Spirited Cuisines: Suryaveer Singh

Rare Scotch by the oldest distillery in Scotland, the hottest Craft Gin and Beer, or the rare vintages of the Grand Cru wines – the world of luxury spirits and wines is indeed an exhilarating one. From aristocratic royalty to new money, elaborate alcoholic beverages have always been synonymous with wealth, status and eccentricity.

Thanks to an increase in wealth, independence and empowerment, now even the Modern-She is turning her eye to luxury products and services that were historically a ‘male territory.’ As a result, many brands are seeking to specifically appeal to the rising affluent female consumer.

Hence, it is no surprise that all the luxury spirits (whether it is the rapper-endorsed beverage or the undeniable classics) are getting more and more extravagant with highly detailed packaging designs, rich histories and even extremely expensive price tags.

Coming from a city where food is a religion, it is only imperative for its drinkers to team it correctly with their finest choice of elixir. In order to understand this culture better, we caught up with some connoisseurs from the city, to get an insight on their favourite alcohol, and their recommended pairings.

Suryaveer Singh, Executive Director, Trance Hotels and Resorts (also a certified wine sommelier and educator)

What are your thoughts on change in demand of luxury spirits in Hyderabad? 

Hyderabad is a changing entity; currently the city is rediscovering itself and its preferences. There is most definitely a large scope of demand in the luxury spirits industry especially for whiskey. With median incomes growing, tastes buds are elevating. Lately we are hearing from Hyderabadis that they will “only drink Greygoose” or “nothing but a Single malt”, since they also dread the nasty hangover which comes with entry level spirits. In fact they have become so specific about what they want that if their specific brand is not available then they’d rather not consume any alcohol at all.

Your recommendation on pairing some luxury spirits…

  • The Gin Monkey 47 goes beautifully with citrus Mahi Mahi fish in Caper sauce
  • Laphroaig single malt whisky with a Cheese platter
  • 18 year old Macallan scotch with dark chocolate soufflé
  • Grey goose L’Orange with Grilled chicken breast and Peri Peri sauce
  • Kubota Daiginjo Sake with Salmon Nigiri sushi

Some basic tips while pairing?

Make sure that the food flavour doesn’t overpower your spirit and vice-versa. Both should work in tandem and complement each other. It is usually a safe bet to pair cuisine from the same country as origin or the spirit. Sweet flavours break down spicy food.

How are people’s palates changing with time?

There most definitely is an urge in the city to broaden their beverage preferences, and with incomes growing, there is an untapped market for luxury spirits. I would give it not more than a year or two for Hyderabad to shift its preference from Beer to luxury spirits.