Any damn fool can navigate the world sober.  It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.     - Sir Francis Chichester



Grog \'gräg\ n [Old Grog, nickname of Edward Vernon  1757 E admiral responsible for diluting the sailors' rum] : spirituous liquor; specif : liquor (as rum) cut with water.


The Perfect Painkiller

Without ice (or very little ice), blend, shake, or stir:

1 ounce cream of coconut
1 ounce orange juice
4 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces
Pusser’s British Navy Rum

Pour into a big glass filled with ice and grate fresh nutmeg on top.


"Drink" in the word of a sailor

Binder--one for the road

Black varnish--bottled stout

Bottle the tot--save the drink for later

Brown food--beer, ale, stout

Bug juice--cocoa

Cape Horn rain or Nelson's blood or Stagger juice--rum



Dead marine--empty bottle

Devil's toothbrush--half brandy, half gin

Giggle water--cocktail

Gimlet--gin and lime

Goffer--any drink with fizz

Gunfire--morning tea

Horse's neck--brandy and ginger ale


Monkey piss--lime juice

Panther piss or Tiger piss--beer

Round-the-world--sherry, gin, whiskey, and brandy together

Sluggers--sloe gin

Swipes--near beer

Switchel--molasses, vinegar, and water

Thickers--strong tea

Tonsil varnish--low-grade tea



"Bailey's Banana Colada"

4 ounces of pineapple juice
1 ½ ounces cream of coconut
1 ½ ounces of Bailey's Irish Crème
1 banana

Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a blender and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and an orange slice.


"Drunk" in the words of a sailor

Anchored in Sot's Bay

Back teeth awash


Carry three red lights (lights shown by a vessel not under control)



Sewn up


Three sheets to the wind

Trimmed down

Under full sail


The Backstreet Bushwacker

1 ounce of Vodka
½ ounce of Amaretto
½ ounce of light Crème de Cocoa
½ ounce of Kahlua
1 ounce of Bailey's Irish Crème

Blend with ice cubes until it has the consistency of a milkshake.  Sprinkle with nutmeg


Royal Navy Rum Terminology

Grog:  Traditionally, 2 parts water, 1 part Pusser's Rum.

Tot:  1/8th pint rum, the standard daily ration.

Sippers:  A small gentlemanly sip from a friend's rum issue.

Gulpers:  One, but only one, big swallow from another's tot.

Sandy Bottoms:  To see off whatever's in a mug when offered by a friend.

"Splice the Main Brace!":  A double tot for a job well done, or an invitation aboard for free drinks--and to say to a friend, "Let's Splice the Main Brace!: is synonymous with, "Let's have a drink!"

The framework of Hospitality:  Where 3 sippers equal 1 gulp, and 3 gulps equal 1 tot!

Bob's--a--Dying:  In Nelson's day, meant a "stupendous, drunken bash."

A Long Swig at the Halliards:  To "tie" one on!


Royal Navy Traditional Toasts

Monday Our ships at sea.
Tuesday Our men
Wednesday Ourselves (as no one is likely to concern themselves with our welfare).
Thursday A bloody war and quick promotion.
Friday A willing soul and sea room.
Saturday Sweethearts and wives, may they never meet.
Sunday Absent friends and those at sea.

But the standing toast that pleased the most was:

"The wind that blows

The ship that goes

And the lass that loved a sailor!"


The Perfect Kalapana Colada

4 ounces of pineapple juice
1 ½ ounces cream of coconut
1 ½ ounces of dark rum
½ banana
5 – 8 seedless red or green grapes

Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a blender and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Float an extra shot of dark rum on the top and garnish with a Maraschino cherry and an orange slice.


Annals of the U.S. Navy

1794 - U.S. Navy established by an act of Congress

1797 - First captain's commission granted to John Barry

1797 - First frigate, the United States, was launched

1798 - Navy Department was established

1799 - First chaplain, William Balch, was commissioned

1830 - Sloop-of-war, Vincennes, first U.S. Navy ship to circumnavigate the globe

1837 - First real seagoing steam-powered man-of-war of the U.S. Navy, USS Fulton, was launched.

1861- Daily issue of rum for enlisted men was abolished

1862 - First ironclad floating battery, USS Monitor, launched

1862 - Liquor was banned from Navy vessels, except for medicinal purposes

1893 - First true battleship in U.S. Navy, USS Indiana (BB-1), was launched

1898 - First practical submarine in the Navy, USS Holland, was launched

1911 - First naval aircraft, the A-1, made its first flight

1914 - Alcohol was banned from Navy yards and stations

1920 - First aircraft carrier, USS Langley, was commissioned

1942 - WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) was established

1954 - First nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, was launched

1959 - First nuclear-powered surface ship, cruiser USS Long Beach, was launched

1960 - First nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, was launched

1997 - U.S. frigate Constitution, oldest warship afloat in the world, got underway under sail in celebration of her bicentennial


The Peace & Love

2 ounces of Bailey's Irish Crème
2 ounces of Tia Maria
½ ounce of Hennessy's Cognac

Served over ice in an Old Fashioned Glass.


Top of page


The Elephants' Graveyard available at Amazon.com