Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Rum!

Song of the Day: Slither by Velvet Revolver

“Ah. Rum and a new flintlock. Brings a tear to me eye.” ~ Henri, The Siren’s Song

Drink up, me hearties! Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! For me, it’s like a holiday. No surprise, there. And because it’s a holiday, I’m going to post a blog I wrote that originally appeared on Carina Press’s blog. Hey…it’s a holiday. We pirate wenches don’t work on holidays.

So for fun, let’s talk about something near and dear to a pirate’s heart. RUM!

Pirates sure loved their liquor. Who could forget the Pirates of the Caribbean scene where Elizabeth Swann burns Jack’s stash on a deserted spit of land to signal a passing ship for help. Poor Jack was beside himself. Oh yes, pirates loved their sauce. Perhaps it was pirate Richard Haines who said it best with this sentiment. “A life without liberty is not worth living. But a life with liberty and no beer mug ain’t much better.” Hear! Hear!

As colorful as pirates were, both in fact and fiction, so were their choices of poison. They guzzled rum, beer, brandy, and wines.

But man needs water to survive. Fresh water, also known as sweet water, was a precious commodity because stagnant water often soured in their casks. Think – slime in the ice machine. Yuck! So to make the water more palatable, rum, beer, or wine was added. The mixture was called grog and was rationed out to crewmen daily.

Pirates were quite creative in their elixir concoctions, too.

Bumboo was an alcoholic beverage of rum, sugar, lemon and lime juices, and nutmeg. Drink this, mate, and you may stave off a bout of scurvy.

Arrack was made from fermented fruits, grain, and sugar cane. Toke was liquor made from fermented honey. I’m not entirely convinced that these drinks were sweet to taste.

Kill-Devil rum included booze, beer, and raw eggs. Eww!

Hangman’s Blood, a potent medley of various strong liquors, could knock even the most hardened fellow on his arse. It was probably best not to smoke while drinking this mixture for fear of igniting. Whoosh!

In The Siren’s Song, pirate Captain Thayer Drake’s rum drinking is one battle he can’t seem to win. Perhaps Gilly, the beautiful songstress he saved from drowning, will help him kick the habit. But not after one particularly exasperating evening with her. Instead, he hits the bottle harder than usual, stirring gunpowder into his rum. Gunpowder rum? Yes, pirates did do this. Gunpowder contains saltpeter which was believed to deaden sexual desires. It was also thought to inspire courage and aggression before heading off into battle.

To read an excerpt of The Siren’s Song, click here.

As far as swilling goes, I think I’d fit in just fine with the pirate brethren. From rum and cola to the fruitier Jamaican Sunrise, I love rum drinks. What’s your favorite rum drink? Not a fan of rum? What is your adult beverage of choice?

16 Responses to Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Rum!

  1. Never was much of a rum drinker, Jenn; sorry, but I think it stemmed from an over-indulgence on Zombies at a wedding at a young age. Between the rum and the sugar in the concoction, the hangover was beyond wicked. It cured me of any desire for elaborate mixed drinks, too. Scotch or Jack Daniel’s became my choices after that one.

    Gotta love Henrí, though!


    • jbrayweber says:

      As if scotch or whiskey doesn’t give you a hangover. Pffth! At any rate, Will, I know what you mean. A wicked hangover, or two, from too much red wine has kept be from joining the masses of wine drinkers. 🙂


  2. I like Sex on the Beach.


    • jbrayweber says:

      Ooohh…I like sex on the beach, too. Oh wait….we’re talking about drinks….
      Sex on the Beach is a classic drink, Victoria. I can see why it’s a fav. 🙂


  3. jeff7salter says:

    Had no idea pirates had such a variety of beverages to choose from.
    So how come you’re off today? Nothing on my calendar…
    Just like William, above, I had a bad, early experience with rum (& coke). Or maybe it was bourbon & coke. CAn’t remember. I blacked out and was grounded for a month. Oh, well, being 16 is something I never want to do again.


    • jbrayweber says:

      Unplug yer lugholes, Jeff. It’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day. That’s why this saucy wench is off. LOL!

      Yup, those pirates (and sailors, fishermen, and Royal Navy seamen) were a creative bunch when it came to their alcohol. It’s all very interesting. as a teen, I drank quite a bit of Jim Beam. (Ssshh…don’t tell my folks.) But I was a beer drinker. Loved ice cold Bud Light. Or Corona. Or Dos Equis. Or Lone Star. But I digress. My worst hangovers came from mixing beer with a shot of just about anything. Oh, and Jagermeister will kill you.

      Ah…good times…good times…Until the morning came, anyway.


  4. Tess says:

    “It was probably best not to smoke while drinking this mixture for fear of igniting.” DAAAHHHMMMMM. With all their facial hair, this would be a worry!


  5. My favorite is coconut rum and diet Pepsi. Or regular Pepsi. So good! I have to limit myself to those on special occasions only 🙂 I had heard of a few of those drinks, but didn’t know the ingredients. Thanks for posting them!


  6. ravenraye says:

    I do like a Rum Punch. (Love grenadine) Rum and coke, Lime flavored coke and coconut flavored rum, ’cause you put da lime in da coconut an drink it all up…



  7. Rum and gunpowder? Now there’s a deadly combination. Used to love a Cuba Libre every now and then, but now pretty much stick with a glass of Pinot. Fun blog, Jenn. Thanks for sharing again.


    • jbrayweber says:

      Thanks, Judythe. Yep, rum and gunpowder WAS a deadly combination. They didn’t know they were literally poisoning their bodies.


  8. Suzan Harden says:

    For rum, definitely mai tais. Though if you’re at the Hyatt Regency Resort on Maui for their luai, put a napkin over your glass after the second one because they WILL keep refilling your glass. DH had to, uh, help me back to our room. How I did not have a hangover the next day, I’ll never know.


    • jbrayweber says:

      Mai tais are yummy and dangerous. bet you are a lot of fun tipsy. I say tipsy because I know you’d never get drunk, Suzan. 😉


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