Cashew Fenny- Dazzling Goa

22 Aug

This post is for educational purposes only. The author in no way condones or recommends the use of this product.

The reason for the forwarning is that I do no like Cashew Fenny nor do I think you will. However the billion plus people of India think otherwise. Well, maybe not billions as this cashew fruit distilled spirit is primarily consumed in Goa, India (population 1.344 million). This particular Fenny is made from the Cashew fruit, though Coconut fenny is also popular in Goa. Fenny (aka Feni- Konkani word for foam), recently received Geographical Indication as the government of Goa pushed strongly for it’s registration in hopes of the “enhancement of market potential”. If you would like to know more about the specifics of the preparation of fenny, see the Wikipedia entry. One interesting note is that liquor produced from cashews is seperated into three grades (Urrac, Cazulo and Feni). Urrac is also known as Arrack, as in the better know Batavia Arrack of Indonesia, which is distilled from sugar cane, red rice, and yeast, not cashews. Cocktail recipes using Feni were few and far between, most involving apple juice, which I didn’t have. I found a recipe for the Dazzling Goa that seemed appropriate to riff on.

The recipe I went with was

1 oz. Cashew Fenny (12 year Malaika)
3/4 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
3/4 oz lemon juice
2 crushed cardamom pods

Shake with ice. Double strain. Garnish w/ cardamom powder.

I wanted to like this, but I cannot get over the strange apple/dirty diaper flavor of the Fenny. Something about the cashew apple flavor is similar to the chemical apple flavoring agents found in Jolly Ranchers or Apple flavored Vodkas combined with a off-note funk (and not the good kind like maraschino or cachaca). Perhaps it’s an acquired taste, and I would be interested if anyone else has had similar or different experiences with Fenny, stateside or otherwise.
For those interested the original recipe was:

55ml cashew feni
juice of 1 lemon
soda chilled
2 cardamon pods
1 clove
a dash of ginger
1 cashew nut for garnishing
Stir all the ingredients in a pitcher and strain and pour into glass. Garnish with a piece of cashew nut.


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