India’s first alcohol museum
Goa is one of the most romantic and adventurous spot in India. From a luxurious cruise to the cheapest food, Goa is one of the best tourist destinations in India. Goa has stunning beaches and historic quarters that are ripe with culture and, perhaps, you may get the “opportunity” to come across a spooky place during your travels. The Dudhsagar Falls and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is a huge draw, as are the Goan forts.
But more than anything, Goa is a hub of alcohol. It has a swig of feni, the traditionally distilled local liquor. So what’s better than liquor in Goa? Well, we got you covered. Goa unveils India’s first Alcohol museum. The ‘feni’ state now has a museum dedicated to all kinds of alcohol, an initiative by Businessman Nandan Kudchadkar.
India’s first alcohol museum comes up in Goa with tasteful bite
North’s Goa’s Candolim now has India’s first alcohol museum named ‘All About Alcohol’. Stood amid the village beach, the museum contains centuries-old alcohol bottles, glasses, and manufacturing equipment used from all over the country. Spanned over an area of impressive 13,000 squares, the interior is inspired by Portugal culture using Portugal vessels and artifacts. The place also has a feni cellar with cashew and coconut feni as old as 1946 which visitors are welcomed to taste and try.
Glass garrafãos and antique mud pots used for feni storage hundreds of years ago are kept inside five huge rooms of the museum. The in-house guide facility provides a wide view of the place functions, the process, and historical importance. The place has an age-old sugarcane crusher, historic alcohol shot dispensers, and glass vats.
Nandan Kudchadkar is an avid collector of antiques. His motive behind setting up the museum is to highlight the state’s rich heritage as well as the history of Alcohol. India’s first alcohol museum is dedicated to the history of Alcohol and the state’s most famous tipple- Feni.
The Origin of Feni
Feni brewing is central to Goa’s culture that over the years has become its heritage. The villagers of Konkan village brew crushed cashews with their feet distilling the feni in old-fashioned earthenware pots. It first found its popularity as a medicinal remedy, however, over time the magical antiseptic became a traditional drink. Sattari is a small village in the provinces of Goa and is a real fenny capital of the country. And the word is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘foam’ and ‘froth’.
It is a part of the state’s culture for the past 400 years. The two types of Feni popular in Goa are cashew feni and coconut feni. Originally the locals made Feni with coconut which was available in rare quantities in Goa, however, later cashew tree was introduced to India by the Portuguese colonists. And this became the new source of this liquor. The alcohol content in Feni is 43-45% making it a much lighter drink than the rest of the varieties and thus is good for the antiseptic quality.
The making process includes crushing the cashews, the released juice is stored in an earthen pot and buried deep in the ground for fermentation. Later, the juice is distilled by boiling on a woodfire. The drink traditionally goes under several distillations and vaporization. The distillation process is done thrice. The juice obtained at the first phase of the distillation process is called Urrack which is light and diluted. Urrak is further distilled into what is known as Cazulo and the end distillation is Feni. The 4% juice becomes the alcohol.
Medicinal Importance of Feni
Feni is an excellent remedy for tooth problems, gum issues, and swelling of the muscles. You may ask any local granny for a cough or cold medicine, and you’ll definitely be handed a brewed cup of feni! The drink warms the body and soothes our respiratory system. Feni also works well for fat reduction, digestion, and other stomach-related problems. It also has antiseptic properties of healing cuts. But it should always be consumed in limited quantity and under the supervised prescription.