143: End of the Daily Tot
July 31 marks the 45th anniversary of the end of the daily rum ration in the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom.
Here are a few facts about what was known as the daily tot.
First, the ration was originally one gallon of beer per day. Eventually it was changed to pint of wine or half a pint of locally available spirits, with rum became the preferred spirit. Admiral Edward Vernon began the practice of watering down the rum and adding lemon or lime to prevent scurvy.
Second, efforts were made to end the daily ration in 1850 and 1881 before finally being successful in 1970. Instead of rum, sailors were allowed to buy two pints of beer a day.
Third, the United States was the first navy to end its daily rum ration in 1862. The New Zealand Navy was the last to eliminate the daily tot in 1990.
Our question: What was the origin of the term “grog” for watered-down rum?