If anyone asks you , which is the truly Indian alcohol brand that is also popular overseas , what will you reply ? Of-course the legendary Old Monk Rum !! And this is my tribute to Master behind the Monk , Padma Shri Brig. (Dr.) Kapil Mohan VSM .
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Man behind Old Monk Rum
Kapil Mohan was known best as the Director of the Mohan Meakin group of industries which manufactures a lot of food products and beverages including the Old Monk Rum. He had taken over the charges of the group after he retired from the Indian Armed Forces with a ranking of Brigadier. He had also received the Vishisht Seva Medal during his service and the prestigious Padma Shri, which is the 4th highest Indian civilian award.
Introduced on the 1954 under the bearings of Mohan Meakin Ltd . , the Old Monk Rum is one of the highest selling alcohol brands in India. This was probably the first brewery in India and was the producer of the Hercules Rum for the armed forces of India. Apart from India , it is also exported to Russia, United States, UK, Germany, Japan, UAE, Estonia, Finland, New Zealand, Canada, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon, Singapore and Malaysia.
Probably the highest selling IMFL (rum) brand in India(quantity wise), it has many nick names. Out of which Buddha Sadhu , Army Wala Daru and Laal Chai are quite popular.
Stories of the Old Monk
Old Monk Rum is not just a brand or a drink for its lovers. Its more of an emotion, an attachment which nothing else can replace. Here are a few of the stories related to the Monk!
I still remember my first shot at the Monk. It was the winters of either 2005 or 2006,the place was somewhere in Rajasthan and we were suffering in the beating of the fierce winters of the desert. One day this friend of mine brought a long flat plastic bottle (which he had stolen from his brother working in the army) which was labeled Old Monk Rum. We both dint have any experience at all about any Rum before that, so we did what we used to do with Whiskey. And then we realized that rum did not go well with cold water! The next day we asked a more experienced friend of ours, who gave us the idea of hot water. And since that night, Old Monk with warm water has been my choice during the winters.
We all meet a lot of people during our journeys. I have met quite a few people during my long train journeys. Trust me there is nothing better than getting a fellow passenger from the Armed Forces. First of all they are all very helping and generous, secondly the dignity they maintain is hardly found in any other profession and finally they all (mostly, if not all) love the Old Monk Rum! And then the conversation flows …
Travelling has been an activity of great interest for me since a long time, specially in the mountains. And nothing keeps you warm like a glass of hot water with the Old Monk Rum sitting next to a campfire! Not only does it give energy, but also helps me to get a sound sleep.
Everyone becomes an expert in some field of the other after a few drinks. I become experimental with my drinks, and my companions generally deal with it (sometimes without much happiness)! Few years back we were in Shillong for a weekend in winter. I do not remember who gave the idea, but all of us wanted to have cocktails. The best thing about the Old Monk Rum is that it goes well with everything, and that is what we realized that night. We used all possible ingredients ranging from Mint and Rock Salt to Honey and Lemon, but none of it turned out to be bad.
Towards the middle of 2017, I took a road trip to Khardung La. Entering through Shimla and exiting through Srinagar, this trip was not possible without the blessings of the Old Monk. By the time we reached Keylong, we were almost half dead. A few drinks of Old Monk with steaming hot water, followed by a long comfortable nap was what got us back in running mode the very next morning.
These were some of my encounters with the legendary Old Monk Rum . Drink Responsibly!
Note : This article is based on personal experiences and is not aimed for any advertisement or endorsement .