Vapid, tasteless, uninspiring, Kingfisher beer is all of the above. But even its watered-down taste can’t take away from how good it feels to cool off from the omnipresent and oppressive heat in India with a surreptitious swig of this icy beer.
Because many Hindus and Buddhists abstain from drinking alcohol, beer is often hard to find in India (or very expensive). In some states, there are laws forbidding the sale of alcohol. This does not, however, deter Indians’ capitalist interests. You simply have to ask for an “iced coffee.” In the beach area of Varkala in the south our Kingfisher arrived in a tea pot and in Udaipur we had to hide the bottle under the table to avert the eyes of suspecting authorities.
The old adage “you want what you can’t have” seems to be true. Somehow, drinking a tasteless beer just tastes better when you know you shouldn’t be having it. Nothing like an Indian speakeasy to bring out the flavor in an icy Kingfisher.