I was going to try making Navy Grog tonight, but the liquor store across from my house is closed on Sundays, and we don't have any run. I bought some other things anyway, so I would have everything else I needed before making the grog.
I checked out the recipe at Webtender, and I had to laugh. It calls for one ounce each of light, gold, and dark rum, plus an ounce of Grand Marnier, plus half an ounce each of lemon juice, grapefruit juice, and passion fruit juice.
Sorry, but I know that's not what sea dogs in the Royal Navy drank.
A more realisic list of ingredients appears to be this:
Rum, sea water, lemon juice, and molasses.
One story has it that grog was invented by an Admiral Vernon (known as 'Old Grog' because he wore a ratty grogham coat the way Columbo wears a trench coat), who was trying to reduce drunkenness in ship crews by rationing them a drink that was 80% water and 20% rum, with probably some lemon juice squeezed in. Crews got four ounces before breadfast and four ounces before supper. They had to drink their grog on the spot, to keep them from saving it up to get plastered on later.
Another story goes that the rum was added to sea water to mask the disgusting taste of sea water that had been stored in wooden barrels for extensive lengths of time in an effort to desalinate the water. This usually didn't work, though, and instead, the water grew algae. I'm sure there's some truth in both stories.
Grog stopped being issued on American ships in September of 1861, when the departure of the Southern members of Congress and the Senate left a majority of teetotalers in both houses. American grog, by the way, often used whiskey instead of rum, to help support American economic interests. Grog continued to be issued on Royal Navy ships until the 1950's.
So tomorrow evening, I'm going to buy some Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum and some molasses and see how that goes with some lemon juice and water. I might maybe add a little sea salt in there for the sake of authenticity. We'll see.
A Question: What is grenadine used for?