Whisky Out Of The Box: Using Art As A Lens For The Spirit

India has long been known for its vibrant and diverse food culture, with cuisine that spans a range of flavours, ingredients, and cooking techniques. And now, in recent years, the country's food and beverage industry has been evolving in exciting new ways, with a growing focus on experimentation, innovation, and pushing boundaries.

Eating or drinking is more than an act of consumption, it’s a sensory experience. We know that 70% of how we perceive flavour comes from the aroma, but what about the other senses, what happens when you engage people on a wider spectrum? That’s the question being posed by Dewar’s Stay Curious HQ at HG Street by Homegrown which is using the backdrop of whisky to build unique immersive popup audio-visual and tech experiences with visual artists and futurists.

The evolving approach to how F&B brands are connecting with their audiences is showcased in the emerging trend of exploring whisky through the lens of art. Whisky has long been a favourite spirit in India, with a rich history dating back to the days of the British Raj. But while the Indian whisky industry has traditionally focused on producing mass-market brands that appeal to a broad consumer base, a new wave of distillers and entrepreneurs are now exploring more unconventional and artistic ways of experiencing this beloved spirit.

The idea of combining whisky and art is not new, of course. For decades, whisky makers have used art and design to create distinctive branding and packaging for their products, with some of the world's most famous and respected artists collaborating with top distillers to create limited-edition bottles and collections.

But what's different about this new approach to whisky and art in India is that it goes beyond just the packaging and marketing. It's about creating a more immersive and experiential connection between whisky and the arts, allowing consumers to explore the spirit in a deeper, more meaningful way.

This new approach to whisky and art is not only exciting from a creative and cultural standpoint, but it also reflects a larger trend in the food and beverage industry toward more experiential and immersive consumption. Consumers today are looking for more than just a tasty meal or a refreshing drink; they want to be engaged, entertained, and inspired. 

We caught up with some of the minds behind Dewar’s Stay Curious HQ at HG Street to find out more about the experience they’re building and what people can expect to see during this festival on the 18th and 19th of March.

What’s the idea behind the project?

Varun Patra: What we’re trying to put together is the new expression of creative India. The medium is multi-faceted with people in film, music, fashion, tech, art and of course food and drinks. We’re in the midst of a revolution where people are showcasing their craft and bringing it alive. The Dewar’s Stay Curious HQ is centred around the new whisky line but is also building a platform which gives people a chance to experience it in a new way beyond your regular festival experience. 

It’s an immersive box where you step inside and every 10 minutes you get to experience a unique immersive art project by our visual artists and futurists. 

There also want people to be open to new experiences and flavours and how we’re doing that. In association with some of the city’s leading bars, we’re crafting a unique ordering experience where we will give people a set of ingredients and everyone will receive a unique cocktail based on those ingredients.

Antariksha Studio


What To Expect

Antariksha Studio has been working on the topic of IndoFuturism since 2013 with our video game titled ‘Antara’ in the works currently. As forerunners in the discourse, our inspiration for the immersive film is to present our reflections as an abstract, cinematic Journey through the process of creating these worlds.

A Word From The Artists

Our immersive film concept revolves around our reflections as practitioners/creators of two ongoing IndoFuturist works - one, a video game titled ‘Antara’ and the other a XR performance titled ‘Elsewhere in India’.

We present our journey in the use of game engines such as Unreal Engine to create bridges between multicultural heritage and new media practices. Our ongoing video game ‘Antara’ is in its 10th year of existence as an ambitious Indie video game adventure, and we felt our immersive film at the festival could pics together an abstract and cinematic tapestry of our work.

Bigfat x Myles 

Project Name: Overture

What To Expect

Designed by Aniruddh Mehta and Aaron Myles Pereira, this 14-minute piece combines flashing lights, geometric shapes, organic topologies & textures to create an ever-evolving visual landscape. The visuals are accompanied by an original soundtrack that adds depth and emotional resonance.

A Word From The Artists

Overture was conceived with a motive to inspire awe. We set out to create a cinematic audio-visual piece with an intently loose narrative that allowed people to engage with it on a deeper level if they choose to. At the same time, we wanted to create striking visuals that can be experienced in synchronicity with the music. We often see visuals accompanied by a DJ/Musician at clubs, but very rarely do we get to isolate the two - we like the idea of that - to be in a room and experience the piece in an isolated environment. There’s a certain connection it invokes within the viewer that feels more personal.


Project Name: Arrival

What To Expect

“Arrival” by OtherSoul.io (Akanksha Jain and Rohan Chauhan) is an audio-visual piece of art inspired by sci-fi fantasy. We love creating together, a layered cinematic spectacle that speaks to our interest in the field of futuristic fashion and electronic music.

A Word From The Artists

Through OtherSoul.io we create moments of suspended reality where surrealist representation can feel real enough like a very vivid dream. As artists, we would want that the viewers are able to associate with the topics of identities, feelings and environments through their personal experiences.

As the Indian food and beverage industry continues to evolve and innovate, we can expect to see more experimentation and exploration in this area. Whether it's through custom blends, immersive installations, or other artistic collaborations, the future of whisky in India is sure to be a fascinating journey of creativity and inspiration.