A life with an old monk



For seven years you’ve been blended to a taste so fine

You’ve always been around for us at any time

A good companion, who comes at a very low price

You bring people together from sunset to sunrise

We bang on the shutters for you when the shops are closed by night.

We care a damn if we are unable to get a coke or sprite.

You’ve brought feeling to our lives, at moments of desperation.

For most of us, you have been our mentor and our inspiration

We drink to our pain or joy, one peg at a time

But no matter how much we drink, with no hangovers, things are just fine

They talk of Gandhi being the father of our Nation

To us you are, the father of our thoughts and creation

We don’t give up on things, even if we think our lives have sunk

There’s always a solution to a problem when we have you dear Old Monk

No, I didn’t write that. It’s By Glenn Satur, one of the internet’s unknown poets.

Take off his head and pour yourself some of of his inside

Not very imaginative but I'm looking forward to drinking Old Monk XXX

As you can tell, it’s an ode to India’s favourite rum, Old Monk. Some website has an unsubstantiated claim that it’s the world’s third-largest selling rum. What are the first two then?

Whatever.

I don’t know about you but I’m one of those millions addicted to Old Monk’s dark, smoky charms.

Everyone has an Old Monk story.

How I drank my first Old Monk.

How I drank a whole bottle.

How I mixed it with beer.

How I found it in Canada (though in the province of Ontario, they suspended sales two years ago when glass particles were found).

My favourite Old Monk stories revolve, unsurprisingly, around food. I drink it, of course; the traditional way, with a dash of Coke, sometimes with a slice of lime (I always say that you will find the truth at the bottom of a peg of Old Monk-I can’t remember the number of times I’ve been indiscreet while drinking the darn thing)

But I have always liberally used Old Monk with roast chicken, pork, meat, even stir-fried vegetables. A sprinkle with veggies, a half cup with a roast chicken. Smokin!

You will find some of my experiments with the truth on this blog. Here’s one with pork chops and a rum-soaked chicken.

Not very imaginative but Im looking forward to drinking Old Monk XXX

Take off his head and pour yourself some of of his insides

The other day, I went out to buy a bottle of Old Monk and for the first time found its premium version. It’s aged 12 years, unlike the normal seven, and is unimaginatively called XXX.

Funny, I’ve never drunk this before.

As you can see, it’s a pretty oddly designed bottle. The monk’s head comes off and doubles as a peg measure-though it seems substantially more than 60 ml.

I’m waiting to open it up this evening.

What are your Old Monk stories?

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Comments

37 Responses to “A life with an old monk”
  1. Atul says:

    Playing “lift the bottle”.

    After emptying the bottle, drop in a lit match, and watch the blue flame kiss its way up the walls.

    As soon as the flame dies out, quickly clamp your hand on the bottle till it pinches your palm, and then lift it off the table with the bottle sticking to your faced down palm…….

    Would not think of trying it again on the same bottle, and wouldnt dream of puring out the contents of another bottle to play it…..so, naturally one had to drink it….Min 4 players required!!!

    Drink with half coke, half water and half soda. Whos’ counting anyway?

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    indeed! :-)

    [Reply]

  2. rakesh says:

    started in 1988,havent drunk since 2003,but am looking forward to have it this winter again.its an eternal love story and the best way for me had been having it with kinnow,a fruit grown in north rajasthan and bordering areas of punjab and haryana.had tried the combinatin when i was in sriganganagar.
    thanks for giving me the nostalgic feeling.its almost a spiritual experience to sip it in company of friends.
    we used to say”budhe sant ko bulao” in the evening to initiate the process.
    and yes,please let us know how the premium version is different from the regular.

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    “budhe sant ko bulao”. That’s funny!

    [Reply]

  3. yashwant says:

    i want to say only this………old (monk) is gold!!!!

    [Reply]

  4. saugat says:

    A good way to drive out common cough and cold is mix old monk with warm water and have it before you sleep. Our friend circlr used to call old monk 30 days (***) Ready Usable Medicine (RUM).
    Yummy drink can have it any time of the year with coke and lime.

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    what a medicine!

    [Reply]

  5. Suman Bolar says:

    Hahahahaha! Good old “budhha”!! Drinking it with frooti in paper cups because we couldn’t afford anything else. Drenching your forefinger with it and then asking someone to light your finger and quickly putting your flaming digit in your mouth to extinguish the flame before the alcohol burnt off and you singed your flesh. The absolute WORST hangovers in the world.

    [Reply]

  6. Suman Bolar says:

    And HAHAHAHAHAHA @ the monk’s head comes off. Samar honey, you made my day. I have a meeting to attend, and I am going to be thinking of his head coming off and I am going to get through that meeting and I am going to be okay. HAHAHAHAHAHA

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    hahahahaha indeed

    [Reply]

  7. dhiraj says:

    Please tell me whr did u found the premium version…Yesterday i met some of my old frds and we spent the evening in the august company of old monk

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    I found it in a government liquor store in Khan market Delhi.

    [Reply]

  8. Anil says:

    Gurur rum aa Guru Whisky,
    Gurur Vodka Gineshwara,
    Gurur sakshat peg Brahma,
    Tasme shri Beerenamah!
    Bhagwan aap sub ko sada Tunn Rakhe!!

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    :-) :-)

    [Reply]

    Arti Singh Reply:

    I need to get in touch with you,your father actually,Do you remember me?From Shimla,my father was with Uncle in ssb.

