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All About Goa's First Alcohol Museum

All About Goa's First Alcohol Museum
These feni-making units are a common sight in Goan villages, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Thanks to a Goan businessman, the state gets a museum dedicated to the traditionally distilled liquor cashew feni

Uttara Gangopadhyay
August 26 , 2021
04 Min Read

You know you have to head to Goa for a swig of feni, the traditionally distilled local liquor. But do you know where to go if you want to know about this drink and its history? Or for a tasting session? Thanks to Goan businessman Nandan Kudchadkar, the ‘feni’ state now has a museum dedicated to all kinds of alcohol, and especially with a spotlight on feni.

Located in the beach town of Candolim the museum is called ‘All About Alcohol’. Kudchadkar, who collects antiques, has set up the museum to highlight the state’s rich heritage as well as the history of the drink, starting with how the fruit arrived in India from Brazil.

 
 
 
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Spread across 13,000sqft and five rooms, the musuem in Candolim houses centuries-old glass vats, quaint-looking glass bottles, ancient alcohol-making implements, and distilling equipment from India and the world. 

You can sample aged feni dating back to 1946 in the feni cellar. And sign up for an in-house feni tasting and pairing session. “

 

 
 
 
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The origin of the name ‘feni’ is attributed to the Sanskrit word ‘phena’ or the Konkani word ‘phen’ depending who you ask. Both mean ‘froth’. According to local people, the brewing of coconut feni was known in Goa prior to that made from cashew apples. It is said that cashew was brought to Goa from Brazil by the Portuguese. Over the years, the clear spirit distilled from cashew apples got a premium makeover, with barrel ageing and varied infusions.

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In 2013, the traditionally distilled cashew feni, with its astringent smell and powerful fruity flavour, earned the Geographical Indication (GI tag). The Goa Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2016 removed the country liquor status and declared feni as the ‘heritage spirit of Goa’ to bring it at par with world famous liquors such as Champagne and Scotch Whiskey.

 


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