Rationing Rum Barrel

The daily rum ration was introduced in 1655 following the conquest of Jamaica. In 1740, Admiral Vernon ordered that the rum be diluted with water to prevent drunkenness, creating a mixture known as ‘grog’.

A Royal Navy rum or ‘grog’ tub used to be standard on every British warship until the rum rations were stopped on the 31st of July 1970, termed ‘Black Tot Day’. This decision was made due to concerns that rum consumption would hinder sailors’ ability to operate heavy machinery, navigational tools, and weapons systems.

As the rum was purchased by ‘the Crown,’ the rationing tubs were emblazoned with honours to the monarch, such as ‘The Queen – God Bless Her’ in brass letters. These tubs became historical artefacts after the practice of rum rationing ended.