"Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum" was the title of the talk given by author and food historian Cynthia Clampitt today at our State Daughters of American Colonists meeting.
Cynthia gave a lively, well-researched talk about the history of rum - from its beginnings as a molasses by-product of sugar production, through present-day rum facts.
Some interesting facts I learned were:
- Sailors on Naval ships were allotted 2 "tots" of rum per day
- To make the rum more palatable, British sailors would add lime juice - thus the origin of the term "limeys"
- Not all pirates spoke with a cornish accent - just the ones in literature and the movies
- The term for the method of barbecuing in the caribbean is the origin of "buccaneer"
- British Captain Sir Vernon began diluting the (160 proof) rum the sailors would drink to cut down on their intake - he wore a grosgrain cloak and was nicknamed "Old Grog" - the origin of the term "Groggy"
- One of the inciting factors of The Revolutionary War was restriction of the rum trade
Oh, and what about the title of the talk - "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum" was coined by Robert Louis Stevenson almost 100 years after the Golden Age of Piracy when he wrote "Treasure Island"
Pictured are Sue Erlick, hostess for the meeting, State Regent Jane Schleinzer,
and our speaker Cynthia Clampitt