Agave spirits come of age in India

Agave spirits come of age in India The Maya Pistola Agave team, crew of Raahi Bar and happy guests give a shout-out to the new spirit.

Pistola, India’s first aged 100% agave spirit crafted from Agave Americana that grows wild on the Deccan Plateau, was launched recently in Bengaluru, in three variants: Joven, Reposado and Rosa.

Each variant is double-distilled in pot stills and packed in 700-ml bottles at 37.5% ABV (Rosa), 40% ABV (Reposado) and 38% ABV (Joven).

The artisanal brand, produced in small batches, offers additive-free, non-adulterated spirit, which is made without artificial colouring. Each spirit is unique and each bottle has its own character. It is already available in Goa, Maharashtra and Delhi.

The agave plant is traditionally native to Central Mexico and, due to its complex flavours, agave spirits are part of Mexico's heritage. Mezcals and Tequilas are produced by cooking, crushing, fermenting and distilling the agaves.

India’s rich red-black volcanic soil in the Deccan is similar to that of Mexico and serves as an ideal semi-arid micro-climate for Agave Americana to grow wild.

Tasting notes

Joven has hints of citrus, cooked agave, peppermint, green peppercorn, coriander and honey. It is great in Highballs, with tonic or to simply shoot.

The Reposado is curated with notes of butterscotch, orange, marmalade, cooked agave, vanilla and cocoa. Aged for up to 6 months, the Reposado is made to enjoy chilled, or with some ice and orange peels.

The Rosa is rested for up to 3 months in ex-Krsma Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels. It gets a floral minerality with notes of strawberry jam, plum, black cherries, vanilla bean, clove and white pepper. It is best enjoyed on ice, or as a spritz.

Founded in the year 2020, Pistola is the brainchild of the siblings Rakshay and Radhika Dhariwal. It is a product of Pass Code Spirits Co., a sister concern of Pass Code Hospitality. The latter runs acclaimed bars and restaurants such as PCO, Saz, and Ping’s Orient Cafe across multiple cities in India.

My say

The tasting was held at Raahi Neo Bar and Kitchen, which was ranked among the 30 Best Bars India 2022. A beaming Rakshay and Radhika welcomed the evening’s guests with warmth and grace, urging them to experiment with the three variants.

Given the new-found time during the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, “we decided to work on bringing something exciting to the market: a high-quality 100% agave spirit, that makes for a better, purer choice of drink.”

“As our brand evolves, we believe that Maya Pistola Agavepura will forge a new category of agave spirits for the people of Bengaluru,” Radhika added.

What the agave spirit does is bring excitement to the category in India. There is also no doubt that it goes to make simple, yet superb cocktails. But the variants are also a delight to savour on their own, particularly the Rose and Reposado.

The brand’s mascot, Maya Pistola, is the re-imagined goddess of agave reincarnated in an Indian context. It helps tell a tale of how agave came to the Deccan Plateau. Pistola is breaking boundaries and stereotypes. Are you game for it?