As Robert Moss wrote in his 2013 story, “Bourbon be damned, it’s time to return to rum,” until 1970 the Royal Navy officially issued rum to its sailors as part of their daily rations. As an English captain wrote in the 18th century about his Caribbean sailors, “I really do not think it an exaggeration to say that one-third of every ship’s company were more or less intoxicated, or at least muddled and half stupefied, every morning.”
Thank you kindly, rum.
According to the DrinkingCup website, “a final act cemented the role of rum in the Royal Navy” in 1740. “Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon was — among other things — well known for his silk, wool and mohair gum-stiffened grogram coat to which his men affectionately referred to him as ‘Old Grog.’ In an effort to maintain control amid a commonly intoxicated Royal Navy, Vernon issued Order No. 394. Addressed to all Royal Navy Captains the order stated that a sailors rum allowance
‘…be every day mixed with the proportion of a quart of water [around 1.13 litres] to a half pint of rum, to be mixed in a scuttled butt [dispensing barrel] kept for that purpose, and to be done upon the deck, and in the presence of the Lieutenant of the Watch who is to take particular care to see that the men are not defrauded in having their full allowance of rum.’
Spirits were handed out of a drinking at the tub, a.k.a. grog tub, twice a day between 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4 p.m.-6 p.m. to avoid binging. Not so surprisingly, the term groggy shows up in the English language soon after to describe the effects of grog on its imbibers.
So, in keeping with this port city’s long naval and rum history, beginning tomorrow Cane Rhum Bar & Caribbean Kitchen is offering veterans and active service members one Navy Grog on the house.
The promotion is in partnership with Rational Spirits whose founder Alexander Burns say in a press release, “The Royal Navy offered grog for almost two and a half centuries to British sailors — we felt it was high time someone offered our nation’s armed forces and its veterans a proper drink.”
Cane’s take on Grog will include lime juice, sugar, water, and Santeria rum. The first one is on Cane, and all additional Navy Grog’s are $10. To claim your Grog, show a military ID to a bartender.