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China, India turn tipplers

March 31, 2011

China and India have taken to sipping a new brew, according to the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA), top whisky groups such as Johnnie Walker, J&B maker Diageo, Pernod Ricard with Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s have reported the value of exports to Russia rose 61 percent, to India 46 percent and to China 24 percent in 2010. Global exports which account for just over 90 percent of production, increased for the sixth consecutive year in value terms, rising 10 percent to £3.45-billion, but volumes dipped 2 percent to the equivalent of 1.06 billion standard bottles of scotch in 2010.

Exports rose in China by 24 percent to UK£55 million and was India, up 46 percent to UK£41 million. China and India also showed their preference for single malts as compared to blended whiskey’s.

Consumed more at social events, in China and India, both country’s have a growing drinking population. While India has traditionally been a non-alcoholic nation, China is famed for its rice wine colloquially called Baijiu or white rice wine. The consumption of alcohol across both nations has been rising significantly over the past few years. While many aren’t professional sommeliers in China often mixing whiskey with cola’s or green tea to sweeten the concoction and make it more familiar for the palate, Indian’s tend to stick to their local brews – kingfisher in beer, Sula for wine and old monk for rum. Foreign branded alcohol is served as a social status symbol during meetings, conferences and gatherings, across China and India.

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