Old rum in a new bottle

The old adage is that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Indeed, Nepal’s classic Khukri Rum has been such a strong brand for the past half-century that there is not need to tinker with it.

Yet, the makeover by Nepal Distilleries of its Khukri XXX Rum is old rum in a new bottle, and it has a new zing to it.

The company unveiled its new branding at an event in Kathmandu on Friday which, in a nod to the times we live in, was also held virtually. The new bottle design replaces the older one that has been the trade mark of Nepal’s most famous rum since the 1960s, and is a result of extensive research following feedback from consumers at home and abroad.

“We assure the same taste in the new pack. In fact, we hope that our customers find an even richer experience with the newly designed pack,” said Suvash Lamichhane of the Nepal Distilleries. “The feedback of our guests present in today’s event has encouraged us to do more in the way of offering even better products to our consumers.”

The Nepal Distilleries was established in 1959, and at the time was Nepal’s first liquor company. It soon become a household name and is now among the country’s most recognised brands and is sold in 13 international markets including Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Italy, United States, Dubai and Australia.

Khukri’s premium Coronation Rum (pictured above) in a bottle shaped like a Gurkha knife was launched at King Birendra’s ascension to the throne in 1975 is still a favourite souvenir item from Nepal. And the run is celebrating its 62nd year with the upgraded package to introduce modern elements and features in the overall product redesign.

Nepal’s most famous award-winning rum is distilled from fermented molasses and kept in wooden vats to age for eight months. It is also credited with instilling the culture of rum drinking in Kathmandu. Unlike other parts of the world where rum-based drinks are popular all year around, it used to be considered a winter drink in Nepal until the manufacturers unveiled a range of summer cocktails.

Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Khukri invited flair bartenders from India and Singapore to tailor-make designer cocktails using Khukri Rum as well as train a group of bartenders in Nepal.

During the event, the company introduced three summer drinks, Khukri Lemon Fizz, Khukri Cola and Khukri Ginger Ale (pictured above) using its three varieties Khukri XXX Rum, Khukri Spice Rum and Coronation Rum, and later at Trisara Restaurant in Lazimpat before coming up with simplified recipe for people to enjoy at home.

Production of the old package was stopped a month ago but consumers can still find them it the market for some time – in fact, they may even become a collector’s item. Some consumers have actually purchased the old pack as a keepsake and reminder of this home-grown brand.

The iconic brand was a recipient of a Gold Medal at the London Spirit Competition in 2019 and 2020.

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