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Mahua Wine: Indian Traditional Alcohol

Why is Mahua protected by Indian Tribal

Mahua is also called Kalpavriksha कल्पवृक्ष in Central India, Mahua flowers carry a promise to fulfill all wishes and desires. Its flowers used widely as a traditional source of distilled liquor. For the tribal heartland of India, this tree is considered sacred and grown in huge orchards. Most tribals take ownership of individual trees. They would keep it clean, free from undergrowth and creepers. Nobody ever plucks the mahua pearls or flowers. They wait for it to ripen on the tree and fall down on its own. Only after that, it is collected. Mahua is strongly linked to the festivities and rituals of tribals across the central India. Hence like their traditions and practices this tree (which is central to tribals) is protected and cherished.

Mahua wine sketch by tribal India
Mahua Alcohol Making Process by Ravi Soni

Where is it Grown in India

Mahua trees are ubiquitous in Central Indian forests. It is found in abundance across Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. This deciduous tree is evergreen, i.e. rarely sheds it foliage. It is a fast-growing tree that grows to approximately 20 meters in height.

Is Mahua Indian Tequila?

Traditionally Mahua wine was distilled. The process of making mahua tequila is very similar to agave (a cactus grown in arid parts of South America). Also like tequila, it has a strong local following, rich culture, history. Because of these similarities, the white spirit of these flowers are compared with tequila. The taste and drinking styles of salt and lime a lot of new generation consume Feni and Mahua as Indian Tequila.

Mahua winemaking is also on the rise and also promoted by the Government of India. The sweet taste and presence of phenolics esp. gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, ascorbic acid, and tannic acids in mahua (Madhuca indica)  wines make them unique flower wines. Its succulent cream-colored corollas fall to the ground in showers during March and April which are collected and dried. These are a rich source of sugars and contain appreciable amounts of vitamins and calcium. However traditional processing of distillation leads to loss of the bulk of its aroma, volatile ingredients, physicochemical and sensory qualities.

mahua wine traditional alcohol

Mahua Wine

Called Kalpavriksha in Central India, Mahua flowers carry a promise to fulfill all wishes and desires. Its flowers used widely as a traditional source of distilled liquor.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
fermentation 7 d
Total Time 7 d 1 hr 10 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bihar, Chattisgargh, Orissa
Servings 4 glasses
Calories 180 kcal

Equipment

  • Cider Equipment Kit

Ingredients
  

  • 5 kg Mahua Flower
  • 1.5 kg Sugar adjust brix to 22
  • 1 gm Campden
  • 5 gm Floral Wine yeast use cider yeast also instead.

Instructions
 

  • Collection of fresh flower pearls (5kgs fresh or 2.5kg dried)
  • Wash them, segregate the diseased/damaged flowers by hand.
    Mahual Flower step by step guide
  • Crushing the fresh flowers. (worm screw type crusher or hydraulic wine press) and dilute them with 5 liters of fruit juice (grape, litchi pairs well but you can experiment) In case of dried Mahua, please chop them into pieces and pour them in the must instead of juicing.
  • Using Campden to treat wild yeast/mold and pectinase and waiting for 24 hours.
  • Adding sugar, yeast, yeast nutrients. Some acid to maintain pH levels is also useful.
  • Stirring the must for 4 days, straining and transferring into secondary with an airlock
  • After a month, use wine stabilizers to stop fermentation and back-sweeten using (5-10% residual sugar levels to get the right balance of floral aromas).

Notes

Mahua wines have a strong fruity note (higher if you have fermented above 25 degrees Celsius) Hence infusing spices can help improve the palatability. Possible spices include Black Cardamom, citrus peels (lime/orange/sweet lime), nutmeg, etc.

Buy Related Products

Video

Mahua Alcoholic Beverage Preparation live from Brewery - A Short Documentary
Keyword mahua wine, Traditional flower wine

Another step by step guide of Mahua wine is below.

Mahua Wine Market in India

13 comments

  1. Can I use Jaggery instead of sugar if yes then how much for 1 kg of dried mahua

    1. yes you can try with jaggery. for 5 liter wine I will use 1kg mahua and 1kg jaggery

  2. can i use mixer to crush the flowers and then pass the flowers through a sieve

    1. Anushka
      Blender breaks the skin and makes the mahua more cloudy. But apart from that you will be fine

  3. can i use a mixer to crush the flowers, and then pass them through a sieve.

  4. is this a legal ?ohky this is homemade .
    what kind of licence or permit license do you required?

  5. Vijaybhai Sanghani

    What is the side effects & disadvantaged of mahuda wine

    1. Its herbal and free from any pesticide. but please check with a botanist before using any flower or wild fruit for fermentation

  6. Can we make the wine from dry flower instead of fresh flower ?

    1. yes brown mahua cake can also be used to make wine all year around.

  7. ปั้มไลค์

    5 stars
    Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post. Really thank you! Keep writing.

  8. Kusum Agarwal

    5 stars
    wow i thought it was only distilled.

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