The Bottles – Gold Rum

Pusser's Rum

Pusser's Rum

July 31, 1970 was among the darkest days in British naval history. Something greater than a battle, greater than a war, was lost forever. It was Black Tot Day, and by act of the House of Commons, the daily rum ration given to the sailors was no more. “Up Spirits!”, the official bos’n pipe to signal the ration, was heard in the Royal Navy for the last time.

For more than 300 years, the Royal Navy had issued its sailors a daily “tot” of rum. Life on the sea was hard, if not deadly, and rum was one of the few comforts afforded the Jack Tars, as the men were known. Following the conquest of Jamaica in 1655, the British replaced their daily ration of beer or brandy with rum.

Initially, this was given to the men straight — half a pint per man per day — but that was deemed excessive. In 1740, Admiral Edward Vernon, nicknamed “Old Grog” after the grogram coat he favored, prescribed that the rum be cut with water and lime juice. For reasons unknown at the time, Vernon’s men were healthier than the rest of the navy, so the drink, dubbed “grog” in his honor, spread throughout the fleet. The ration was doled out by the purser (bastardized to “pusser”), and it became accepted that the daily tot of grog was made with pusser’s rum. Simple enough.

As so it was until Black Tot Day. From Trafalgar to 1970, the same wooden stills produced the same rum under private contract to the Admiralty. If you weren’t part of the club, you couldn’t get the stuff. Then, the club ceased to be. Fortunately, there are smart, if not opportunistic, people in this world like Charles Tobias. In 1979, Tobias secured not only the recipe for pusser’s rum, he — and this is the really good part — secured the original stills. If the importance of that statement doesn’t jump out at you, let me put it another way: these were the exact same stills that make Admiral Nelson’s rum. A sip of Pusser’s is a drink of naval history.

History aside, I challenge you to this: crack a bottle of Pusser’s and take a wiff. If you don’t say “wow”, see a doctor. Then, take a sip. Taste the undernotes of vanilla and pineapple, and as you do, keep this in mind — this isn’t a flavored or spiced rum. All the notes, all the notes that you get come solely from the distillation and aging process. What you’re smelling and tasting is the history and majesty of this truly sublime product. Sugarcane, wood, and history — three ingredients to delight the palate, sooth the soul, and offer the closest thing possible to time travel. All in one sip.

Yes, it really is that good.

Esoterica: Before dinner each day, Royal Navy officers toast the reigning monarch and then offer the toast of the day. Depending upon the day of the week, the toasts are as follows:

Monday:
Our ships at sea.
Tuesday: Our men.
Wednesday: Ourselves.
Thursday: A bloody war and quick promotion.
Friday: A willing soul and sea room.
Saturday: Sweethearts and wives, may they never meet.
Sunday: Absent friends and those at sea.

32 Responses to “The Bottles – Gold Rum”

  1. Lars
    June 3, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    I was surprised to find that the little liquor store in Claremore Oklahoma had only one of the 12 bottles in its inventory and it was Pussers Rum.

    Cool pic by the way.

  2. June 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    fantastic blog David – would you be willing to put our website on your pussers entry? http://pussersusa.com, this details our restaurant locations – we’d love your readers to stop by and enjoy our pussers rum

  3. Will Wagner
    February 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Pussers is a little hit of miss for me around Chicago. I have been moving to Flor de Cana 7 for my value rum. Anyone have more preferences?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Grog and Bumbo « 12 Bottle Bar - June 7, 2010

    [...] 2 oz Pusser’s Rum 4 oz Water 0.5 oz Lime Juice 2 tsp Brown [...]

  2. Cuba Libre « 12 Bottle Bar - June 9, 2010

    [...] Libre 1 oz Pusser’s Rum 4 oz real sugar Coca-Cola Lime [...]

  3. Pat O’Brien’s « 12 Bottle Bar - June 11, 2010

    [...] perhaps it’s no surprise that I’ve been waiting excitedly for Dave to post Pusser’s Rum.  Rum is so much a part of so many things that fascinate me… from Pirates to the British Navy to [...]

