When it comes to Georgian traditional drinks, every single person will name wine or chacha. This is very true, after all, we broke the Guinness World Records for being the oldest winemaking country on Earth. But what if we told you that there are more interesting drinks produced from grapes in Georgia which are not wine or chacha? We got you hooked, right? So keep on reading!

Zigu by Shumi

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Photo Credit: Baia Dzagnidze

Winery Shumi has a very interesting and unique product called Zigu. It is a natural drink that combines at least 400 different grape juice, 10 different wine brandy, chacha and wine itself. The company uses aromatic and rare grapes to create a very aromatic and soft drink. Those grapes are grown in Tsinandali, Kakheti region, in a special vineyard.

Zigu has won Double Gold medal in The CWSA (China Wine & Spirits Awards) in Hong Kong, in September 2017, one of the most prestigious competition in the world. The drink is aged in French oak barrels, is of dark pomegranate color, and has an aroma of almonds and wild berry, notes of coniferous, flower and caramel, with a fine and fresh finish. Zigu is a perfect aperitif and goes well with dessert and as an ingredient for cocktails. It can also be served with ice. 

Honey Spirits by Midamo

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Photo Credit: Baia Dzagnidze

This is not a vodka, it’s a honey distillate made from four different types of honey – May, forest, field, and alpine. All those four honey wines are distilled separately. With 40% alcohol, Midamo should be served just like whiskey and rum, without ice. The drink is distinguished with strong honey aroma, balanced and soft flavor compared to its strength and has a long-lasting flavor. For the proper tasting, take a glass of whiskey or wine, don’t chill the drink, and once you open the bottle leave it for a half minute before pouring in the glass.

Etno – Apple Brandy


Photo Credit: Baia Dzagnidze

Etno is an apple brandy, produced with Calvados production technology. The organic 65-70% alcohol, obtained by double distillation of cider, produced in the village of Manglisi from ecologically pure mountain apples. The alcohol is stored in oak barrels or glass vessels. There are two types of brandy produced: aged brandy from oak barrels and crystal-clear from glass vessel. The brandy samples have successfully passed tests at wine laboratories. The results obtained from analysis confirm the best quality and composition of the product. Bottled by 500 ml. Alcohol level 40%.

According to the high alcoholic drink enthusiasts, it is better to drink Calvados warm, before or after dinner. In Europe and France, it is consumed without ice along with cheese, croissant, fruits, chocolate, or coffee. 

Prince Alexander Quince Spirit by Tsinandali Estate


Photo Credit: Baia Dzagnidze

Quince Spirit is a recent addition to Tsinandali Estate historical wine and chacha labels. This pure fruit distillate is made from the hand-picked fruit of strong aromas. A special machinery was designed by Barison, an Italian family-owned producer of distilling machinery. Therefore, the first distilling of the drink was made by Mr. Barison himself. With 42% alcohol, the drink has an exceptional aroma, gentle and soft palate with long, fresh quince aftertaste.

Honey Brandy by Tedo’s Marani

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Photo Source: Chacha Corner

The origin of this Honey Brandy is connected with Tedo Gzirishvili’s ancestor, who used to be a famous beekeeper and joiner. He used to make a harmoniously balanced honey distillate and kept it a barrel he made himself by combining oak, mulberry, and other three trees. The whole technology of barrel and honey distillate making was passed from generation to generation, but unfortunately, since the middle of the 20th century, his descendants couldn’t prolong the tradition.  A century has passed and Tedo managed to revive the tradition and produce the spirit with the same technology his ancestor used.

This honey brandy is made from field flower honey aged in an oak barrel with balanced honey and oak aromas and taste. In addition to this, Tedo’s Marani revived an old recipe of chacha brandy. Compared to the original cognac made from grapes, this one is made from chacha –  the pomace.

Mulberry and Melon Spirit by Iases Marani


Photo Credit: Baia Dzagnidze

Another unique spirits produced in Georgia is mulberry and melon high alcoholic drinks by “Iases Marani”.  According to the representatives, the family always had mulberry spirit for their own consumption, but after creating the brand, they decided to bottle it and sell to different venues. Melon spirit is a very recent addition to their fruit spirits. The decision came from the fact that there is no such drink anymore in Georgia. The process of making the melon spirit is a bit different compared to other fruit spirits and results in low alcoholic beverage if done with a typical chacha-making method.

Both mulberry and melon are distilled at 60% alcohol but lowered to 40% to make it richer in aromas and soft to drink. In addition, the company has other fruit spirits including peach, nectarine, plums, and apricot. It should be noted that those spirits are kept in a family-owned small qvevri jars specifically for chacha.

Shkhivana by Fredericus Secundus

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Photo Credit: Baia Dzagnidze

Georgian Gin named Shkhivana has a quite interesting story to tell. Joachim Tränkle, the producer of Gin, was invited in the village of Shkhivana in Racha region of Georgia. While having a nice walk in the forest, he noticed a special plant – juniper that is usually used to make gin. When he asked what they use this plant for, the locals answer that it’s a wild pant with no usage in anything. He then collected the plant and brought back to the company in order to distill Georgia’s very first gin.

The drink produced in small batches by Fredericus Secundus brand and is characterized with juniper and lemongrass aroma, while the alcohol (45%) is made from grapes. It’s dry with a taste of juniper, citrus, pepper, and a grapefruit.

Where to try and buy this drinks?

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Photo Source: Chacha Corner Facebook Page

Chacha Corner on #11 Giga Lortkipanidze Street in Sololaki district is one of its kind chacha shop in town featuring around 250 different beverages. Vato Botsvadze, the owner, has been thinking of opening a shop years ago, but as he says, there were fewer family-run wineries or companies that concentrated on bottling chacha. Therefore, once such companies started to emerge in Tbilisi, he saw the opportunity to open a craft beverage shop in the heart of the capital.

Usually, the companies that make chacha are producers of wine, therefore, this strong beverage is always on the second place for them. Botsvadze focused on finding those enterprises who primarily concentrate on chaha or any other high alcoholic drinks. However, the search and displaying those drinks was not an easy task. Most of the enterprises that work on producing high alcoholic beverages besides wine or chacha, work on export markets rather than local. However, after the negotiations and regulating the re-export procedures, Botsvadze got a wide variety of assortment in his shop. To this date, the store has the largest choice in the country, as it has exclusive distribution of many brands.

Here, you’ll find drinks that are not sold in your ordinary supermarket or grocery shop. For instance  Armazi Distillery, who was the first ever company that concentrated on chacha making only; or the very first chacha from Usakhelauri grapes (a mountainous grape grown in Lechkhumi, it is scarce and comes in low quantities) in Georgia’s history made by Ana’s VineyardsAnd if you feel undecided about which to buy, there are six different tasting packages at Chacha Corner with five different drinks in each package. Along with the degustation, you’ll learn about the drink’s history and production technique. And if you are a beginner in the chacha game, Botsvadze will be delighted to recommend the chacha that will please you the most based on your actual alcohol taste.