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    Arti, you can contact him at padmakar@halarnkar.com

  9. P.G.Halarnkar says:

    Samar,
    Did you reply to Arti ?
    You would recall she lived in Bangalore too for a few years.

    [Reply]

  10. Rita Kaul says:

    Samar,
    Old monk n ***……..the bottles do look so tempting n attractive….have these at home.The first time i tried my lungs n intestine preferred to do the burning act n ever since i preferred to shy away from it.:)))Hubby dear though takes it in less quantity,’coz the first time he boozed ,he ended up puking .

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    What did you say Rita that caused our censor software to kick in? :-)

    [Reply]

    Rita Kaul Reply:

    some things do happen unintentionally….:)))

    [Reply]

  11. Puneet Puri says:

    Food is essential for every human and if some one takes it away like in sholay our lead actor says storms, quakes and akal comes.

    [Reply]

  12. Ankit says:

    Man this is fundoo! great stuff man!

    [Reply]

    Samar Halarnkar Reply:

    :-)

    [Reply]

  13. Narender says:

    Samar,
    you just gave many old monk lovers a nostalgic feeling !!
    A very nice article … i loved the old botle ..with rugged look and yet a class of its own.

    My first company was Path infoteeh in Delhi and almost all guys around that time in Path were in love with Old Monk rum. I have few friends who will prefer a peg of old monk over world’s finest scotch .. on of them is a pilot ..who will drink rum in a group of all scotch lovers.

    Such is a taste of rum .. no hangovers in the morning (pet bi subah ek dum saaf ..-) )

    My first old monk was with my best friend in shimla aound New years eve in 1998. We filled our glass with fresh snow and poured rum into whitenss of snow ..slowly turning golden ..what a sight it was. In the open air ..freezing temperature ..OLD monk was passing a silken smoothnes after first burning sip.

    another memory in 2003 ..with old monk is that I moved from Bombay to Delhi around june and asked for old monk from a theka (liquor shop with iron grid outside) and the person behind iron bars in shop passed me a coment … itni garmi main old monk pi ke khoon ki ulti karni hai kya !!

    From that time onwards never dared to try old monk in summers ..but in winters old monk is my first prefrence !!

    I have not tasted old monk from last couple of years .last week only a friend got me Becardy Gold Rum which tasted equally good but missed the sight of old monk and spiced taste of it.

    [Reply]

  14. Glenn Satur says:

    Hello Samar Halarnkar ,

    You could not have posted my poem on a better date… August 14th happens to be my Birthday !!!!!!! … I am happy you like the poem… I was overwhelmed to see it pop up in a Kingfisher magazine recently… Cheers to you and all the loyal Old Monk drinkers…. We definitely share the best common interest ever…

    Cheers,
    Glenn Satur

    [Reply]

  15. Kuljeet Singh Rana says:

    Samar,
    you just gave many old monk lovers a goog feeling !!
    A very nice article … i loved the old monk botle ..with look and yet a class of its own.

    love with Old Monk rum. I have few friends who will prefer a peg of old monk Such is a taste of rum .. no hangovers in the morning (pet bi subah ek dum saaf ..-) )

    My first old monk was with my best friend in mussoorie aound november in 1996.
    09868164707

    [Reply]

  16. uddipta says:

    I’ve heard that Mirza Ghalib used to drink Old Monk.
    Such is the heritage of our dear drink.

    [Reply]

  17. Deepak says:

    Its so heartening to see so many old monk lovers..!! I’ve been drinkin it since 6 years n i’ve tried all kinda drink from white rum to whisky to brandy to gin to champagne to wine to beer.. no single malt / scotch can match up to the taste n smoothness of old monk.. the best part of OM is u’ll feel rejuvenated when u wake up the next day.. no hangovers r headaches till date. Whethr its a breakup time r gettin a new date.. whether its IPL r world cup football.. whether its wimbledon r french open.. whether its moto GP r F1.. Whether its “yedhellu Manjunatha (kannada movie abt a drunkard! :) ) r “The Gladiator”.. whether its a sad day r a happy one.. OM is my saathi all the time.. Kudos to our dear OM. :)

    [Reply]

  18. Kapil Kapoor says:

    The best part is, it dosn’t affect the Financial Appetite of a school/ college going Drunker.
    Cheers for Life and Friendship.

    [Reply]

  19. Jay says:

    I’ve never tried this stuff–going to ask my mother to bring me back a bottle from Mumbai (if she can find the 12 year version). :)

    [Reply]

  20. Harry says:

    Is the 12 year old bottle easily available??I need tht monk shaped bottle so badly…please tell me where can I find it ??

    [Reply]

  21. Suds says:

    Just bought one from Drops-Indiranagar, Bangalore(just in case some Bangalorean wants to buy it) yesterday. Looks great.
    Great post.

    [Reply]

  22. Avishek says:

    Hey!! Its amazing to see so many Old Monk Lovers. To Old Monk We all love you…our love and bonding shall remain forever!!

    [Reply]

  23. niroj says:

    My Guru has always instruct me:”acha piyo yah bhura piyo …Jab bhi piyo OLD MONK hi piyo” I have been drinking that great stuff since the + 40 yrs.Though myself coming from a world reknown rhum producing country…

    [Reply]

  24. ravi says:

    Old monk tera to jawab hi nahi ……….hai na sahi,
    Mai ne ye baat to apne dil se kahi.
    Pio aur pine do

    [Reply]

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