20170731

The History of BLACK TOT DAY - The End of the Royal Navy Daily Rum Ration

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BLACK TOT DAY

Before modern technology long sea voyages created a drinking problem. Back in the 1600's sailors were given a daily gallon of beer as their drink ration. Unfortunately the volume of the beer was a storage issue so a half pint of rum replaced the beer on sea voyages. The switch was popular among the crew but drunkenness became an issue so in 1740 Admiral Edward Vernon ordered the rum be mixed with water in a ration of 4 water to 1 rum and split into two separate servings a day per sailor.
 

Continuing issues with alcohol related disciplinary problems caused this half pint to be reduced to a quarter pint in 1824 and later, in 1850, to an eighth pint served once a day. In 1881 the navy ended the officers ration and in 1918 the warrant officers ration.  Finally, in answer questions regarding the validity of the daily rum tot, the Admiralty Board issued the following statement in 1969:

"The Admiralty Board concludes that the rum issue is no longer compatible with the high standards of efficiency required now that the individual's tasks in ships are concerned with complex, and often delicate, machinery and systems on the correct functioning of which people's lives may depend".

This led to the famous House of Commons "Great Rum Debate" of 1970 which eventually concluded that the Royal Navy's daily rum ration, or tot, was deemed no longer appropriate and on July 31st, 1970, after 300 years of Naval Tradition, the final rum rations were poured at 11 a.m. (6 bells in the forenoon watch) after the pipe of up spirits*. Despite an extra can of beer being added to the daily rations, the decision was not popular among many and some took to wearing black arm bands, tots were "buried at sea" and even mock funerals occurred.

July 31st, 1970 then became BLACK TOT DAY, the last day the Royal Navy issued their sailors their daily tot of rum.
 

Rest In Peace, Daily Tot.

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
Early in the morning?
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Early in the morning!

* The time when the rum ration was distributed was called "Up Spirits", usually between 11 am and 12 noon.
 
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
 

20170730

The SIDECAR COCKTAIL

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The Sidecar is a classic Cognac cocktail that dates back to World War I.  It makes use of one of my sipping favorites, Cognac.
 
Here's some great background information about the Sidecar from my friends over at The Alcohol Professor 
(@TheAlcoholProf)
 
The
SIDECAR
 
INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Cognac
1 Oz. Cointreau
1 Oz. Lemon Juice
 
DIRECTIONS
Rim glass with sugar.
Shake ingredients with ice.
Garnish with orange twist or wedge.

National Sidecar Day is July 30th
 
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170728

The Not So WHITE RUSSIAN Cocktail Recipe


I happened to really like whipped cream vodkas, my favorite brand being Pinnacle Whipped Vodka because you really do get the flavor of whipped cream.

After doing a review on several of Pinnacle flavored vodkas a while back I experimented with several recipes and this was one of the first and it's still a favorite because it's easy and delicious.

The Not So
WHITE RUSSIAN

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Cold Espresso
1 Oz. Whipped Cream Vodka
1 Oz. Original Kahlua
1 Oz. Half & Half

Garnish: Instant Espresso Powder Rim, Milk Chocolate Curls

Tools: Vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls, Cocktail shaker

Glass: Large (5 ounce) Cocktail (Martini)

DIRECTIONS
Rim glass then chill in the freezer.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake until well chilled.
Strain into your chilled cocktail glass.
Sprinkle on the chocolate curls and serve.

You can purchase recipes cards for this cocktail here:
Not So White Russian Cocktail recipe cards


PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170723

STORMBORN COCKTAIL for Game Of Thrones


Inspired by Season 7, Episode 2 of Game Of Thrones, this rum drink is named after the episode title and Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of her Name, The Unburnt Queen of the Andals, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea. (Enough titles for ya, Dany??)

It's also named for the storms coming, both Daenerys and the White Walkers.

I wanted to create something that looked like an incoming storm descending upon the Land of Ice and Fire. The Butterfly PeaFlower Tea float gave me exactly the color and visual effect I wanted while adding a very subtle floral essence to the tropical style cocktail of coconut and rum.


The Game of Thrones
STORMBORN COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Spiced Sailor Jerry Rum
1 Oz. Light Rum
1/2 Oz. Honey Ridge Coconut Creme Honey
1/2 Oz. Cream of Coconut
Cold Wild Hibiscus Blue PeaFlower Tea
Crushed Ice

DIRECTIONS
Fill a chilled flute with enough crushed ice to create a domed top.
Add in the spiced rum, light rum, cream of coconut and coconut honey then float the Blue Peaflower Tea over the top.
Add a color coordinated, biodegradable paper straw and serve.

"We have an army, A fleet and three dragons. We should hit King's Landing now."

Winter is no longer coming, it is here.


PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170705

The BIKINI MARTINI

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The Bikini Martini was created by Dick Bradsell for a swimwear launch in 1999. Supposedly he named the drink in honor of the Bikini Atoll where atom and hydrogen bombs were tested after World War II. Some say the name was because the shock of the cocktail was supposed to be on the level of an A-bomb, I would rather think it was the color of the ocean in the Marshall Island area that inspired the drink. (Sadly, the Bikini Atoll still remains uninhabitable nearly 70 years after the tests.)

Whatever reason, it's a beautiful blue cocktail with refreshing tropical notes that packs a decided kick.

http://themartinidiva.com

The
BIKINI MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Gin
1/4 Oz. Blue Curacao
1/2 Oz. Peach Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Ice

DIRECTIONS
Shake ingredients in an ice field cocktail shaker, strain into a chilled glass, garnished with a lemon twist and serve.

 
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
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