The creator of India's favourite dark rum brand Old Monk is no more. Kapil Mohan, the chairman of Mohan Meakin Ltd, died of cardiac arrest at the ripe age of 88. But the visionary and teetotaler is responsible for countless fond memories cherished by die-hard Old Monk lovers.
Not only is it the most accessible in terms of cost, it's also easy to love for its potent taste and the magic that happens when it's mixed with coke. Best of all, one rarely experiences a hangover with Old Monk.
I might have begun my tryst with alcohol with a vodka and sprite but once I discovered the joys of humble Old Monk, there has been no looking back. Here are my favourite Old Monk memories:
Old Monk at Rs. 18 at Bar Stock Exchange
How many times have you monitored the 'exchange' rates at Bar Stock Exchange outlets, hoping to catch your favourite spirit at its lowest? I'll never forget the time when the price of Old Monk fell to a wonderful Rs. 18. Even tea costs more than that in a sit-down restaurant! It happened a few more times after that, so feel free to try and get your peg for Rs. 18.
Rum and coke in a bottle
My friends and I often dispense with glasses when it comes to Old Monk. Just pour a 90 or 180 ml measure into a bottle of coke and you're good to go! It's great for sharing (and bickering over who took larger gulps) and caring.
Birthday celebration with neat Old Monk
Old Monk and coke cannot help but be spoken in the same breath but back in my salad days, we were crazy enough to swig it straight from the bottle. I brought in one of my birthdays in such a manner and what a night it was! But in retrospect, we probably should've mixed it with some water.
Old Monk to the rescue in expensive foreign countries
Great holidays almost always call for a drink or two. And in some countries, that can be rather hard on the pocket. In others, alcohol is simply not that easy to find. That's why it's always a good idea to stash some Old Monk in your suitcase. Sadly, the Duty Free outlets at Mumbai's international airport no longer stock Old Monk.
Give a new twist to old monk
Personally, I'm happy not to mess with my rum and coke but if you're feeling adventurous, you could try one of these creative ideas:
Craving warmth as well as the high of Old Monk? Add 30ml to your masala chai or hot chocolate and sip away!
Blend with coffee liqueur and ice for coffee-flavoured Old Monk.
Mix with apple and lime juice for a zesty cocktail.
Blend with fruit juices of your choice, lime juice, chaat masala and black salt for a cocktail that packs a punch.
Add warm water, honey, lemon and spices to Old Monk to make a hot toddy that's great for your cold.
Here's to creating many more Old Monk memories and if you want to share your own, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter.