If you aren’t already aware (and in which case, why not?), 19 September is International
Drink Talk Like A Pirate Day. Pirates have always been renowned for their drinking abilities, and not that we’re saying they were all drunk, but there are no tales of infamous sober pirates…
To be a pirate, a man had to prove he could handle his ale, but the drink we typically associate with pirates is ! While they were often drowning themselves in the strong spirit, they did also drink different mixtures of the drink, although it’s unlikely they would refer to them as a cocktail!
One of which is Bumbo, a mixture of dark rum, lemon juice, grenadine syrup and grated nutmeg or cinnamon. Then they had Flip, which consists of sugar, sherry, ale, egg yolk, lemon peel, gin, cinnamon stick, nutmeg and several cloves.
One of their favourite tipples was something we are much more familiar with – Sangaree, or sangria as it’s known now, which is made of spiced red wine, oranges, peaches or any other fresh fruit, sugar and pieces of lemon peel. Also, all that fruit helped stave off the scourge of scurvy!
But pirates wouldn’t be pirates if they didn’t enjoy a tankard of Grog! This is a hot drink made of rum, beer, oatmeal (not that they would have had access to cinnamon and spiced instant oats, but they would have loved that), and a dash of paprika. Make the oatmeal with hot beer, and add the other ingredients as you go.
Pirates did drink while sailing, but eyepatch or not, even they realised it was better to sail with both eyes open, and with various navies hunting them down, it was probably best to be reasonably competent.
However, during long voyages, water supplies would spoil before long, so thirsty pirates would turn to their supplies of booze. Things would be different when they put their ship to shore, and they’d celebrate their victories with hedonistic, rambunctious vigour. And would want everyone around them to join in too. And you wouldn’t want to say no to that!
Why not deck yourself out in your best pirate costume and come and have a very happy hour in our Clapham High Street cocktail bar. Please no hooks for hands, you don’t want to drop your grog!