Kerala State Beverages Corporation keen to sweeten things up

With the government giving the go-ahead for foreign-made foreign liquor (FMFL), tipplers could also be in for some variety soon.

Published: 30th March 2018 01:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2018 02:27 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose. (Express File Photo)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the government giving the go-ahead for foreign-made foreign liquor (FMFL), tipplers could also be in for some variety soon.

While nothing has been finalised yet, the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) is looking to add to the array of the drinks that are sold. If things pan out, then ‘liqueurs’ - sweet alcoholic drinks with flavours extracted from herbs, nuts, fruits or spices - could find their way into the Kerala market. Known as ‘cordials’ once, liqueurs had medicinal uses in the past and their alcohol content can range from 15 to 55 per cent.

Bevco currently sells only ‘liquors’; rum, brandy, gin, vodka and whisky, plus beer and wine.
In recent years, tippler tastes in Kerala have undergone spirited changes. Brandy, for instance, has pipped rum as the favourite Indian Made Foreign Liquor, and gin’s popularity has hit rock-bottom, courtesy the entry of fruit-flavoured vodka. Connoisseurs clearly distinguish between ‘liquors’ and ‘liqueurs’ - the latter is sweet and syrupy unlike the former - but liquors do serve as the base for liqueurs.

‘’We are indeed looking at other drinks. There is a suggestion that we should include liqueurs. But we have not taken a final decision on it. We have to study the bids and the technical committee has to take the decision,’’ Bevco managing director H Venkatesh said.

Bevco had invited bids for the supply of FMFL from April 1 this year to March 31, 2019, but has extended the deadline up to April 10. Though Bevco had set March 22 as the last date for submitting applications, technical glitches forced Bevco to extend the deadline. For one, the Finance Bill was passed only recently and certain amendments have to be made to the Kerala Abkari Act to include provisions for selling FMFL.

‘’We want to sell FMFL from the same shops that we have now, not from new ones. Also, FMFL comes in different pack sizes. So some changes must be made to the Act,’’ Venkatesh said.


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