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What Is Grog And How Do You Make It?

Still life with tea. Natural herbal tea with ginger, honey and lemon.

It’s understandable to wonder if grog is even a real drink. Most people’s association with the term involve pirates, medieval taverns or Dungeons & Dragons. While similarly historic drinks like mead have since seen an artisan and commercial revival, a grog resurgence has yet to emerge.

Nonetheless, grog is a very real, if albeit loosely interpreted, drink. By some definitions, the term grog can apply to any alcoholic drink or liquor that is cut with water. As this applies to nearly any modern drink served with ice, the history of grog paints a clearer picture.

What was navy grog?

In the 15th and 16th centuries, as European ships began to sail to the Americas, rum was introduced to and became favored by sailors, particularly those of the British Royal Navy. Though not known for its hydrating effects, rum did offer a more shelf-stable and pleasant drinking option to plain water, which had to be carried in barrels on ships over long journeys and had a tendency to become stagnant and grow algae. Some accounts speak of sailors mixing their rum ration to this tepid water to make it taste more palatable, as well as (scientifically dubiously) efforts to help mitigate bacterial infections in their water stores.