Very soon, you may not have to go to Goa to drink Feni. It may be available in your city's bars too.
The state government now proposes to amend the four decade old Goa Excise Duty Act to ensure Feni is marketed across all states.
Excise Commissioner Menino D’Souza said they are taking all steps to bring Feni in the category of international drinks like tequila and scotch – both of which were once country liquors.
“Feni’s sale is not allowed anywhere in India except in the union territory of Daman, because of its country liquor status. Upgrading it as Goa’s heritage drink will give Feni recognition like other international class drinks. Once the Act is amended, we plan to write to our counterparts so as to begin exporting the product to their States,” he told Herald.
D’Souza says that the state government will move an amendment to the Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964, which will save Feni from being tagged as country liquor and instead would be classified as 'Heritage Spirit.'
"We want to place Feni alongside tequila and scotch, which used to be country liquor once," D'Souza added.
The amendment is likely to be moved during the upcoming monsoon session of the Goa Assembly scheduled for July. The move is expected to open up markets for Feni across the country.
The Feni distilling industry has been demanding the removal of the country liquor tag as the brew has already won the Geographical Indication recognition.
The Excise Department is sketching out a promotional strategy claiming that both – cashew and coconut Feni – have the potential to compete with tequila and scotch. Commissioner D’Souza also plans to publish a coffee table book giving a compilation of the alcoholic spirit’s traditional as well as medicinal values.
“We have to capitalize on the fact that feni is a natural organic, a naturally fermented drink,” he added.
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