Mahua, Madhuca longifolia grows primarily in the Indian subcontinent, in tropical mixed deciduous forest lands. These flowers are important sources of livelihood, food and drink, of tribal groups like the Gond, Santhal and Bhils etc. For centuries, Central Indian tribes have been collecting and storing Mahua flowers, and consuming single distilled Mahua spirit made from the flowers in traditional clay, wood-fired pot stills. Mahua spirit is the drink of choice for tribal get-togethers, weddings, births and deaths, and other festive occasions. There are scores of tribal folktales, folksongs, and artwork involving animals, birds, deities and demons, all featuring Mahua as a key plot element.
In this presentation, innovative ‘Desmondji’ representatives will discuss about possibility of Mahua as a major Indian Heritage alcohol, their efforts of policy changes and enabling GI and the benefits and the advantages of the people concerned. This is the first time since the suppression of indigenous alcohols and relegation to the lowly ‘Country’ status, that Mahua has had a chance to attain international respectability. They have released ‘forest-to-bottle’ Mahua spirit and liqueur and helped write the internationally inspired pot still standards in the 2018 notified FSSAI alcohol standards of India.
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