Crazy Gin is a gin based on the traditional Indian lassi, made by a couple of British Indians with a mad hankering to develop a spirit that celebrated their dual identity. The result? The world’s first clear lassi gin and one of the exciting expressions we’ve come across in years.
We first came across Crazy Gin at a drinks trade event in 2017 when we were wondering through the maze of spirits, trying to ascertain our inebriation levels so that we could calculate how many new brands to try before taking ourselves home. We were initially struck by the branding – something nowadays synonymous with Hipster culture but which we still tend to link to Uncles proudly grooming their moustaches in the Sri Lankan heat. We soon found out that this dual perspective was exactly what this unusual gin was about. Since then, we have followed this brand’s incredible journey and their continued creation of some of the finest gin out there.
“Have you ever had a drunk Friday night? One that involves all sorts of wild and crazy ideas? We certainly have and that’s how Crazy Gin came about” states Crazy Singh, co-founder of the equally barmy gin.
Like many first generation British Indians, the Crazy Singh’s upbringing saw a fusion of cultures and identity. Whilst this may not have always been harmonious, the kitchen was a space where they could come together with excitement, experimentation and (sometimes bizarre) congruity. Tarka baked beans for breakfast or spam sabji for dinner were never far off the menu in his house (contact him for the recipe if you’re keen). However, when it came to drinks, he was unable to find one that matched the that delightful mismatch of the food. So, he decided to create one for himself.
Somewhat unsurprisingly to anyone with an Asian mother, the idea to quit his job to start making a new gin that combined Indian heritage with a British upbringing was labelled “Paagal” (the Punjabi word for “crazy”) by Crazy Singh’s mum, amongst some other not so polite words. Fortunately for us, however he and his wife (Crazy Kaur) persisted, proudly wearing their alleged craziness on their sleeves, creating the world’s first clear lassi gin – Crazy Gin.
How is it made?
The spices (turmeric, black pepper, coriander seeds, black cumin, dried pomegranate seeds) are individually macerated in 40% ABV base spirit for 48 hours at room temperature, with seeds blitzed to increase surface area and impart greater flavour. These are then filtered out and the liquids individually distilled in a rotary evaporator. Yoghurt (the lassi part) and juniper don’t need to be steeped and are put separately into rot evap filling flasks and distilled. Alcohol levels of all liquids are then brought down to 45% ABV, blended and stored.
Next, for a ghee fat-wash to create a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, recalling lassi. This is done by heating the pure ghee until it is clear, adding an equal amount of gin liquid, then freezing the mixture. This is then poured through filters to leave behind a beautifully clear, ghee-washed lassi gin. From there, the liquid is left to rest for 24-hours before being bottled, hand wax sealed and labelled.
Vacuum-distilled and fat-washed in this way to enhance the flavours of the fruit lassi and fragrant spices of classic gin botanicals, the unusual gin combines traditional lassi (a traditional and delicious Punjabi drink drunk by Crazy Singh’s forefathers) and quintessentially British gin (drunk by, well, him). Delicately spiced with British and Indian flavours, this is a supremely versatile gin that works in as many ways as your mind can, bringing the best of both worlds together and is crafted by and for those seeking something different.
Tasting Notes: Crazy Gin
Earthy turmeric and coriander find themselves in the company of juniper, coming together to create an intriguingly aromatic bouquet that is instantly gastronomic.
Surprisingly refreshing and zesty with pomegranate entering stage right. Cumin and black pepper kick up the spice, followed by coriander and the ever-present juniper. The spices are held in check by a gentle sweetness, finishing off on the palate with gorgeous, long-lasting creaminess and full mouthfeel. Incredible.
Any way your heart desires. This is an incredibly characterful and versatile gin (not usually things that go together). Try it in your favourite cocktail, in a G&T or in something entirely new! Go on, go crazy! If you need any ideas, have a read of our Stepney Summer Spirits & Beer Club event review, which saw us make our own Crazy Gin Cocktails.
A new favourite of ours is the Crazy Gibson Martini.
Crazy Gibson Martini
60ml Crazy Gin
20ml Dry Vermouth
Stir ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a pickled onion.
£39.95. Buy it here on Master of Malt.