An electric blue hand grips the sword. Pointed high in defiance, the clenched fist that cradles its hilt tightens slowly.
It raises higher, cutting the winds as the gales blow by. Above the sword’s glistening point, only one word is painted. Each one of its bold letters stands proud as a tribute to many things, to resilience, strength of spirit, tenacity and the indominable courage that drives Keralan women forward. That word, painted above the blade raised in rebel spirit, is Maharani, Sanskrit for ‘high queen’, and is present on every bottle of Rebel City Distillery’s first official offering, Maharani Gin. The shared passion of two kindred spirits, Maharani Gin is the work of Robert and Bhagya Barrett, the incredible couple at the center of Cork City’s newest distillery.
Located along the banks of Cork’s historic River Lee, Robert Barrett’s gin paradise is the culmination of a life’s work. With a background in all things wine, gin and vodka, Robert has used his wealth of knowledge to create something very close to his heart, with the inspiration for his creation coming from his wife, Bhagya.
Keralan-born with a background in computer engineering, Bhagya met Robert in 2015, sharing an insatiable interest in art and history before tying the knot two years later. During Rebel City’s inception, Robert and Bhagya wanted to pay homage not only to Bhagya’s place of birth and the women who call it home but also to celebrate their love, paying tribute to where they were married. The result was a gin that shows the triumph found in the marriage of cultures, the unbreakable spirit of Keralan women and the fruits of the lands they love so dearly. Its label - a sword pointed toward the sky is derived from Keralan folklore and is inspired by the women who fought for their rights, protesting the abominable breast tax. The bottle’s neck adorned with the word moksha is tribute to Keralan women’s strength of spirit and their tremendous courage. The gin’s unmistakable flavor is the product of where Robert and Bhagya choose to source their botanicals, using the sustainable, organic Keralan Women’s Co-operative to ensure the authentic flavors of Kerala are present in every glass.
Maharani Gin is Rebel City Distillery’s first official offering. It is a marriage of cultures, a celebration of love, and a tribute to incredible women who inspire the founders so profoundly. It is what can happen if we choose to celebrate one another, and today their rebel spirit, grounded in their incredible love is something we need more than ever.