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Navy Grog Recipe

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Navy Grog Cocktail

Navy Grog

Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

The Navy Grog is one of those cocktails that has so many variations that it is almost impossible to keep track. When you search for Navy Grog you will be lucky to find two recipes that match. Why, you ask? The likely reason is that there are quite a few ingredients in this drink and as it was passed from bartender to bartender, things were missed, added, misinterpreted, or simply personalized.

Navy Grog began exactly as it sounds, as a refreshment for British sailors and as a way to enhance and preserve the water they stored on ship and get vitamins to fight diseases. This grog dates to the mid 1700's and was typically a mix of rum, water, honey or molasses, lemon, and cinnamon that was served either hot or cold.

The Navy Grog recipes we are familiar with today stem from the tiki movement that began in the 1940's and it is said that Don Beach was the first to mix it up. Trader Vic's has a claim on the cocktail's conception as well. Both of their recipes are below, with Don the Beachcomber's being this first listing.

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Pour the rums, juices, and syrups into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with soda.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry skewer.

Trader Vic's Navy Grog

There is not a big difference in this recipe from Don the Beachcomber's above. The key difference is the use of pimento dram (or an allspice syrup) in place of the runny honey (or honey syrup). Also, notice that less grapefruit is used here and there is one of the few Navy Grog recipes that skips the soda.

  • 1 ounce light Puerto Rican rum
  • 1 ounce gold Jamaican rum
  • 1 ounce demerara rum
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 ounce pimento (allspice) dram

This cocktail is shaken and served over a mound (or customarily, an inverted ice cone) of finely shaven ice with a straw stuck inside.

Dale DeGroff's Navy Grog

This recipe is printed in Dale DeGroff's (aka King Cocktail) The Craft of the Cocktail book. I find it interesting that this is a completely different take on the grog and it certainly leans more to that traditional 18th century grog of British sailors. It is an equally great cocktail as the tiki drinks above.

Shake the ingredients with ice and pour into a double old-fashioned glass.

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