National Rum Day
Tuesday August 16th 2016 is National Rum Day
Today’s premium Rum products are a far cry from the “Rum Rations” given to Sailors and Pirates, laced with lime juice to fight off the scurvy. Despite this, brand names such as “Navy Rum”, “Sailor Jerry” and Captain Morgan hark back to a nautical history for the spirit that is hard to match in terms of longevity.
Around 1650, a pint of rum had been unofficially adopted as part of a sailor’s daily ration, but was still far stronger than the beer and wine it replaced, being around 140% proof. As you can image sailors who drank a pint of Rum each day were prone to drunken behavior, at odds with the need for strict discipline regimes onboard ship, so a British Navel Officer Admiral Edward Vernon ordered that the Navy’s ration be diluted with two parts water. The sailors renamed the new Rum ration “grog”, in homage to their hero Admiral Vernon (Old Grog) who led them to battle wearing a coat made from Grogram fabric.
So let’s celebrate like a Pirate, but with a modern day twist. My favorite Rum cocktail is the Mojito but made with 12 Year old Jamaican Appleton Estate Rum, the recipe goes like this:
You will need:
10 leaves unblemished fresh mint
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup crushed ice or ice cubes
2 fluid ounces of Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Rum
1/2 cup club soda
Place the mint leaves and a lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddling stick (or spoon if you do not have a muddling stick) crush the mint and lime to release the oils and lime juice. Add more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again. It important to note that the mixture does not need straining. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the Appleton’s Rum over the ice, and top up the glass with the club soda. Stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.
This drink is incredibly smooth in taste and deceptive in strength, so you have been warned!