Jinro Soju, Imperial Blue: In the World of Spirit, India and Korea Rule Hearts
This week we are on to the crest of the mountain to see the most popular spirits in the world. Who all are there bagging all the glitter of attention? What's the spirit most people are sipping right now as you read this? Could the rank list have any surprise in store for us? Plenty.
If you're not in the thick of it and well-informed about the world of spirits, be ready to get shocked. The best-selling spirit in the world doesn't come from places you could guess.
Scotland? England? The US? Way away from it. The credit goes to Jinro, a Korean spirit (Soju).
Soju is a clear neutral spirit almost like vodka, made from rice, potatoes and even tapioca, but with about only half the alcohol content.
Owned by Hite-Jinro, the drink that was launched in 1924 became a huge hit in South Korea. It didn't stop there. Just imagine, this Korean spirit now sells more bottles on our planet than international brands such as Smirnoff, Bacardi and Jack Daniels.
So who are the other players at the top?
Indians can be proud. Allied Blenders and Distillers' Officer's Choice, launched in 1988, held the second position in 2017. The smooth whiskey registers its presence in more than 18 countries around the world.
McDowell’s No 1 brandy launched in 1963 is another phenomenal drink from India, overtopping many other international brands.
If you are asking for the world's most selling brandy producer on the planet, you will be taken to Philippines ‘Emperador’ is the name of the king. Launched in 1990, Emperador fought its way to the top by establishing an image of product quality. The various versions of the brandy are now distributed in more than 40 countries around the world.
Smirnoff, Bacardi, Imperial Blue, Tanduay, Royal Stag and many others come at the top position.
The Tippling point will follow each of them and tease out their success stories in the coming episodes. Keep watching this space.
(Manu Remakant is a freelance writer who also runs a video blog - A Cup of Kavitha - introducing world poetry to Malayalees. Views expressed here are personal)