According to Google Trends, online searches for "how to make alcohol at home" peaked in India during the week of March 22-28, the same week Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed the nationwide lockdown
As Alchohol prices have skyrocketed due to shut down of all bars and restaurants; Indians have flooded the search engines asking ways to make alcohol at home.
Alcohol prices in the grey market have more than quadrupled and people are taking no break from purchasing those, reports NDTV.
"I paid 700 rupees for a 170 rupees whisky bottle," said a resident of Mumbai who was asked to visit a nearby milk shop in Mumbai at dawn to take delivery clandestinely.
"Many are willing to pay even higher prices for liquor, but can't get any. I was lucky as I at least got some," he added.
According to Google Trends, online searches for "how to make alcohol at home" peaked in India during the week of March 22-28, the same week Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed the nationwide lockdown.
As branded liquor prices have surged, some consumers such as Naresh, from Indore, have been forced to drink homemade drinks, often known as "country liquor".
"Even hooch is so expensive. In normal circumstances I could have bought branded liquor at this price," he said.
More than a dozen consumers spoke to Reuters and said a 180 ml hooch bottle was now selling at over 250 rupees, up from roughly 60 rupees. All declined to be fully identified.
But this homemade technique of making alcohol is taking lives. Two people in Uttar Pradesh died last week after drinking home-brewed liquor, while five others were admitted to hospital in critical condition, police said.
Liquor scarcity has also sparked break-ins at wine shops and fraud, with buyers conned into making online payments for liquor that never arrived, a police official in Pune said.
Local media have reported at least a dozen cases of suicide due to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and at least two northeast states have opted to reopen alcohol stores this week to address consumer demand.
"I feel good that (liquor) shops have opened today. I used to get bored at home as we were only sitting (at home) but now this (liquor) will entertain me," a customer who gave his name as Santosh said in Guwahati, Assam.