The Grog, rumoured to be the worlds first cocktail

Serves: 1

Make in: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

tall sailing ship with massive sails on blue rippled ocean and blue skies with one line of cloud in the background

"Which those that are good husbandmen may from the saving of their salt provisions and bread, purchase sugar and limes to make more palatable to them."



Whilst we romanticise our seas and oceans (and why wouldn’t we) it did present a myriad of challenges faced by seafarers, one of the most persistent in ye olde days was scurvy, a debilitating disease caused by a lack of vitamin C. Enter the hero of our story and one of our house cocktails: Grog! 


The origins of Grog are rooted in the British Royal Navy, a time when long voyages presented significant logistical challenges, not least of which was how to keep sailors healthy. In the early 18th century, Vice Admiral Edward Vernon, known affectionately as “Old Grog” for his grogram cloak, made a groundbreaking decision. In 1740, he ordered that the sailors’ daily ration of rum, which had been a standard issue since the 17th century, be diluted with water. The intent was to reduce drunkenness among the crew, but the addition of lime or lemon juice to the mix to improve the taste inadvertently addressed another critical issue: scurvy.


Thus, the Grog cocktail was born, a simple blend of rum, water, and citrus juice. The recipe typically called for a ratio of four parts water to one part rum, with citrus juice added to taste. This mixture not only made the water safer to drink by killing off bacteria but also provided essential nutrients that helped prevent the dreaded scurvy. The inclusion of sugar or cinnamon was sometimes added to enhance the flavor, making it more palatable for the sailors.


Whilst The use of Grog quickly spread throughout the Royal Navy (and also, in time pirates), becoming an essential part of daily life on board. Its significance extended beyond its health benefits; it fostered camaraderie and provided a morale boost during long, gruelling voyages. The ritual of the daily Grog ration became a cherished tradition, one that sailors looked forward to and which provided a brief respite from the harsh realities of naval life.


Grog’s fame wasn’t confined to the decks of Royal Navy ships. It also made its way into ports around the world, where it was served in taverns and inns frequented by sailors. These establishments, often located in bustling harbour towns, became the unofficial homes of Grog, where stories of the sea were shared over cups of the warming concoction. The drink’s simplicity and practicality ensured its enduring popularity, cementing its place in maritime history.


As years passed the old classic may have fallen out of favour but thanks to our man Danny it’s back! It’s on our menu! And we like it! It may not be the world’s first cocktail, apparent in ancient times China and Egypt has a crack at making local moonshine taste better, but it is the first with documented recipes and continuity to us today. 


Here’s our homage to the ships and sailors who departed our shores with plentiful supplies of rum…



A bright yellow cocktail in nica nora glass on table edge. the cocktail is foamed and had a rosemary sprig garnish.



50ml Burning Barn rum

25ml fresh lime juice

20ml simple syrup

1 rosemary sprig

Incorporate all liquid ingredients into a Boston cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for two minutes and then double strain into a nica nora glass (preferable). For a higher foam concentrate across the top use lemon bitters.


Once the foam has fallen through the strainer, garnish with a sprig of rosemary 

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