It matters if it's black or white

Updated: 23 September, 2020 10:42 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Here’s a report card for a new white rum that a legendary alcohol brand has launched

(From left) The white rum with water, cola and naariyal pani
(From left) The white rum with water, cola and naariyal pani

It's a duopoly that we have taken for granted as much as rain in the Mumbai monsoon. If you want a straight-up dark rum in the Indian market, go for Old Monk. Want a white version? Get Bacardi. But Mohan Meakin, the firm that manufactures Old Monk, has now busted that status quo by launching their own white rum. The sheer suddenness of the move, the unexpected nature of the move, the unpredictability of the move, means that consumers might not know what hit them. That's why we are here to help clear the air, trying out the brand new product to check how it stacks up against the competition.

First things first. This writer's love for regular Old Monk mixed simply with water might leave Romeo red-faced about his love for Juliet. But one sip of the white version topped with water is enough to convince us that this is not a match made in heaven. There's a discernible synthetic quality in the alcohol that the water is unable to mask. So, we try it with Coca Cola instead — as you would do with Bacardi — and the result is infinitely better. The sweetness of the cola hides the rum's artificial nature, making it way more palatable. But it's when we pour a bit of the rum in a pierced naariyal that its true potential is revealed. Give us a beach, a deck chair and a book to read, and we can probably sip on it till the last page.

The Old Monk white rum costs Rs 775
The Old Monk white rum costs Rs 775

So, that's that. As a standalone white rum, Old Monk is the country cousin of Bacardi. But added to the right mixer — feel free to try cocktails with it — it provides more bang for your buck since it's almost half the price ('775 as compared to '1,490 for 750 ml). That means you can give it a go when you are looking for a white rum but are short on finances. But otherwise, stick to the regular dark version since, as the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Rum in your dessert, grill

White tiramisu
White tiramisu

Yeshi Chaudhary, who runs the home-baking venture My Butter Half (@yeshi.chaudhary on Instagram), tells us that you can use dark rum to make rum balls, fruit cake or a boozy salted caramel sauce that can be poured over cakes, ice creams and waffles. You can also elevate your typical beef stew or pork ribs with dark rum for a greater depth of flavour as it adds notes of burnt sugar, caramel or butterscotch to the dish. White rum is also versatile and can be added to both sweet and savoury dishes. Ditch the usual tiramisu for a white tiramisu, for instance, or if you're not into sweets, then steep some shrimp in coconut milk and white rum for a fantastic grilled dish.

Yeshi Chaudhary

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First Published: 23 September, 2020 10:23 IST

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