Oleg Zabluda's blog
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Today is The International Talk Like a Pirate Day ("Международный День Пирата",...
Today is The International Talk Like a Pirate Day ("Международный День Пирата", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Talk_Like_a_Pirate_Day), which means it's a time for Grog (pirate version).

"Treasure Island", by Robert Louis Stevenson
(search for "grog")

[Modern] Grog is a cocktail http://cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=1426  It's rum + lemon juice + sugar + water served hot. This makes perfect sense for a pirate. A pirate needs lemon juice to prevent scurvy, and pre-mixing it with rum and sugar is a good way to prevent lemon juice from spoiling, pre-mixing it with water is a good way to prevent water from spoilage, serving
it hot makes perfect sense in the cold ocean, and mixing in sugar makes it an energy drink (a pirate Gatorade).


In ye olde times, it was not actually served hot, and did not contain sugar. It originated not with pirates, but in the Royal Navy . Citrus juice initially was added not to prevent scurvy, but to cut down on the water's foulness, but they did notice that Admiral Edward Vernon's (who introduced  grog into the Royal Navy) sailors were healthier then the rest of the navy, although they did not know the reason at the time,


Another similar cocktail was more popular with pirates


Bumboo is grog without lemon juice, but with nutmeg. Pirates didn't actually like lemon juice, and removing it was not a problem because their voyages were shorter. It did contain sugar.

The Royal navy recipe was: a half pint of rum mixed with one quart of water and issued in two servings, before noon and after the end of the working day, became part of the official regulations of the Royal Navy in 1756 and lasted for more than two centuries. The practice of serving grog twice a day was carried over into the Continental Navy and the U. S. Navy. Robert Smith, then Secretary of the Navy, experimented with substituting native rye whiskey for the imported rum concoction. Finding the American sailors preferred it, he made the change permanent. Although the American Navy ended the rum ration on September 1, 1862, the ration continued in the Royal Navy. Until the grog ration was discontinued in 1970, Navy rum was 47.75% alcohol.

Wooden Ships, iron men, yarrr!

By my calculation, they were drinking 1.4L, containing 235ml alcohol (17%) i.e 12 drinks, every day in two settings. Before grog,  I presume, they were drinking equivalent amount of straight rum without lemon juice or water mixed in. Rum was primarily a water preservative.

So for authenticity, it has to be a Carribean (preferably Jamaican) rum.



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