Distilled spirits.

5 Annotations

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

From about 1655, a pint of rum was given to every sailor in the Navy every day. Half was served at 12 noon, and the other half at between 5 or 6 p.m. (the amount decreased in later years). Known as Pusser’s Rum (the name a corruption of Purser, the person who issued the rum), sailors had a daily tot of rum until the practice ended on 31 July 1970.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It occurs to me that Sir William Penn captured Jamaica in 1655 ... and rum comes from Jamaica. There must be a connection, and I wonder if he made money off this arrangement?

I don't have time to research this idea today, and will post anything I find later ... but I'm wondering if anyone else knows?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

strong water:

OED: 2. Any form of alcoholic spirits used as a beverage. Now only in pl. (somewhat arch.).
a1613 Overbury Wife, etc. (1638) 178 His new Trade of brewing Strong-Waters makes a number of mad-men.
1624 Capt. Smith Virginia iv. 160 After, with warme clothes and a little strong water, they had a little recouered him.
1687 Relat. De Chaumont's Embassy Siam 23 Eleven Barks full of Oxen, Sheep, and Strong-water made with rice.

In Pepys time "strong water" was also used as an English translation of aquafortis, or nitric acid. If anyone had drunk that, they would be dead.

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