Did you know there is such a thing as a cashew fruit? Neither did we, but it has recently come to our attention that people are using the plant to produce a fragrant type of hand crafted alcohol: Feni. Apparently, the native people of Goa, India have been making liquor out of cashew fruit for the past 400 years, establishing the brandy-like booze as the country’s national alcoholic beverage. With that, founders (and local Chicagoans) BJ and Drew decided that it was time Feni arrived in the states, giving all of us the chance to taste the “Spirit of India.”
Having flavors similar to brandy, Feni is distilled 3 times from organic cashew fruit juice. Seeing as the fruit only grows in very warm climates, every ingredient used in the spirit is naturally imported straight from India. These little bursts of flavor fall from their trees only two months out of the whole year, so if everyone loves Feni just as much as we did, we’ll have to wait months before we can befriend a fresh batch (so make sure to get your bottle ASAP!). Feni’s packaging has a very vintage, ethnic appearance, almost as if the bottle was hidden for years deep within the Taj Mahal. When we finally tasted it, we experienced some sweet berry notes as well as a tad of spice, which was just enough to give us (and our cocktails) a little kick.
If you’re not brave enough to sip on this flavorful spirit straight up, we recommend whipping out the margarita mix, muddling some fresh ginger and lime, and topping off with a splash of Feni. And voila! You’ve got yourself a tropical and traditionally Indian cocktail to consume. To make things even better, Feni has 5 times more Vitamin C than an orange, so you’ll always have a pretty decent excuse to bust open a bottle (or 2).