Due to the subsequent illness and disciplinary problems one Admiral Vernon of the Royal Navy took a decision to mix the rum with water – a half pint of rum being mixed with 2 pints of water and issued in two servings twice daily. This made him very unpopular with his men who renamed the mixture ‘Grog’ in disgust. (Admiral Vernon was known as Old Grog because of a grogram cloak that he wore). The term ‘Let’s Fire a Grog’ is still used in Barbados to this day although the Rum is also mixed with Coke, Ginger Ale, Soda Water.
Citrus juice (usually lime or lemon juice) was added to the recipe to make the taste more palatable. Unknowingly the vitamin C contained in the citrus juice prevented the disease ‘scurvy’ from affecting Admiral Vernon’s sailors. Once this was realized, the mixture was adopted throughout the Navy and the British sailors were given the nickname of ‘limeys’ by which British people are still referred today.
We can therefore credit Admiral Vernon with adding two words to the English lexicon, Grog and Limey. With a little more imagination and one more ingredient he may have also been credited with our fantastic and powerful Rum Punch Cocktail.
RumShopRyan – The Coconut Connection blog, http://www.rumshopryan.com/