A guest post by AF Stewart, author of the compelling Saga of the Outer Islands series
Bottles of Rum and Drunken Sailors
Now, what seafaring story would be complete without the rum?
Certainly not my Saga of the Outer Islands series.
Rum, or alcohol in general, and sailors (or pirates) is fairly synonymous, as is the scenario of sailors having a bit of a tipple on shore leave. The tradition arose with the old sailing ships keeping men at sea for months at a time, and alcohol becoming a ship ration to ease the trip. However, early stores of liquor for the lowly sailor were wine and beer, (that often went bad) not rum. It was about 1650 that rum become the drink ration of choice, due in part to economics, a surplus of rum, and the durability of the liquor to not go off. The rest is history and good movie lines.
Which leads me back to my book series. Of course, as a seafaring fantasy, the crew of the Celestial Jewel and her Captain like a good drink from time to time. And my books, Ghosts of the Sea Moon and Souls of the Dark Sea, do have plenty of flowing booze, with not only rum but port and other wine, cordial, beer and ale. Even the traditional grog. So here’s a little insight into some of the characters and their favourite drinks.
Captain Rafe Morrow: He can most often be seen with either a glass of wine in his hand or a glass of rum. As a god, alcohol doesn’t affect him significantly, so he drinks quite regularly.
Elliot Blackthorne: His tastes are a bit more refined with his preferred alcoholic beverage being a good wine or port, though he will take rum with his Captain when asked, or indulge in an ale with the crew at the local tavern. Rum and other spirits tend to go to his head quickly though, so he generally does not imbibe much.
One-Eyed Anders: He likes his ale (and boasts he can drink any man save his captain under the table) or a good glass of rum.
Pinky Jasper: The preferred drink is grog, though he won’t refuse an ale at the tavern.
Lord Merrill: More of a social drinker, he drinks almost exclusively wine, port, or cordial, but has been known to sip whiskey or rum on occasion.
Now for a couple of drink extras.
What is Cordial?
By definition, cordial is a sweet fruit or floral flavoured syrup, but can also refer to a low-alcoholic liqueur or other alcoholic beverage that uses cordial syrup. In my book, a cordial refers to a fruity liqueur.
Here’s a site with a recipe for a berry cordial made with vodka: Berry Cordial
And one for a cordial syrup: How to Make Cordial
What is Grog?
Grog began as a way of keeping sailors from over inebriating from the highly intoxicating rum and for spreading out rations by simply watering down rum. As one might expect, sailors were not happy with this, so later they were allowed to add lime juice, spices and sugar to make it more palatable.
Here’s a good basic grog recipe:
2 OZ DARK RUM
0.75 OZ LIME JUICE
0.5 OZ DEMERARA SYRUP
1 OZ WATER
Add all ingredients to a mug with ice and stir to combine.
And another one:
2 ounces dark rum
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 ounces hot water
Slice of orange and a cinnamon stick
Mix the rum, lime juice, brown sugar, and hot water in a mug. Garnish with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick.
I hope you enjoyed a little insight into my sailors and rum. Please come join me on the high seas.
Set sail on a new adventure with gods, ghosts and sea monsters. You can find ‘Souls of the Dark Sea in all amazing book shops including Amazon, and it is currently at an offer price of 99p. Check out the YouTube here and for further wonderful tidbits, check out AF Stewart’s website here