heritage of Feni. “Amongst the 1001 things that I have here in the museum, I love to say that I am more keen on promoting the fruit of the soil. ‘Feni’ is also used for medicinal purposes, as a recreational drink during social gatherings, for cooking and I have to say that ‘Feni’ exists in various parts of a Goan’s life,” he shared on All About Alcohol’s Instagram page.
A deep dive into the behind the scenes of Alcohol
Even though the museum largely accommodates all things Feni, it has more to explore about alcohol in general.
India Today reports the museum displays collection of Nandan personal items, which includes – ‘chalices, record-holding shot glasses, a sugarcane crusher, glasses of all kinds, a wooden shot dispenser, snifters, a mortar and pestle used to crush gin botanicals, water goblets’.
It has garrafões (large-bellied glass bottles) as well as cellars to store Feni back from the 1950s. They offer an elaborate tour of the museum while offering a detailed explanation of each aspect presented at All About Alcohol. In addition to it, they let visitors sample craft feni cocktails with pairings created by in-house Mixologist Lionel Gomes.
“Most visitors will say that they do not like the aroma of it, or that the taste is too strong,” Gomes said to The Indian Express. The feni cocktail is their way to let visitors taste feni without being repulsed by its aroma.
“All About Alcohol” is open to visitors at Candolim, Goa from 4:00 pm to 8.30 pm for free!
This article is part of TFword’s Where In The World Series, find the previous article from the series below!
Feature Image via All About Alcohol’s Instagram.