BLACK TOT DAY
Throughout history, there has been a complex relationship between man and his favourite tipple.
In the Middle Ages ale was considered safer to drink than water, as the boiling process for producing beer removed bacteria from water.
From 1920-1930 the United States instituted a nationwide constitutional ban on production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. This period was known as the “Prohibition.” In spite of that there was a massive underground movement that included “bootleggers” who transported beer and alcohol and a number of illicit establishments, known as “speakeasy’s” where alcohol was sold and consumed.
In the 17th Century, sailors were given a beer ration of a gallon a day. Due to the difficulty in storing such vast quantities of liquid on the ships, a half pint of rum became the new preferred daily ration. As drunkenness aboard the vessels became an increasing problem, the half pint was gradually reduced. As machinery became more complex, the necessity for sailors to remain sober became ever more important, and finally, it was decided that the daily rum ration was no longer appropriate.
On 31 July 1970, the final tot of rum was poured, and so ended the centuries-long tradition of “drunk as a sailor.”
But rations be damned… every year on 31 July we commemorate this black day for sailors. We raise a toast at the wake of their seafaring rations, a “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum” salute to our Navy boys on the high seas.
And what better way to do it than with a clean, smooth, and not-too-sweet, bottle of Brugal Anejo Rum. The light woody aromas are reminiscent of historic boat decks but unlike the memories of history, this amber delight leaves a long and pleasant aftertaste.
If you prefer something a little more verve, how about a bottle of vibrant Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum. With hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and clove, this rum is a party in a bottle, and perfect for a celebration or commiseration.
And if you’re feeling a little bit more whimsical, try a little Malibu, a Caribbean White Rum with Coconut Flavour. You can almost taste the sunshine.
So on 31 July take a tot or two… or what the heck… get the whole bottle, and celebrate the liberty of being able to drink freely with no rations and no prohibitions.
And whilst cholera may not be a worry, hangovers are, so it would be wise follow the advice of the Lord Admiral, and drink responsibly.