If looking out on the ships during HarborFest in Sag Harbor puts you in the mood to raise a glass to the whalers and sailors of old, you’re going to want to whip yourself up some Grog. Or at least find somebody to do it for you.
There is no cocktail more traditionally tied to ships at sea than Grog. Onboard long voyages in the days before purifiers and Poland Spring, fresh water would develop algae growth, requiring a little alcohol—first beer or wine, and later rum—to be added to make it drinkable. Completely replacing good ol’ H2O with rum would have wound up replacing sober seamen with a perpetually intoxicated crew, so the Royal Navy came up with official water-rum rations, mixed in a 4:1 ratio (that’ll be important later) and served to the men. Citrus was also sometimes added to make the fouled water more palatable, and a maritime libation for future generations was born.
Today there are any number of variations on grog—hot, cold, spiced, whatever—but this one is always a favorite.
Good Ol’ Grog Recipe (makes 1 serving)
2 oz Rum (clear or spiced)
8 oz Water
¼ cup Lemon or Lime juice (but not sour mix—think they had that stuff aboard the Pequod?)
Sugar or Honey to taste (about 1 tsp usually works)
•Bring the water to a boil and pour 4 oz into a mug. Add sugar or honey and mix until dissolved. Add rum and lemon or lime juice. Enjoy.