Saying Goodbye to the OLD MONK – OR NOT!!

A true story or just another desperate attempt by the PR team?

It may soon go of the shelves of liquor stores – is what we have been told. One wonders if this is it or just another desperate attempt to review the brand. Nevertheless, before it does we take you through the history of the Old Monk.

Old Monk is one of the oldest and best selling rum all over the world. It’s history began in 1855 since the producer Mohan Meakin Ltd. by Edward Dyer established its brewery, at Kasauli in the Himalayan Mountains. Old Monk has tasting notes of banana, with an alcohol content of 42.8%. It’s taste is smooth, the fragrance is caramel – and the consistence is fine chocolate alike, it is suitable to enjoy as a long drink as well as a shot and this ripe profile may explain why it pairs so well with cola (Thumps Up mostly).


So what went wrong!

The easing of import restrictions offered a chance for other players to enter the Indian market. Rum from other countries started appearing in Liquor shops. The most prominent and biggest of them all was the Bacardi brand. Today Barcadi is distilling and bottling it in India itself, in Karnataka. Old monk comes only as a Dark Rum, however Bacardi offered us choices.

This is where Bacardi had an advantage. There were few bars around in the days when the sales of Old Monk were at their peak. Men bought a bottle, took it home, mixed it with coke or soda, added some ice and drank it before the food was on the table. Women never touched the stuff, if they drank at all.

Now women go to restaurants, bars or clubs in the company of men or with their women friends. They order wine or cocktails. Mojito, a white rum cocktail, became a very popular drink among women as well as men. There were other cocktails like daiquiri and pina colada that required white rum. Old Monk and other dark rums became passe as they were no good for cocktails. Dark rums were something parents drank at home watching television. Not cool.

Here are 5 old rum mixes to try out before its too late. Die-hard Old Monk drinkers will swear by the spirit sipped neat, with a few ice cubes and a dash of water or soda, or topped with a bit of cola and a twist of lime.  

1. Desi Rum Punch

Dark rum: 45 ml

A pinch of chaat masala

A pinch of black salt

Pineapple juice: 90 ml

Fresh lime juice: 10 ml

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve, over ice, in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and an oblong, slit green chili.

2. Muddled Monk

Dark rum: 45 ml

Orange liqueur: 15 ml

Fresh sweet lime: 6 wedges

Fresh lime juice: 10 ml

In an old-fashioned glass, muddle the sweet lime chunks and pour in the rest of the ingredients. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a twist of sweet lime peel.

3. Garden of Eden

Dark rum: 60 ml

Fresh lime: 1 wedge

Apple juice: to top

Fill a tall zombie glass with ice cubes. Pour in the rum and top with apple juice. Squeeze the fresh lime wedge and drop the peel in as well. Garnish with a few apple slices and serve.

4. Mango Monk

Dark rum: 45 ml

Mint syrup: 10 ml

Fresh lime juice: 5 ml

Fresh mango or mango purée: 90 ml

Blend all the ingredients together in a bar blender with ice. Serve slushy in a brandy snifter and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

5. Monk’s Coffee

Dark rum: 45 ml

Coffee liqueur: 15 ml

Fill an old-fashioned glass with crushed ice. Pour in the rum and coffee liqueur. Stir, then garnish with a few coffee beans.


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