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While I don't care for it myself -- what with rum being so sweet already -- I've no problem with sugar in the "modern" recipe -- does that belong here? -- but am troubled by the inclusion in the original version of the stuff. It seems unlikely that Vernon encouraged wasting sugar on grog. I would think the former a precious commodity for the Admiralty and the latter sufficiently precious without. Any source on this claim? Czrisher 23:09, 3 June 2007 (BST)

The notation about adding sugar comes from the history of grog page ( The direct quote is:
By Vernon's time straight rum was commonly issued to sailors aboard ship - and drunkenness and lack of discipline were common problems. On August 21, 1740, Vernon issued an order that rum would thereafter be mixed with water. A quart of water was mixed with a half-pint of rum on deck and in the presence of the Lieutenant of the Watch. Sailors were given two servings a day; one between 10 and 12 AM and the other between 4 and 6 PM. To make it more palatable it was suggested sugar and lime be added. In 1756 the mixture of water and rum became part of the regulations, and the call to "Up Spirits" sounded aboard Royal Navy ships for more than two centuries thereafter. --LadyShelley 23:16, 3 June 2007 (BST)
The source is something this side of convincing. He mentions the sugar only once and only as a suggestion, and does not cite his one reference to back up the idea. As to his general dispositiveness, he ascribes to theory of the name deriving from Vernon's cloak. I make no claim to knowledge on this subject, wherefore I do not change the page, but I remain unconvinced. Czrisher 23:52, 3 June 2007 (BST)

While I'm whinging about sugar at all, the page as it stands is contradictory. There's the reference to sugar indicating, at least, that it was original and then Vernon's recipe is given with just spirits and water. Any preferred way to clear up that? Czrisher 01:55, 4 June 2007 (BST)

Limes & Scurvy

Was the lime juice originally added to prevent scurvy? Or was the effect noticed and the mandate extended therefore?Czrisher 16:08, 4 June 2007 (BST)


Oy! What happened to the grog recipe? On another note, I find it no end of hysterical that of everything we have so far, it's the GROG article causing so much angst! --LadyShelley 04:09, 5 June 2007 (BST)

Your recipe was edited mercilessly! Aquinas 14:37, 5 June 2007 (BST)
For whatever it's worth, I second Aquinas's removal of the recipe. The connection between the historical item and that modern example is fairly tenuous. I wouldn't mind a link to the recipe, but it never seemed to fit. And what was ever more important to a sailor in daily life than grog?Czrisher 15:01, 5 June 2007 (BST)
The recipe was there for two reasons. One there doesn't seem to be a record any where of what the "era" recipe would have been, so that was as close as I could get (and why it was clearly marked as a modern recipe). And two, it seems to hit the list about every 18 months as to what grog is so the recipe was there for people to try it themselves. (This article was in the original wiki as well and I think there was discussion about grog as the fillum had just come out on DVD and there were stories of the cast trying different grog recipes so people were curious.) --LadyShelley 16:58, 5 June 2007 (BST)

If we want a recipe, perhaps Mr. White's canonical reference would be an appropriate addition to the article. That would provide the historical -- Vernon's -- with a literary version. At the least, it should certainly shut up those officious fellows who complain about sugar. Czrisher 19:50, 6 June 2007 (BST)

POB's grog

I just ran across this tonight. In Far Side of the World, chapter 3, POB describes the daily routine aboard the Surprise and among the items is this:

the ceremony of the mixing of the grog by the master's mate - three of water, one of rum, and the due proportions of lemon-juice and sugar

POB also uses (among others) the terms two-water grog, three-water grog, four-water grog, five-water grog, six-water grog(!), thin grog, bosun's grog(?), and heavily-lemoned grog. From the same chapter above, it seems that the n-water grogs all contained the same amount of rum - only the amount of water varied:

for although over a course of many years Stephen had assured him again and again that it was the amount of alcohol that counted, not the water, he (like everybody else aboard) still privately believed that grog, doubly diluted to a thin, unpalatable wash, was far less intoxicating

And don't forget plush (Yellow Admiral ch 18):

...when grog was served out the ordinary members of each mess of seamen received slightly less than the regular measure: by ancient custom, the amount of grog left, which was called plush, belonged to the cook of the mess; and unless he had a good head for rum, this often led him to commit a foolish action.

I would welcome a recipe as long as it's marked appropriately, but perhaps that's the moral equivalent of filking, etc.

--BillWhite 06:36, 6 June 2007 (BST)

Smyth 1867

Not to stir the pot too much: ha ha.
I read with interest the article and discussion on Grog. I was wondering if an 1867 reference might help? I will quote the reference directly here on the discussion page but please note I don't have copyright clearance to publish it. Perhaps if one of the originators of this article wants to incorporate Smyth's definition she/he can do so or by request I can do so. The entire quote is not relevant to this wiki but it is included here so that the reference is complete for this discussion.

Grog: A drink issued in the navy, consisting of one part of sprits diluted with three of water; introduced in 1740 by Admiral Vernon, as a check to intoxication by mere rum, and said to have been named from his grogram coat. Pindar, however, alludes to the Cyclops diluting their beverage with ten waters. As the water on board, in olden times became very unwholesome, it was necessary to mix it with spirits, but iron tanks have partly remedied this. The addition of sugar and lemon-juice now makes grog and agreeable anti-scorbutic. [1]

Bruce 19:04, 10 January 2009 (GMT)


  1. Smyth, W. H. (William Henry), 1788-1865 Admiral. The Sailor's Word~Book. Blackie and Son, Paternoster Row, 1867 Reprinted by Algrove Publishing Limited Almonte, ON Canada 2004. ISBN 1-897030-05-3
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