They say you learn something new every day, and my little nugget of wisdom is this: the Royal Navy used to receive a daily rum ration! For over 300 years, all Royal Navy ships would ring out their bells just before noon. Dry sailors would call “up spirits!” and report to deck to receive their daily 70ml shot of rum. Yes, a 70ml shot. Manly.
Suddenly, my nursery school rhymes
that would NEVER be allowed in playgroups in 2015 make a whole lot more sense.
As a copywriter, I feel cheated that those in my profession aren’t afforded this luxury (writing and rum go together hand-in-hand, and The New Yorker said it so it MUST BE TRUE); but the sailors, too, had this cruelly struck off their benefits package 45 years ago to the very day. Depressed at the lack of depressant, they dubbed this most hideous of days ‘Black Tot Day’. Poor little sausages.
Land-locked rum-lovers across the country commiserate alongside the sailors on this day with the classic Pusser’s cocktail, the Painkiller; and here I am to tell you how to make it. Behold its sugary glory:
All you need is four ingredients and a whole lotta ice. So gather your pals, light up the BBQ and try not to get an ASBO as you cry “up spirits!” in support of the lost tradition of the daily tot.
35ml Pusser’s rum
25ml Coco Re’al Cream of Coconut (Londoners: this is available from Fortnum and Mason’s, where I am spending an increasing amount of time at the moment)
25ml of orange juice
100ml of pineapple juice
Give all of the ingredients, together with ice, a good shake (but save 15ml of the Pusser’s). Strain it over fresh ice, and then garnish your sailor’s concoction with the remaining 15ml of Pusser’s and fresh ground nutmeg. Y’arrr, up spirits.