THE DAY THE RUM DIED
In 1970, it was voted in Parliament to stop the rum ration given fears surrounding the more complex technology now in operation across the navy. Funerals were held for ‘the day the rum died’ and 31st July 1970 became forever known as Black Tot Day.
The remaining rum was put into flagons and saved for special occasions like the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, or for the rarely uttered decree to ‘Splice the Main Brace’. Eventually, some flagons made their way into the hands of former officers who either drank them or else sold them on. Over the course of several years, Elixir Distillers co-founder Sukhinder Singh tracked down and purchased these last remaining flagons, and blended them together to create “Black Tot Last Consignment”.
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WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS
James Lind discovered the effects of citrus fruit on warding off scurvy in 1747, but it wasn’t until almost 50 years later in 1795 that the Navy issued a daily ration of lemon juice to prevent this disease. However, due to prevailing myths surrounding alternative cures, it wouldn’t be until 1928 - and the discovery of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) - that scurvy was fully banished from the fleet.
Long Live the Tot!
Black Tot Day in 1970 ended a relationship between the British Armed Forces and their favourite drink and the sailors of the of the time mourned the loss of their rum. But this loss led to society’s gain...
THE NAVY RUM BLEND
The Royal Navy became accidental, yet pioneering, blenders. As for choosing between rum or money, which do you think the sailors favoured?