Fresh liquid was vital on sailing excursions during Britain’s colonial conquests. But the water and beer, kept in casks, spoiled quickly. Distilling took too long, and preservation methods were undeveloped. 

In 1655, Vice Admiral William Penn (founder of Pennsylvania) started using the recently captured Jamaica’s rum banks as a ration on sailing vessels.

Shockingly, sailors (although hydrated) began getting uselessly drunk, and lack of discipline ran rampant in the Royal Navy. Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon—or “Old Grog” for his trademark grogman, waterproof cloak—was a noted seaman and popular leader that revolutionized maritime drinking.

%TNT Magazine% grog3

In 1740, Vernon issued an order to dilute rum rations with water, adding lime and sugar to make the spirited mixture more palatable for the slightly sobered crews.

And so was born grog: the classic, rum-based cocktail that has variations and personalities as diverse and changing as the ocean winds.  The daily ration of grog in the 18th and 19th centuries was equivalent to about eight double shots of rum…talk about building workplace morale

Sangria and punch have been losing summertime steam here in the 21st century, as grog has grown in popularity for its versatility and kick. The grog renaissance is also due in large part to the buccaneer beverage’s harmonious relationship with BBQ food.

It’s not unlikely that you and your mates have put away the Pimm’s and stirred up a bowl of your own grog concoction to go along with your fire-charred burgers and brats. But if you really want to step up your game and take advantage of this bizarrely nice weather, check out these refreshing grog recipes that will enliven your summertime.

Just don’t overdo it or you’ll find your guests “stupefying their rational qualities, which makes them heedlessly slaves to every passion”, as the good admiral warned.

%TNT Magazine% grog2

Admiral Vernon’s Lime Grog

  • 15ml lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 45ml dark rum  
  • 30ml water
  • Loads of ice

Navy Grog

  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 20ml fresh lime juice
  • 20ml runny honey
  • 25ml fresh golden grapefruit juice
  • 25ml light rum
  • 25ml dark rum
  • fresh mint sprig, to garnish

Thirst First Grog (for higher end grogging)

  • 150ml Lambs Navy Rum
  • 125ml El Dorado 3yo Rum
  • 125ml Admiral Vernons Old J Spiced Rum
  • 75ml El Dorado 8yo Demerara Rum
  • 75ml Disaronno Amaretto
  • 75ml Kings Ginger Liqueur
  • 75ml Jack Daniels Honey

The Groggy Zombie

  • 60ml Thirst First Grog (above)
  • 20ml Apricot Brandy
  • 10ml Grenadine
  • 15ml fresh Lime juice
  • 10ml Agave Nectar
  • 75ml Mango Juice
  • 75ml Pressed Pineapple Juice

Seven Seas Grog

  • 60 ml El Dorado Spiced Rum
  • 60ml Barritt’s Ginger Beer
  • Splash of pomegranate juice
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Slice of fresh jalapeño

Caribbean Grog (for 10 servings)

  • 460ml light rum
  • 460ml water
  • 230ml grapefruit juice
  • 230ml orange juice
  • 230ml pineapple juice
  • 115ml honey
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon