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Thread: Sailors drinking habits.

  1. #1
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Default Sailors drinking habits.

    We all know about the Rum inbibed by British Tars, but in light of my excursion into the Med with my American and Swedish Squadron I was hoping that one of you could enlighten me as to the preferred drinks of the US sailors, officers, and the Swedish sailors and likewise their officers so that I can get the details correct for my AARs.

    Thanks.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  2. #2
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    The Swedish Royal Navy at the time used a lot of beer. There were also "brännvin" which is schnapps, made from grain. Officers often had their own alcohol in different versions depending on wealth.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jonas that will help with the verrisimilitude of my dispatches.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  4. #4
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    Some relevant info:

    "In 1799, a Navy Department estimate of provisions for a 44-gun frigate included 8,650 gallons of rum (at a dollar per gallon)." https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/20...g-favorite-my/

    "Consciously copying the Royal Navy, the new United States Navy also provided a spirit ration to its crews. The navy issued rum until 1806, when the Navy Department became persuaded that native whiskey was a “more wholesome drink” and somewhat cheaper (probably the real reason for the change). The Secretary of the Navy reiterated this order in 1808: “I have determined to introduce in lieu of West India Rum the use of Rye Whiskey on the different Stations. From the experiment made, this liquor is approved by the Seaman.”58 This change also took valuable contracts from New England rum distillers and placed them in the hands of westerners, who had perfected the manufacture of whiskey from corn or rye. In 1809, Lewis Sanders of Lexington, Kentucky received a contract for “10,000 gallons of good merchantable proof whiskey…the whiskey is to be contained in barrels of from 30 to 33 gallons each…the barrels are to be secured with eight substantial iron hoops;” he would receive $0.45 per gallon plus $1.25 per barrel.59 At the same time, it was decreed that any man passing up his spirit ration would be allowed four cents in lieu thereof."
    and
    "The officers typically clubbed together to procure provisions for the wardroom mess. Usually one officer volunteered his services as mess caterer and bought provisions in bulk. Included among the comestibles could be found such delicacies as smoked oysters, dried fruits, jellies, and fine wine. The last item probably made up the largest portion of the private sea stores. When Commodore Edward Preble sailed to the Mediterranean in 1803 with Consul General Tobias Lear aboard, he purchased a half-pipe and six demijohns (about five gallons each) of ordinary madeira, 20 bottles of fine Madeira, 10 dozen bottles of old port, four cases of claret, two barrels of strong beer, six hogsheads of London porter (about 65 gallons each) , eight gallons of old cognac, two cases of gin, a case of cherry brandy, and 10 dozen bottles of cider, among other liquors.88 While she lay in Boston Harbor in 1813, Constitution’s officers placed a large order for alcohol. On October 7, “1 doz. [bottles] Brown Stout” came aboard, and six days later there were “12 doz [bottles] Porter” delivered. On October 9, D.W. Bradlee provided two iron-bound casks of “old Madeira.” In the middle of November, Cushing and Clark sent on board six casks of gin totaling 654 gallons. Finally, in December, Cushing and Clark also sent on board four hogsheads of rum totaling 434 gallons (this may have been for the ship’s company). It is unlikely that the beer, gin, or Madeira were intended for the crew (unless they were hospital stores). Likewise, the amounts purchased would not have sufficed for a long cruise, so the officers probably consumed it while the ship remained in port." https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/wp...he-US-Navy.pdf
    This piece worth reading in entirety! The only thing missing is exact recipes to "eat like a sailor."
    --Diamondback
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    Historical Consultant to Ares, Wings and Sails - Unless otherwise noted, all comments are strictly Personal Opinion ONLY and not to be taken as official Company Policy.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for that info DB. The Rum ration will continue until 1808 whence it will become Whiskey for the ratings, and pretty much the same for American officers and British Officers alike.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  6. #6
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    Are you doing this so you can work out what free drinks to provide at Doncaster?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    Are you doing this so you can work out what free drinks to provide at Doncaster?
    Be grateful it's him and not me... I roll under "Loser Buys For EVERYONE" rules.
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB
    Historical Consultant to Ares, Wings and Sails - Unless otherwise noted, all comments are strictly Personal Opinion ONLY and not to be taken as official Company Policy.

  8. #8
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    For those who can produce their Wings tokens! Keith never had any made for Sails.
    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 09-11-2021 at 12:34.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    For those who can produce their Wings tokens! Keith never had ant made for Sails.
    Rob.
    I never received mine. :( I think they might have been discontinued before I went Gold...
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB
    Historical Consultant to Ares, Wings and Sails - Unless otherwise noted, all comments are strictly Personal Opinion ONLY and not to be taken as official Company Policy.

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