We are back to peel yet another layer back from the amazing history that is rum! Part three will take you across the seas during what we now call Australia Day…
January 26, 1808 (doesn’t that year sound familiar) was once the time of an uprising in which Gov. William Bligh and the corps took rums name through to the end, unaware that this day in history would turn into what it has today for the Australian community.
Despite rum not necessarily having been the main cause of this uprising, due to its presence as currency during William Bligh being overthrown in the Government House… This was to be called the Rum Rebellion for decades to come!
1808… Being such a distinct moment in history both in 2018 and 210 years ago in 1808, the connection between this piece of history and our 1808 Barely Legal cane spirit is much more logic than one may deem upon first examination.
“This spirit is a tribute to the men & women who founded Australia, the rule breakers, the battlers, and the ones who never gave in.” – A history that Illegal Tender Rum Co has embraced in the process of creating two international multi-award winning products where each sip can take you back to a history you never actually experienced. Now that’s an uprising.
50 ml Bushtucker Spiced
5 ml Falernum
40 ml pineapple juice
40 ml orange juice
10ml fresh lemon juice
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Method: Build (add all the ingredients into the glass, add crushed ice and use a spoon to mix)
Garnish: Slice of orange or a pineapple cube
As with all, the true beauty always lies in something’s past. Rum has been traded among us for too long to not take the time to understand its history!
Without further delay, here are only a handful of facts from Rum’s past that can seem out of this world…
- The small amount of rum that was given to the sailors of the Royal Navy was referred to as a “tot o’ rum”
- Before sailors in the Royal Navy were given a daily tot of rum, they had been forced to put up with French brandy.
- Popular names for some rum-based drinks or cocktails are Painkiller, Jagertree and Zombie.
- The infamous Admiral Nelson that died in the Battle of Trafalgar had his body preserved in a cask of rum before it was laid to rest.
- “Rum Sour”, one of the many famous ways to drink rum, was created in Barbados and served in a conch shell.
- The colour or depth of darkness of a batch of rum depends on the time spent in a barrel.
As we continue to peel back the layers of that drink we all love – today I am going to tell you about “Navy Rum”.
Depending on how many you have had already, it shouldn’t surprise you that Navy Rum was a product of the British Royal Navy in the 1600s.
Prior to 1655, the drink of preference for an old salt was French Cognac but after the Brits seized the island of Jamaica they quickly substituted Cognac for the good stuff.
Rum has enjoyed a rich history but perhaps none finer than the legend of Horation Nelson who died at the Battle of Trafalgar. Although he won the battle, he didn’t get a chance to enjoy the fruits of his success. His loyal troops decided to preserve his body in a vat of Rum for the journey back to Blighty. Things didn’t go exactly to plan – when they cracked the cask open in England they found it be empty (except for old Horatio). Did he drink it from the after life? Did his body absorb the Rum? None of the above – the crew had drilled a hole in the bottom and drained the Rum off during the journey home. We like their #endeavour! To this day some still call Rum “Nelson’s Blood”.
So next time you raise a glass of the good stuff and salute Lord Nelson with a tot of Nelson’s Blood!
Pictured above – Hot Buttered Rum – a healthy shot of our spiced, mix with hot melted butter and brown sugar, boiling water, season with nutmeg and cinnamon.
OK legends – on those cold winter nights while you are mulling the world through a glass of the good stuff – hopefully a drop of our award winning spiced your thoughts may stray to just what is “Rum” and where did it all begin.
Glad you asked!
Peeps have been distilling, brewing and fermenting stuff since long before we had Wikipedia but common knowledge indicates the original Rums likely started in ancient India or China and then once travellers got a taste of the good stuff, well it spread from there. Malaysian “Brum” has been made for 10s of centuries and appears to be one of the possible origins of today’s “Rum”. Marco Polo documented his encounter with “sugar wine” in the 14th century in Iran. So although the origins predate our memories it is certain that every country now has their own tot of the good stuff.
The Brits gave rations of “Navy Rum” to their sailors, although at 95.5 proof they quickly advised that it be mixed with lime juice or water lest the crew went mad and fell overboard!
Here in Australia, Rum was even a currency in colonial times. Conditions were said to be so damned uncomfortable that a good bottle of Rum was the only thing to help the population forget their woes. In fact labourers were enticed with a bottle of Rum to encourage them to work the land of their masters. Sounds like a good deal!
Here at Illegal Tender Rum Co we are eagerly awaiting the count down to our first official batch of the good stuff that we reckon we will commit to Wikipedia so people will remember where our legend began!
Pictured above: a “Cuba Libre” – white rum, lime juice and your favourite cola on the rocks with a wedge of lime – cheers!