Goa’s beloved gin brand Stranger & Sonswent international in a collaboration with Australian craft distillery Four Pillars.
The collaboration, initiated via an email interaction, stemmed from a desire to create two expressions of gin that would capture the spirit of both India and Australia. Both brands — although contemporary in their approach — manage to capture the cultural heritage of their individual regions. Needless to say, Third Eye Distillery’s (parent company of Stranger & Sons) constant desire for innovation went hand-in-hand with the Four Pillars team’s intense creativity.
The result was the creation of two spectacular gins, Spice Trade and Trading Tides.
In an enlightening conversation with LuxeBook, Sakshi Saigal, co-founder of Stranger & Sons spoke about the collaboration with Four Pillars, the exclusive new gins and more.
How did the collaboration come to be?
From first meeting the Four Pillars team at the Bar Convent Berlin in 2019 to being awarded a Gold Outstanding at the very same IWSC event, where they won the International Gin Producer of the Year, we had a slight hunch that we would be seeing more of them in the future. Fascinated by their deep knowledge of the craft and passion for gin, we hit it off right from the start.
It didn’t pan out exactly as we’d imagined with us being unable to visit each other’s distilleries. However, we did end up seeing more of them. We embraced the global trend of virtual tastings and invented ‘zoom’ distilling to bring this collaboration to life. The process by which this truly strange collaboration has come to reinforce our belief that ‘In a strange situation, no one is a stranger.’
How does the collaborative attempt combine the flavours of India and Australia?
The Four Pillars team’s intense creativity and a huge passion for gin went hand-in-hand with our constant desire for innovation. It’s honestly quite a proud moment for us to be collaborating with the award-winning distillery who also happens to be the IWSC International Gin Producer of the Year of 2019 and 2020 (two years in a row!).
The main inspiration behind the collaboration was the tides and coasts that connect two distilleries on either side of the Indian Ocean. Our ideologies were very much in sync, considering how true they are to their roots while maintaining a very modern take on Australia. We consider ourselves flag bearers of India’s agricultural abundance. We wanted to share the wonderful spices and flavours that are rooted in India’s heritage with the team at Four Pillars. We ‘traded’ ingredients to create a gin inspired by the unique flavours and botanicals indigenous to Australia, Trading Tides – Coastal Dry Gin.
And the team at Four Pillars managed to capture the bold and complex flavours of Indian spices and botanicals perfectly in the Spice Trade Gin.
Can you tell us about the two new gins?
The two expressions are a celebration of gin that tells the tale of a truly strange collaboration!
Spice Trade Gin is a kaleidoscope of flavours, with fragrant aromas and of course, big, bold spices on the palate. Four Pillars created the Spice Trade Gin usingturmeric, lime, teppal, long peppers, red chilli and black cardamom. It is their take on modern India.
Trading Tides Gin, on the other hand, is a bright bouquet of citrus notes that’s vibrant with a refreshing hint of mint and a soft, spiced finish. It uses Australian lemon myrtle, anise myrtle, river mint and the Indian flavours of mangosteen, kokum and tamarind. This is a coastal dry gin and an ode to this rather strange trade.
Will we see any more such collaborations for Strange & Sons?
Third Eye Distillery was created to disrupt and elevate the spirits landscape in India. With the overarching idea of elevating the cocktail culture in India and embracing unconventionality, we’re looking to cultivate a culture of innovation and collaboration on our home ground. Personally, I believe that collaboration is a powerful tool that helps brands channel their creativity and drive for innovation toward creating something uniquely ground-breaking.
From launching India’s first distilled cocktail, Perry Road Peru, in collaboration with The Bombay Canteen to our collaboration with Four Pillars in Australia which led to the creation of two unique gins that combine the best of India and Australia, we look forward to surprising our consumers every year in the most unexpected ways!
What are your future plans?
There are so many things that we’re working on at the moment when it comes to innovation and new product releases, no thought goes untested and no idea wins without a fight! We’ve also acquired a majority stake in Countertop India and we’re really looking forward to elevating bar culture on home ground. Through this partnership, we aim to enable and accelerate Countertop’s growth and uplift the Indian bar industry through training and education.
In the upcoming years, we will focus on creating a portfolio of imported brands to fill gaps in the beverage landscape and open global standard bars in major metro cities and tourist destinations in India. We will work together to grow the ecoSPIRITS footprint in India, moving the Indian spirits market towards a zero net carbon trajectory and helping the country achieve its sustainability goals!
The Trading Tides Gin and Spice Trade Gin are currently available in India in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa and will be launching in Delhi soon. Internationally, the gins have been launched in the UK, Australia, Thailand, Singapore and New Zealand.