Old Monk Rum + Coke: A Match Made In Heaven Of Friendship, Nostalgia & Good Times

by Tejashee Kashyap
Old Monk Rum + Coke: A Match Made In Heaven Of Friendship, Nostalgia & Good Times

There can hardly be any conversation about rum in India without the mention of Old Monk. India’s love affair with this rum is a passionate and enduring one. It is rooted in a multitude of factors that go beyond mere taste and transcend time and place. Hardly, you would find someone not sharing an affinity for this old-school rum.  Cedrik Rodrigues, bar manager of Mumbai’s Hitchki Resto Bar puts it down rightfully. “If Old Monk can’t fix anything, you are not using enough!” But the magic when Old Monk met Coke was surreal. Now, a taste of reminiscence. The beauty of nostalgia and simpler times!

Is Old Monk Still The Rum Of All Seasons And Times?

The mere mention of Old Monk can spark conversations and tales of past adventures. I might have begun my tryst with alcohol with a vodka and a sprite but I know this rum has been a lot of our first introduction to alcohol. “In India old monk resonates with everyone, from the working class to the posh group,” tells Anurag Godbole, wine sommelier and bar manager at Nksha Restaurant, Mumbai.

However now, you may see it as a drink to welcome your great holidays, to sit with your friends and discuss the old tales. Remember how you used to buy a quarter sneakily? The size is still fantastic, it just fits into your pockets well. Back then, the distinctive squat bottle with its textured label and the image of a cap-wearing monk exuded an air of mystique and intrigue.

From the warmth of the first sip to the lingering aftertaste, the first sip of this evergreen rum offers a sensory experience. It boasts a distinctive blend of molasses, spices, and caramel notes, creating a smooth and full-bodied taste that is unique to the brand, “This one has its own sweetness with high. And no matter what, it will never be old for its loyal fans,” assures Abraham Roman Manbhat, mixologist at Mumbai’s Kokum Bar and Lounge.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Back in my early twenties, I couldn’t understand why all my friends acted like they found gold whenever they drank Old Monk. It took about three and a half years to develop a palate for rum and appreciate this magical blend Kapil Mohan left behind. Nevertheless, I’m grateful that my friends are still rum loyalists because the tales of laughter, camaraderie, and cherished memories are wonderful and, thankfully, endless!

But, How Does This Rum With Coke Continue To Win Over All Drinks?

This classic pairing has become a beloved tradition being passed on, quite well! The rich, caramel notes of the rum blend seamlessly with the crisp, refreshing cola.  “This rum has its own sweetness and is a well-structured alcohol, making it easy to drink. Whereas coke with its hidden sweetness compliments the rum well. Even, its cold temperature and fizz just makes you go gulp after gulp!” reasons Mr Godbole.

The plan was simple back then: gather ₹80 for a quarter (180 ml) and mix it with a coke bottle to get started.  Well, it was funny how no one could ever know if you were sipping coke or rum. In the midst of all that, there would always be a tift over who gulped more. “Old monk taught us that not everything worthwhile in life is pricey. This first retro beverage conjures up images of college life and bad choices. Even breakups could be celebrated with this drink,” Mr Rodrigues adds. This affordability and accessibility made the biggest difference.

Rum and coke
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

It is deeply entrenched in memories of carefree evenings with friends where conversations flow freely, and bonds are forged, a sweet symbol of youthful exuberance and adventure. Almost, it can be seen as a rite of passage, marking the transition into adulthood and independence.

Also Read: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out That There’s An Old Monk Mojito! * jaw drops*

A Timeless, All-Season Concoction

Well, do you say there’s a season to enjoy this concoction? Not even a bit! “The beauty of this blend is that it doesn’t dehydrate your body and tastes really good. Believe me, this is an all-season beauty,” tells Manbhat. Come scorching summers, and you are looking for a refreshing respite. The crispness and effervescence of cola blend harmoniously with the smoothness of Old Monk, creating a cool drink. As monsoon arrives, get cosy in the warmth and comforting character of this concoction.

And finally, the code drink of winter would always be this good-old rum. The cue to finding warmth in bone-chilling winters was this concoction. Served hot, with a dash of spices or a squeeze of lemon, it is a soothing elixir that chases away the winter chill. However, best to drink at nightfall for a feeling of warmth that lingers.

“Like chai in India, rum and coke is another emotion had in the later part of the day; meant for after and within the party, with friends. Or even, alone on a weekday or weekend too, doesn’t matter!” adds Mr Godbole.

So, the next time you pour yourself a glass of Old Monk and coke, take a moment to savour the flavours. Let the tales of nostalgia wash over you! Raise a toast to the memories of days gone by, to the friendships forged and the laughter shared.

Cover image credits: Canva