IMFL stands for Indian Made Foreign Liquor. In all of India, IMFL is term used for basically all types of hard liquor or spirits that are made within the country. Whether a person works for the government or a private business, any locally manufactured liquor is classified or referred to as IMFL. With its wide use in the government and businesses, the common person also refers to a local hard drink as IMFL.
The term IMFL is used in India to help differentiate hard liquors that are locally manufactured from other types of alcoholic drinks and beverages. In India, there are various other alcoholic drinks that are made from different products unlike IMFL products that all came from molasses. Other known alcoholic products in India include arrack, fenny, and toddy. Fenny is manufactured using either coconut juice or cashew apple juice. It is also exclusively sold in the Goa region. Arrack meanwhile is made in different parts of India and in some parts of South Asia. Depending on the origin, arracks may be made from fruit, sugarcane, or the flowers that come from the coconut tree. In terms of distillation, some arrack manufacturers also prefer the aging process to be done in wooden barrels while others use filtration methods. Toddy on the other hand is made from the sap of several palm trees. All these other alcoholic drinks are sourced from different food items and make them distinct from IMFL products.
All Indian Made Foreign Liquors basically come from molasses distillation. This is also one reason that this type of liquor is different from other foreign-made alcoholic drinks and spirits. Most hard liquors from many parts of the world are a result of distillation using different types of grains. Whether it is an IMFL rum, whisky, or vodka, all these went through a process that started with molasses. So whenever a person is able to buy a product that is labeled IMFL, he/she can be pretty sure that this product came from India and that the main neutral spirit came from molasses and not some type of grain.