A Day of Mourning

On this day, forty-seven years ago, the last daily ration of rum was served to sailors in Her Majesty’s Navy. Then, sailors conducted mock funerals, wore black mourning bands and ceremonial Burials at Sea, to lament the loss of the rum ration. Today, around the world, rum lovers will mark the occasion by issuing themselves a tot or two of wonderful rum… and a lucky few will even enjoy a taste of the remnants of Her Majesty’s Rum which has been rebottled and sold as Black Tot The Last Consignment, a fine 40+ year old rum which is available at the Royal sum of $800 for a 700ml bottle. Not many people know the history of this rum, and many believe other brands are the authentic rum. A bit of Clever marketing, coupled with the fact that they bottle a nice selection of fine rums, gives many consumers the impression that Pusser’s Rum is THE Authentic Navy rum that was issued for at least part of the over 300 years of Royal Navy rum drinking tradition. It is, however only an impression.  Pusser’s is actually a Royal Navy style rum inspired by the Admiralty’s blending recipe  last used when the Royal[…]

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Good News from Jamaica

Jamaica’s  Long Pond Distillery has reopened, having solved its waste disposal issues which forced its closing in 2012.  The Cocktail Wonk was there last spring as part of the Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR) Program and had the chance to roam all through the seemingly deserted facility while being guided by the Distillery’s Plant Manager.   I  really enjoyed his report of the experience and am amazed that it’s being reported as back in operation.  In judging the photos in Cocktail Wonk’s post, it’s amazingly good news that the dead looking place is back up and running.

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Splice the Mainbrace

I have a personal memory to celebrate today. It’s related to  a milestone that Rummies and veterans of Her Majesty’s Navy will commemorate next Monday.  I would  imagine that anyone finding their way to this  site knows the significance of “celebrating” Black Tot Day, which is of course the anniversary of the the last day that a daily tot of Rum was issued to sailors in the Royal Navy, infamously the Black Tot. In 1970 someone decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea for men to be operating sophisticated machinery while drinking Rum.  Although the daily  tot, was only, a half gill… an eighth of an Imperial pint… (2.5 oz), I suppose it was an understandable change.  Her Majesty issued that last taste of  daily Rum on July 31, 1970.  It wouldn’t be the last Royal issue of Rum though.   To celebrate special Royal Events, the Queen has given the order, “Splice the Mainbrace,” which translates to, “Issue the Fleet a tot of Rum!”  I was lucky enough to be assigned as an exchange officer as a pilot in 815 Squadron when that order was given.  So, thirty-one years ago, on July 23, 1986 I collected my tot of[…]

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