For more than three centuries of Royal Navy tradition, sailors aboard their ships were issued a daily ration or “tot” of rum from the ship’s “Purser,”
known affectionately by its sailors as the “Pusser.”  Hence, it was the “Pusser’s Rum.”

To this day, Pusser’s Rum—one of the world’s most historic and traditional rums—is still bottled and blended to specifications last used by the Royal Navy when the issue was discontinued on July 31, 1970. Sip it on its own. Serve it on ice. Or, enjoy it in true Royal Navy fashion as “grog”, quite possibly one of the world’s first cocktails: one-part rum to three-parts water (and maybe a little Demerara raw sugar and twist of lime)!

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Black Tot Day, Pusser’s Rum is releasing 5,000 limited-edition bottles to commemorate the historic event. These limited-edition bottles of Pusser’s Rum will be sold in Europe to mark and honor the occasion.  Each bottle will be individually numbered.

Meet the Admiralty’s Recipe

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this historic event, Pusser’s Rum LTD proudly introduces its Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Rum, a special combination of aged Trinidad and Guyana rums blended at 54.5% ABV (109 Proof) and to the exact specification used by the Admiralty when it discontinued the issue.  The Rum is a product of five stills, three in Guyana and two in Trinidad.
The award-winning taste of this blend is heavily influenced by distillate from the vintage Greenheart double wooden pot still originally constructed at the Port Mourant Estate which was first placed in service in 1732.

The taste is a touch of what has become known as “classic Demerara” with a warm mix of rich molasses and sweet brown sugar,  and a complex blend of the island spices of nutmeg, clove, and cassia mingled with notes of sultanas, prunes, and exotic tropical fruits. The Anniversary Blend ends with a finish of soft oak, toasty caramel, and the crowd-pleasing taste of buttery, melt-in-your-mouth English toffee. Master Distillers call it a “perfect balance.”

The rich flavour of Pusser’s Rum is all natural. Since we make it just like they did years and years ago, no artificial colours, flavours, or sugars are added. Ever.

History of the Daily Tot

Although not officially authorized by the victualling board in London, the first documented issuance of rum to its fleet occurred to its squadrons in the West Indies after victory at the Battle of Jamaica under the command of Admiral Penn in 1655.  The Admiralty found that rum (or wine, initially), with its higher alcohol content was a good substitute for beer which soured after about two weeks on board.  In 1731, the Admiralty Board officially approved a ½ pint of rum (or a pint of wine), served neat in two equal amounts daily, when beer was not available. The daily issue was called “the Tot,” which was said to have been doubled before battle and after victory!!  By the early 1800s, rum became the favoured spirited commodity on board most Royal Navy ships, particularly those in foreign stations.  Over the years, the Admiralty reduced and watered-down the issue, but it continued to be a tradition which each seaman looked forward to after a hard day at sea.

In 1970, the Admiralty Board concluded that rum “was no longer compatible with the high standards of efficiency required.” After that, on July 31, they called it quits. Black Tot Day was the last day a tot of rum was issued on board Her Royal Majesties Ships.

Rum was first introduced into the Royal Navy shortly after the Invasion of Jamaica in 1655

The daily tot became codified in 1731

In 1740, Admiral Vernon ordered the daily rum ration to be mixed with water. The mixture was dubbed “Grog” after Vernon’s nickname “Old Grogram”

The exact rum blend was codified by the Admiralty in 1810

In 1823, the daily rum ration was cut in half, and in 1850 it was halved again

On 31 July 1970, the daily rum ration was abolished