Dishing out the Grog Navy Style

Proving Navy Strength Rum

Besides gunpowder, rum was the most important thing onboard ship

Rum was often the ‘cleanest’ thing to drink aboard ship, as water went stagnant and beer spoiled in the tropical climates

The bosun would store the rum and gunpowder together under lock and key

It was vital the rum was kept at navy strength, so that even if the gunpowder mixed with the rum, say during a battle or a storm, it would still ignite

Conditions on board ships were often so difficult for sailors their daily rum ration was the one redeeming feature and used to lift spirits amongst the crew

The bosun, who ran the ship, would have to prove the rum’s strength in front of his shipmates, who worried it was already watered down In the sailors’ presence, he had to add a few drops of rum to gunpowder and light it

Only navy strength rums, like Wood’s, would still allow the gunpowder to ignite, proving its strength