The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise forever proclaimed run as the iconic drink of pirates, and not wrongly so. But they mostly drank a rum mix beverage called grog, mixed with rum, water and whatever else. Grog was not exclusive to pirates. Variations (usually without the nutmeg) appeared on all sailing vessels as well as the mainland colonies and Europe.
Before we developed our modern methods for sanitizing water, people made their water safe to drink in two ways: boiling or booze. The method of boiling water led to the development of tea. For the boozers, they started mixing drinks. This was preferable on ships which might not have much available to safely start a fire with. And because their fruit and food went rotten fairly quickly, it helped to soak their fruit in something that both preserved their fruit and made the foul stuff more palatable to swallow. Pirates, more than their lawful counterparts, were known to find nutmeg on the islands they visited and grind it up to mix with their drinks.
To make my own, I used the bottle the rum came in (I’d already drank half of it.) I picked up one of those cans of mixed fruits from the Dollar General, one of those big cans. I didn’t have a funnel, so less than half of it actually got in the bottle. I got the nutmeg, already ground, from Walmart and filled the rest with water.
It was terrible! I could only force myself to have a few drinks. I’m light with alcohol anyway, but the grog tasted less like a mix drink and more like random crap in water. The nutmeg was the worst. It didn’t dissolve like I thought it would and it basically tasted like I was drinking boozy water with sand in it.
Because I’m cheap, I didn’t throw it out. I was gonna finish that grog if I had to get someone to force it down my throat like Harry Potter did for Dumbledore. But when I picked it up a week later, surprise surprise. It’s good! The nutmeg dissolved (apparently it just needed time) and it’s infinitely smoother. I barely taste the alcohol. I’m not sure, but I think the fruit must have absorbed most of it.
If I were serious about being authentic, I would have got some whole fruit and let them get covered with mold before I cut them up and shoved them in the bottle, but I’m not going that far.
Unfortunately, I won’t be getting drunk tonight. I’m over 300 pounds, so this won’t be enough to get me plastered, and I can’t make more.
Because the rum is gone.