Sailors have enjoyed rum for centuries. Pirates mixed it with water and sugar, and sometimes with nutmeg. In 1740 Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of the British Royal Navy introduced a mixture of rum, water, weak beer, and lemon or lime juice to his recruits. Two servings were issued each day. Adding rum helped make the ship's stagnant water more palatable, and diluting the rum was intended to reduce intoxication.
Admiral Vernon was accustomed to wearing a coat made of grogram (a coarse fabric of silk and wool), and sailors nicknamed him Old Grog. His drink soon acquired the name as well. Today, "grog" refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages, not all of which contain rum.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of windmills on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012113.htm.