Fenny is an Indian liquor made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple. Fenny (also feni) originated in Goa, and the Goan fenny is generally considered superior. The popular brands of fenny are 'Cashyo' (the makers of which spell it feni), 'Reals' (pronounced as Reaals), and 'Big Boss'. As of April 2008, Goa is trying to register for a geographical indicator that would allow it to claim the sole right to term drink created in the region as fenny or 'Goan Cashew Feni'.
Types of fenny
- Coconut fenny - This type of fenny is made from coconut.
- Cashew fenny - This fenny is made from the cashew, is also called Kaju fenny.
PreparationIn the traditional method of making cashew fenny, the cashew apples are manually crushed in a rock on the hill which is carved or shaped like a basin with an outlet for the juice, called a coimbi. The juice is collected in a huge earthen pot called a Kodem, which is buried in the ground. The juice is then distilled in earthen or copper pots.
When the cashew apples are crushed, the pulp is arranged in the shape of a cake in the coimbi and tied with a string. A huge boulder is then placed on top of it. The final quota of juice which trickles out in a clean form is called Neero. Many people like to drink Neero since it helps bowel movement and provides relief from constipation.
The traditional method of distilling cashew fenny takes place on the hill. The cashew juice is put in a big pot called a Bhann. The Bhann serves as a closed boiler. It is connected to a smaller pot called Launni by means of a conduit. The Launni serves as a receiver or collector.
The juice in the big pot is then boiled by burning firewood under it. As the process of vaporisation and distillation goes on and the concentrated liquid collects in the smaller pot, the pressure in the receiver is kept in check by pouring cold water on it, typically with a wooden ladle. The first stage of processing may be done on big fire but the later stage of distillation has to be done on slow fire to keep the pressure and heat under control. The process of distilling fenny with such apparatus takes about 8 hours and is locally called Bhatti.
It is possible tell from a distance that fenny is being distilled since the surrounding area is filled with its aroma.
The liquor produced from cashew is of three grades: Urrac, Cazulo and Feni. The Urrac is the product of first distillation. It is light and can be consumed neat. Its strength ranges between 14 and 16 grao. However, when consumed in excess, Urrac intoxicates the mind like any other hard liquor. The Urrac is often consumed with orange or lemon.
The Cazulo is the product of second distillation. It is moderately strong. The Cazulo can be consumed either neat or in a diluted form depending upon the constitution of the drinker. It is no longer seen on the market today.
Fenny is the product of the third distillation. Its strength ranges between 20 and 24 grao. It has a long shelf life. Now that the Cazulo is not made, fenny is produced after the second distillation itself. The second or third-hand fenny is a product par excellence.
ContentHigh-grade fenny is 42% alcohol by volume. There are known to exist around 4,000 such traditional mini-distilleries or stills in Goa that manufacture cashew fenny and about 2,200 manufacturing coconut fenny. About 75% of stills making cashew fenny are in north Goa while the rest are in south Goa. Of the stills making coconut fenny, south Goa has about 65% of them while the rest are in north Goa. This is an indication that north Goa abounds in cashew trees while south Goa has more coconut trees.
Fenny is often used in cocktails. Three common mixers are Coca cola, tonic water and lemonade, but it can also be enjoyed on its own (the smell and taste is similar to thinner), on the rocks, or with a slice of lime.
- Fenny is classified as a 'country liquor', and therefore not sold outside the State of Goa.
- About 0.88 million bottled litres (BL) of cashew Feni were brewed in 2004-05.
- The bulk of the fenny produced is sold unlabeled to retailers and home consumers. Some of it is also purchased by bottlers, who have developed their own brands.
- In Goa, the sub-district (taluka) of Sattari is the 'Fenny capital' of the region. It tops in the number of cashew stills and also the area under cashew, according to the Baseline Survey of the Feni Industry (by Pranab Mukhopadhyay, Santosh Maurya and Suryabhan Mourya, Goa, April 2008).
- One of the most well-known brands of fenny is Superking.
See also: List of Indian drinks
fenny in Spanish: Fenny