The History of Black Tot Day
Black Tot Day memorializes the day on which the Royal Navy discontinued its daily rum ration, known as the daily tot, which dated back to 1655.
Sip on this brief nautical history to impress your friends at the bar or trivia night.
Black Tot Day – A Timeline
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
Black Tot Day – A Brief History
Pusser’s Rum is the only rum blended in exact accordance with the Royal Navy specification, which was first served in 1655.
It was introduced to the Royal Navy shortly after the invasion of Jamaica.
By 1731, the daily tot became codified, and quickly became tradition.
It didn’t take long for the Royal Navy to realize that rum rations needed to be mixed with water.
In 1740, Admiral Vernon ordered that the daily rum ration was to be mixed with water and lime juice
to make it more palatable for the sailors, and to help prevent scurvy.
The mixture was dubbed “Grog”, after Vernon’s nickname, “Old Grogram”.
In 1810, the exact rum blend was codified by the Admiralty, and is in fact the same rum blend we proudly sell today.
Throughout it’s over 300 years as a tradition, the daily rum ration was halved not once, but twice.
Once in 1823, and again in 1850.
Pusser’s was last served on board a Royal Navy ship on July 31, 1970, when it discontinued its daily ration – thereby ending a tradition that lasted over 300 years.
This day would come to be known as Black Tot Day.
On that infamous day, sailors commemorated the historical event in many different ways;
some held elaborate ceremonies, and others threw their final rum rations overboard into the sea.
One tot of rum was even given a proper burial at navy training camp HMS Collingwood, the Royal Naval Electrical College at Fareham in Hampshire.
“Round the world” in every ship of the Royal Navy, glasses were raised in their final salute, and it’s no exaggeration to say that at that moment,
many a strong man shed a tear at the passing of a tradition so old and fine that was to be no more.
Each year since, Pusser’s Rum honors this final salute with celebrations all over the world.