Desi daru

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Desi Daaru
देसी दारू
Desi daru with Orange flavor
Typedistilled spirit
Country of origin India
Alcohol by volume 28.5%–42.5%
Proof (US)50°
ColourWhite and Brown

Desi Daaru (Hindi: देसी दारू), also known as Country Liquor or Indian-made Indian liquor (IMIL), is a category of liquor made in the countryside of the Indian subcontinent. They are traditionally prepared by a procedure that has been passed down for centuries. Due to cheap prices, country liquor is the most popular alcoholic beverage among the impoverished people. It is fermented and distilled from molasses, a by product of sugarcane.[1][2][3] Desi liquor is a broad term and it can include both legally and illegally made local alcohol. The term desi daru usually refers to legal alcohol while other types of country liquor (arrack and palm toddy) may be categorised as moonshine alcohol.[4]


The term desi, from Hindi language term desh (country or region), which is generally an endonym for the compatriot or local is often applied to food or drink that is considered traditional or native. Dārū (Hindi दारू and Urdu دارو) is a Persian-derived term used for any alcoholic beverage in India. Śarāb (Hindi शराब and Urdu شراب) is another Persian-derived equivalent and is used in some areas with less frequency.[5]


Una Brand Desi daru
Una Brand Desi daru

An article in the medical journal The Lancet estimated that nearly two-thirds of the alcohol consumed in India is country liquor.[citation needed] Globus spirits mentioned that India's country liquor market is about 242 million cases (over 30% of the beverage industry in India) with a growth rate of about 7% per annum.[6] No data regarding Pakistan is available as drinking alcohol is officially prohibited for Muslims in Pakistan, although locally made liquor is sold on the black market.[7][8]

Government regulation provide for a separate licensing for production, distribution and retailing of country liquor (IMIL) as opposed to Indian-made foreign liquor.

Social issues[edit]

Country liquor, being the cheapest alcohol in India, is the mainstay alcoholic beverage for the rural population and urban poor. In rural areas, illicit country liquor has been blamed for domestic violence and poverty in the family. There have been several protests against country liquor shops/bars in villages.[9][10][11]


As country liquor is cheaper than other spirits, there have been reports of mixing country liquor with Scotch/English whisky in many bars in India.[12]

If care is not taken in the distillation process and the proper equipment is not used, harmful impurities such as fusel alcohols, lead from plumbing solder, and methanol can be concentrated to toxic levels. Several deaths have been reported in India and Pakistan due to consumption of non-factory made toxic liquor.[13][14][7]

In popular culture[edit]

There are several references of desi daru in Bollywood films, songs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bhaichand Patel (19 October 2009). Happy Hours: The Penguin Book of Cocktails. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 206 ff. ISBN 978-81-8475-162-8.
  2. ^ David Shaftel (2011-11-23). "Boom time for country liquor". Livemint. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  3. ^ Ratna Bhushan & Boby Kurian (2008-01-22). "Manufacturing norms for country liquor on anvil". Times of India. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  4. ^ "Desi daroo - definition of Desi daroo". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  5. ^ Carlos E. Cortés (3 September 2013). Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia. SAGE Publications. pp. 1162–. ISBN 978-1-4522-7626-7.
  6. ^ "Indian Made Indian Liquor (IMIL)" (PDF). Globus Spirits. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  7. ^ a b Craig, Tim (2014-10-08). "In dry Pakistan, deaths from toxic liquor continue". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  8. ^ "Pakistan battles growing alcohol addiction". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  9. ^ "Women vandalize country liquor shop". The Times of India. 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  10. ^ "Women protest against sale of illicit liquor". The Times of India. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  11. ^ "Women protest against liquor shop". The Hindu. 2015-03-09. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  12. ^ "Pay for Scotch drink Illicit Desi daru - News". Mid-day. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  13. ^ "86 Deaths Blamed on Toxic Indian Moonshine". Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  14. ^ "42 People In India Have Died After Drinking Toxic Alcohol". BuzzFeed. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  15. ^ "COCKTAIL song: Daru Desi - Bollywood News & Gossip, Movie Reviews, Trailers & Videos at". 2012-06-02. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  16. ^ "Top 10 Drunken Numbers of Bollywood - Top 10 - Hindi - Entertainment". The Times of India. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  17. ^ "Char Baj Gaye Song Lyrics of F.A.L.T.U". Archived from the original on 2018-09-07. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  18. ^ "Rahman and Ranbir rock it, but imtiaz disappoints". The Telegraph. Kolkata. 2011-11-12. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  19. ^ "Ranbir Kapoor talks about the music of Rockstar | Latest bollywood Hindi Movie Features". Bollywood Hungama. 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  20. ^ "Main Aur Mr. Riight / A tad too cheesy!". The Indian Express. 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  21. ^ "Teaser for Desi Daru song from Main Aur Mr Riight is out now | Indiablooms - First Portal on Digital News Management". Indiablooms. Retrieved 2015-09-22.

External links[edit]