  4. The Hurricane « 12 Bottle Bar - June 15, 2010

    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 0.5 oz Orange Liqueur 2 oz Orange Juice 2 oz Pineapple Juice 1 oz Passion Fruit Juice/Nectar 1 oz [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 4 oz Pineapple Juice < 1 oz Cream of Coconut 1 oz Orange [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 1.5 oz Remy Martin VSOP Cognac 0.5 oz Orange Liqueur 0.5 oz Lime Juice 0.5 oz Simple Syrup 0.5 oz [...]

  7. …And the Rest « 12 Bottle Bar - July 27, 2010

    [...] Smaller Dinger.  White rum is cheap and, if you buy correctly, delicious.  I went with Pusser’s here as our sugarcane representative, as if I was forced to pick only one rum on the planet, [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 1.5 oz Watermelon Juice 1.5 oz Lemon Juice 1 oz Watermelon-Balsamic Gastrique 2 oz Club Soda [...]

  9. 12BottleBar Celebrates National Rum Day « 12 Bottle Bar - August 16, 2010

    [...] way — by drinking rum.  Given that we only have one rum on among our 12 bottles, that being Pusser’s Navy Rum, it’s Pusser’s that we’ll be celebrating.  This simple highball comes to us via [...]

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    [...] do” Cocktail Posted on September 16, 2010 by twelvebottles| Leave a comment 1.5 oz Pusser’s Rum 2 oz Honey-Melon Nectar (see below) 1 Dash Angostura [...]

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    [...] 0.5 Tbsp Sugar 2 or 3 Dashes Lemon Juice 1 oz Soda Water 1 oz Remy Martin Cognac 2 oz Orange Liqueur (a Curaçao  recommended, obviously) 1 oz Pusser’s Rum [...]

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    [...] Bottle Pusser’s Rum 18 oz Ginger Beer 5 oz Grapefruit Juice 5 oz [...]

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    [...] 13.  If you want to keep to the 12 Bottle Bar mantra, however, substitute the Rittenhouse Rye or Pusser’s Rum.  As for the Advocaat, is there a 14th bottle as well?  We cleverly figured out a way around [...]

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    [...] November 5, 2010 by twelvebottles| Leave a comment 2 oz Redbreast Whiskey or Rittenhouse Rye or Pusser’s Rum 6 oz Hard Apple [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 1 Tbl Molasses (preferably Blackstrap) 2 oz Boiling [...]

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    [...] and Juice of 3 Lemons 6 oz Demerara Sugar 16 oz Pusser’s Rum 10 oz Remy Martin Cognac 40 oz Boiling [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 2 Tbls Butter Batter (see below) 3 oz Boiling Water 1 Pat of Unsalted [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 30 oz Coconut Milk 14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk 0.5 Cup Water Pinch of Salt 1 tsp. [...]

  20. Tom and Jerry | 12 Bottle Bar - December 22, 2010

    [...] the mug full of Batter 0.5 oz Remy Martin Cognac 0.5 oz Pusser’s Rum Boiling Water or Hot Milk to [...]

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    [...] Pusser’s Navy Rum [...]

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    [...] Bottle Champagne Rinds of 3 Lemons 6 oz (by volume) Brown Sugar 1/3 Pineapple 8 oz Pusser’s Rum 14+ oz Green Tea [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 0.5 oz [...]

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    [...] Posted on February 23, 2011 by twelvebottles| Leave a comment 1.5 – 2 oz Brandy, Gin, Rum or Whiskey Juice and Shell of half a Lemon or Lime 4 – 6 oz Ginger [...]

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    [...] for Marshmallows 2 oz Pusser’s Rum 4 oz Pineapple Juice 1 oz Coconut Water 1 oz Orange [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 1.5 oz Agua de Tamarindo (recipe below) 3 – 4 oz Club Soda, to [...]

  27. Dunlop Cocktail | 12 Bottle Bar - June 1, 2011

    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 1 oz Fortified Wine 1 dash Angostura [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 2.25 tsp Sirop de Citron (see below) 2.25 tsp [...]

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    [...] oz Pusser’s Rum 2.25 tsp Sirop de Citron (see below) 2.25 [...]

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