It seems hard to believe but July 31 marks fifty years since the last rum ration was served in the British Navy.
“Black Tot Day” marks the anniversary of the last day sailors were issue with a daily rum ration – a tradition that began in the mid-17th century.
And whilst rum was watered down into ‘grog’ after a gradual professionalisation of the Navy, it was only in 1970 that sailors didn’t have their pay topped up with a wee tot of warming rum.
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The remaining rum was put into flagons and saved for special occasions – and over the course of several years, some of those flagons found their way into the hands of former Naval officers.
But Elixir Distillers co-fouder Sukhinder Singh also tracked them down – and blended them together to create the ‘Black Tot Last Consignment.’ That rum has evolved from distilleries long since lost.
Black Tot’s flagship rum, Finest Caribbean, is also inspired by naval traditions. Blended from Barbadan, Guyanan and Jamaican rum, it’s a fine copper-coloured sipping drink as well as an excellent base for cocktails.
And goodness knows, this summer, we could all do with a taste of the Caribbean.