All For Me Grog

As I type this, I am drinking grog. The couple at the next table were buying rum for the other two people here, and I initially misunderstood the offer. I thought he asked “are you having rum?” as part of a medical recommendation. I am not sounding too healthy right now. I laughed and said that no, my tea had no rum in it, and he took that to mean that I was not interested in his offer because I was not feeling well. His solution: good ol’ grog. I don’t expect it was served hot on the old sailing ships, nor with a slice of lemon, and for that matter not with the stuff the Czechs call “rum” either.

Even so, this isn’t bad for the pipes.

Update: Now he’s bought me the Czech cure for all respiratory ailments, Slivovice (rhymes with “Heave-ho, Mitsy!”). I’m hoping to last here long enough to chat with That Girl, but it’s getting dangerous (rhymes with “Pozor!”).

4 thoughts on “All For Me Grog

  1. Yeah, the grog was probably not served hot on the old sailing ships, but it WAS served with lemon or lime, at least in the Royal Navy. While most people believed scurvy to be an inevitable side effect of long sea voyages, Captain James Cook somehow realized it was related to a lack of fresh fruits. The citrus fruit became part of the daily ration for sailors along with their grog. Scurvy became a thing of the past in the British fleet.

  2. I read somewhere that Captain Cook took barrels of pickle juice. (He couldn’t afford the pickles.) It was only later that they figured out the anti-scurvial properties of the juice, as I recall.

  3. True. At first, he just thought it would be kind to the crew to have plenty of fresh fruit. Later, however, he noticed that there was a distinct relationship between consuming such fruit and preventing scurvy.

  4. I was under the impression that they didn’t make the connection between souring agents and scruvy, and that they thought rum was the saving grace. “Rum” in the colonial (US) days was a term used to span a range of generally nasty cane-based boozes, usually with lots of additives to mask the taste (sometimes the predominate taste being the tar/pitch that the barrels were sealed with). Citrus was just another masking agent that could be added after the fact.

    From their ubiquitous use of Grog-with-lime comes the term “Limey” for Brit.

    I can offer no insights on non-booze-related topics, as I think we’ve already established here.

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