Paris in Winter
Paris in Winter

Crêpe Suzette and Grog with Jamaican Rum
Crêpe Suzette and Grog with Jamaican Rum

Glorious Cold Day in Paris

In my mind, grog will always be part of my Paris memories. I asked my daughter how she remembered that day and she wrote for me:

“It was a cold January day in Paris. That’s an understatement. We pulled out fur hats and wool scarves close to our faces, as our feet turned to lifeless chunks of ice hitting the cobblestones. The Notre Dame was no match to the crepe restaurant five minutes from its doors where the delightfully French waiter poured Grand Marnier over our thickly buttered thin-yet-life-giving delicate masterpieces of wheat made into lace. Then he set it on fire. In that moment we felt all the man-and-woman-made cold bitterness fade away. We gladly accepted the communion wafer of true Paris beauty — warmth, passion, and life, fueled by alcohol, stopped by no one and no single digit temperature.

Warm hearts — that is all that we remembered feeling on that glorious cold day.”

About Grog

My favorite story about grog comes from the Field Guide to Cocktails: How to Identify and Prepare Virtually Every Mixed Drink at the Bar by Bob Chirico:

“In its earliest incarnation, grog was merely a mixture of hot rum and water with an occasional sprinkling of spices. The 18th-century British admiral Edward Vernon, nicknamed Old Grog for the grogram fabric cloak he wore, attempted to prevent scurvy among his men by serving them a pint of rum a day. The dark navy rum had nothing to do with scurvy, but it did have a way of knocking the sailors on their duffle bags. Vernon then issued the infamous Captain’s Order Number 349, stating that all rum should be mixed with water, a dash of brown sugar, and lime to make it more palatable. In their displeasure, the sailors christened the weakened beverage after the admiral.

Grog has undergone many refinements over the years and is now served comfortingly warm or refreshingly cool. The original rum used in grog did not become available to the public until the 1980s. That it made its way to the liquor store shelves was more than coincidental or generous on the part of the manufacturer—the British navy phased out the daily ration of rum in the late 1970s. The rum is now sold under the label Pusser’s Navy Rum — pusser being slang for the purser who distributed it. The phrase grog blossoms is a reference to the broken blood vessels in the nose caused by drinking too much.”

My Grog

Making Grog with Mexican Rum
Making Grog with Mexican Rum

The original recipe from the book:

  • 2 ounces dark rum (Pusser’s Navy Rum)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 4 ounces hot water
  • Slice of orange and a cinnamon stick

I tried different dark rums, including very good spiced ones. Than I found Mocambo Art Edition 20 Years distilled by Licores Veracruz, S.A. de C.V. Mexico and it became my favorite. Lime juice and slice of orange were soon substituted by lemon juice and slice. Later I replaced brown sugar with local Texas honey and cinnamon stick — with a pinch of ground Saigon cinnamon. That’s what our family and guests enjoy every winter. Recently, I tried a variation with dark maple syrup instead of honey and was very pleased.

Heart Warming Winter Drinks: Grog

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Drink
Cuisine: British
Keyword: citrus, drink, honey, lemon, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe, rum, spiced
Servings: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 oz rum Mocambo
  • 1 oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 oz water hot
  • 1 pinch cinnamon Saigon
  • 1-2 slices lemon
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Instructions

  • Mix the rum, lemon juice, honey, and pinch of Saigon cinnamon in a mug. Place a lemon slice and a cinnamon stick inside.
    Making Grog
  • Add hot water.
Grog