A Goan businessman and collector has established a museum dedicated to feni, the strong local drink. The 13,000 square-feet venture by Nandan Kudchadkar is known as 'All About Alcohol', and aims to offer a fresh perspective on the "art of drinking".
The museum is located in the beach village of Candolim. It was inaugurated on 13 August this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It also aims to change how people see the idea of drinking in the region and move it away from the stereotypical depiction of Goans as drunks.
The museum also looks at the history of alcohol itself and how it ties into a broader understanding of Goa's unique culture and past.
'All About Alcohol' offers visitors a look at Goa's history and culture. People can discover how feni is made from fermented cashew apples and the way the brew is transported and consumed.
Visitors can also view thousands of large-bellied glass bottles called garrafÃµes, which are used to hold the drink. At the end of the half-hour tour, people get the chance to sample some feni cocktails, crafted by in-house mixologist Lionel Gomes.
For Kudchadkar, the potent local brew is "the greatest Goan product" and "an ode" to his motherland. While the businessman admits that the taste and scent of feni can be a bit too much for newcomers, he has spent months with Gomes to come up with the perfect cocktail that would ease visitors about the spirit. The cocktail recipes are available to any visitor who wants them.
The museum is not just dedicated to feni, but also features a massive collection of alcohol-related paraphernalia including an antique wooden shot dispenser and a rare crystal beer horn sourced from Russia. Many of these items are part of Kudchadkar's personal collection.
The businessman plans to add five more rooms to the museum in the near future, adding that what was on display was not even a fifth of his expansive collection.