Indian-made foreign liquor
Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) is the official term used by governments, businesses and media in India to refer to all types of hard liquor manufactured in the country other than indigenous alcoholic beverages such as fenny, toddy, arrack and others.
IMFL is also referred to spirits that are produced in foreign countries and imported to India in bulk quantities and bottled in an Excise Bonded Warehouse by the Importers.
The alcoholic strength of IMFL generally does not exceed 42.8% alcohol by volume or 37% alcohol by weight. Most common bottles of IMFL are available in sizes of quart (750 ml, 684 g), pint (375 ml, 342 g) and nip (180 ml, 164 g) in cases of 12, 24 and 48 bottles respectively.
A common characteristic of many IMFLs, distinct from spirits elsewhere in the world, is that irrespective of the final product the starting ingredient is a neutral spirit distilled from molasses, a byproduct of the sugar industry. This neutral spirit at 96% alcohol by volume is first reduced to 42.8% using demineralized water, whereupon flavors and other spirits are added. Caramel is added at this stage to impart colour to the spirit. Most commonly, grain or malt-based whisky, which may include imported Irish or Scotch whisky is blended with the spirit. The same applies to other IMFL spirits, like rum or vodka. However, some recent entrants distill spirits per traditional methods even when manufacturing in India.