What is Grog?
The word grog refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages. The word originally referred to a drink made with water or "small beer" (a weak beer) and rum, which was introduced into the Royal Navy by British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon on 21 August 1740. Modern versions of the drink are often made with hot or boiling water, and sometimes include lemon juice, lime juice, cinnamon or sugar to improve the taste.
More information shows water and rum mixed together was often called Grog. A dram (a small amount) of rum was often added to a sailor's water ration. A proper grog often included lime juice to help to stave off scurvy and a measure of cane sugar to help kill the bitterness of the water. The sailors rum ration was added to the water for a more important reason than just killing the taste of the water. The rum was added to water to prevent hoarding of the rum ration. By adding the rum to the water, the alcohol would be diluted and lessen the chance of the sailor becoming drunk. In addition, the rum rations was given to sailors to help them keep their spine during battle. A little rum helped to steady the nerves of the gun crews. Despite the rationing of rum, sailors would often find ways to have a stash of illegal alcohol aboard ship. It may have been smuggled liquors from a shore leave or made from an illegal still stashed somewhere on the ship. Alcohol always remained a problem aboard ship. Grog today is made from many different recipes and continues to be very popular at parties.
Pirate Grog Recipe
Add approximately one ounce of fine rum (the rum used in the Royal Navy was an exceptional quality alcohol) to tin or glass of water (7 to 9 oz.)
A more complex recipe
1 (oz) of Rum
the juice of half a lime
one or two teaspoons of cane sugar
and fill the rest of your tin or mug with water.
When it was made onboard ship it was usually made in a large barrel called the grog tub and then rationed out to the sailors. Grog gets its name from Old Grogram, the nick name of British Rear Admiral Edward Vernon who order his sailors rum ration diluted to prevent hoarding and drunkenness.
Many claim to make a traditional Navy grog recipe, there are only several accepted forms. The Royal Navy's grog recipe includes lemon juice, water, rum, and cinnamon. A commonly-found recipe in the Caribbean includes water, light rum, grapefruit juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, cinnamon, and honey. In the Far East, the Japanese Navy is rumored to concoct a much stronger variant primarily from sake and wasabi.
Grog as a Hot Drink
The most famous coctail that was consumed by pirates was certainly grog. Grog is a hot drink made of
1/2 cup of spiced rum
2 cans of beer
1 package of oatmeal (instant quaker oatmeal, cinnamon and spice preferred) dash of paprika
The recipe says oatmeal should be cooked using the beer instead the boiling water. Other ingredians should be added into the mixture durin the cooking.
Origin & History of Grog
Humans discovered long ago that they could not drink sea water, and required significant quantities of fresh water on extended voyages. Since they were unable to desalinate sea water, fresh water was taken on board in casks but quickly developed algae and became slimy. Stagnant water was sweetened with beer or wine to make it palatable which involved more casks and was subject to spoilage. As longer voyages became more common, the task of stowage became more and more difficult and the sailors' then-daily ration of a gallon of beer began to add up.
Following Britain's conquest of Jamaica in 1655, a half pint or "2 gills" of rum gradually replaced beer and brandy as the drink of choice. Given to the sailor straight, this caused additional problems, as some sailors would save up the rum rations for several days, then drink them all at once. Due to the subsequent illness and disciplinary problems, the rum was mixed with water. This both diluted its effects, and delayed its spoilage. A half pint, one cup, 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. This gives a ratio of 4:1.
Citrus juice (usually lime or lemon juice) was added to the recipe to cut down on the water's foulness. Although they did not know the reason at the time, Admiral Edward Vernon's sailors were healthier than the rest of the navy, due to the daily doses of vitamin C that prevented disease (mainly scurvy). This custom, in time, got the British the nickname limeys for the limes they consumed.
The name "grog" probably came from the nickname of Admiral Vernon, who was known as "Old Grog" because he wore a grogram cloak. American Dialect Society member Stephen Goranson has shown that the term was in use by 1749, when Vernon was still alive. A biographer of Daniel Defoe has suggested that the derivation from "Old Grog" is wrong because Defoe used the term in 1718, but this is based on a miscitation of Defoe's work, which actually used the word "ginger."
In the early stages of British settlement in Australia, the word grog entered common usage, to describe diluted, adulterated and sub-standard rum, obtainable from sly-grog shops. In the early decades of the Australian colonies such beverages were often the only alcohol available to the working class. Eventually in Australia, and New Zealand, the word grog came to be used as a slang term for any alcoholic beverage. documentation_license