Thursday, December 17, 2015

Jaan Paan Liqueur: Drink Jaan. Love Life.

By Catherine L Luke

There is a word in the Hindi language that means life and love.  It is a term of endearment- a unisex expression of warmth and good feelings.  The word is jaan.  A tangible equivalent of jaan’s warmth and friendship is paan.  Paan is derived from the betel leaf, plucked from vines in South and Southeast Asia.  Combined with various spices such as cardamom, anise, clove, coconut, and candied rose petals, it is a very popular type of snack that is meant to be chewed; think of it as an ancient form of chewing gum.  Herbal and peppery, it offers a great spectrum of flavor.  Paan has been enjoyed in South and Southeast Asia for over 4,000 years.  In many cultures, offering paan is symbolic of love, respect, and friendship.

A completely unique product that embodies these sentiments has entered the spirits scene: Jaan Paan Liqueur.  Merging the ancient and traditional flavors of the East with more modern, upfront flavors of the West such as maple, vanilla, cardamom, and citrus, Jaan Paan Liqueur offers something for everyone. 

Toronto-based Raj Djanhal is the creator of Jaan Paan Liqueur.  A Project Management Consultant with a passion for being original and creative, Dhanjal had long been drawn to culinary ingenuity in cooking, fermenting, distilling, and mixology. 

The inspiration for Jaan Paan was born from a paan liqueur that was on the market several years ago.  It was a roughly executed product that didn’t have staying power in the international market as its flavors were too harsh.  That liqueur is no longer available, but it served as a muse.

Djanhal began to create his own paan liqueur at home.  It worked wonderfully, but was a kitchen recipe tested only on family and friends.  Seeing the overwhelming praise from this original test market, Dhanjal took things to the next level by working with a local food technology company to develop a scalable commercial product.  His product found success, delightfully delivering the experience of paan in a versatile style.  Djanhal says that when you add Jaan Paan to cocktails and food, you are adding life to the flavors and revitalizing them to create a whole new experience.  Relatable yet exotic, the mystique is in the explosion of flavors in your mouth.

The process of what we find in the bottle was several years in the making, including much R&D, market research, and focus group studies.  Though, Djanhal points out that considering the historical roots of the core ingredient, you could say it was 4,000 years in the making.  Jaan Paan has not only been very well received in the Canadian market, but has been widely sought and lovingly shipped to international admirers.

Since its launch, Jaan Paan Liqueur has also received numerous accolades from mixologists, celebrity chefs, and industry aficionados.  It has won top awards in spirit competitions around the world.  In addition, Jaan recently launched two new products: Jaan Ginger Liqueur and Jaan Spiced Vodka.  More exciting products are in the works for 2016.

As of very recently, and just in time to gift to loved ones, we are lucky enough to have Jaan Paan Liqueur readily available in the States.

Visit www.DrinkJaan.com for more product information and recipes.

Drink Jaan, Love Life!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Catherine lives in Brooklyn, and has worked in the wine industry in Napa Valley and NYC. She is certified by the WSET, as well as the school of "wine in real life".  Understanding the patchwork of little-known Italian regional wines, dishes, and customs excites her most of all. She (sometimes) muses on her blog GrapesofCath.

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