The first people who drank grog drank nothing but a mixture of hot rum and water, sometimes with a few spices sprinkled on top. Not bad, but not nearly as good as what we enjoy today.
In the 18th century, Edward Vernon, a British admiral, was nicknamed "Old Grog" because of the grogram fabric he liked to wear. "Old Grog" served his men a pint of rum a day in an attempt to prevent scurvey. Of course it didn't work, but his sailors enjoyed their admiral's efforts. :) Then "Old Grog" issued the now-famous Captain's Order Number 349, stating that all rum must be mixed with water, a dash of brown sugar, and lime juice in order to make it more palatable. The sailors really didn't like this too well, but nevertheless, they christened the weakened drink after Vernon.
Grog has undergone many changes since "Old Grog's" sailors drank it. Today, we drink grog comfortingly warm or refreshingly cool, and we enjoy it either way. Surprisingly, the rum originally used in grog didn't become available to the general public until the 1980s. (Yes, the 1980s!) It is sold under the label, "Pusser's Navy Rum," pusser being navy slang for purser, the person who sold the rum to the sailors. (And by the way, the British navy stopped rationing rum to its sailors only in the late 1970s.)
And if you're ever told you have "grog blossoms," you might want to check the mirror. Grog blossoms refer to the broken blood vessels in your nose - an effect of drinking too much of this delicious beveridge.
Warm grog is always a great drink to have around Christmastime, and it lends itself especially well to parties. Just make sure designated drivers stay far away from the drink (and all other alcoholic drinks), and don't let even non-drivers have too much. It is potent.
2 ounces dark rum, preferably Pusser's Navy Rum
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (make sure this is fresh)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 ounces hot water
Slice of orange
Mix the rum, lime juice, brown sugar and hot water together until the brown sugar is dissolved.
Serve warm garnished with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick.
You won't even feel the cold!