Mahua, a pot-distilled liquor made from the dried flowers of the mahua tree, has been excluded from India’s mainstream alcohol industry for years thanks to colonial-era restrictions. But while the spirit’s banned in some states and heavily regulated in others, it remains important to tribal communities, which have carried on making mahua at home. Now, OZY reports, advocates for indigenous drinks are fighting for its production, arguing it’s “deeply connected to Indian heritage.”
When will mahua appear in Indians’ liquor cabinets? It could take time: Distillers are also fighting against a long-standing perception that mahua is a “country” drink.