Udayavni Special

Story of Old Monk, the classic beverage


Team Udayavani, Jan 19, 2021, 3:02 PM IST

Source: Unsplash

People across India are obsessed with dark nectar i.e. Old Monk. With a legacy of over 66 years, Old Monk is unofficially known as the national drink of India. But who first made Old Monk and how did it get its name.

In 1855, a man named Edward Dyer moved to Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh and set up a brewery. His company later merged with another British run brewery, Meakin and Co, run by H G Meakin. Yes, Meakin’s face is the ‘old monk’ in the bottles.

Two years after independence , Narendra Nath Mohan acquired Meakin and Co, and re-named it as Mohan Meakin Breweries.

Later in 1954, Ved Rattan Mohan, son of N N Mohan took over the company. Ved, who was a retired army officer, on his visit to Europe was smitten by Benedictine monks and the drinks they produced. That’s the story of how Ved introduced Old Monk, a drink matured in oak vats for seven years and infused with spices.

Old monk went on to become India’s largest selling liquor brand without any advertisements or promotions.

What makes the taste of Old monk so unique? Well the drink is made by the traditional method, matured in oak barrels for a minimum of seven years. Old monk has 42.8% alcohol content and has a smooth creamy consistency.

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