What’s With Pirates And Rum?
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We’re no pirates, but we sure like the rum at Long Wongs. And if you haven’t noticed, we’re also rather obsessed with pizza and wings. Whether or not you’re a buccaneer, we’re of the opinion that the best pizza and wings in Phoenix are at our place! If you are a swashbuckling buccaneer, you’ll want to add to those delectables one of our delicious rum cocktails. In fact, why don’t you come down and finish reading this post while you dine with us!
The Drinking Habits of Sailors
Now that you’re sipping on your favorite rum concoction, in order to answer our question about the tie between pirates and rum, we have to go all the way back to the year 1655, around the time when Britain gained control of Jamaica as a colony. Back in those days, when the world was being sailed from sea-to-sea and trade had just opened up across the oceans, it just so happened that sailors stayed out at sea for months on end. And fresh water would spoil while in their ships’ cargo holds, so they began to mix alcohol into the stagnant water to kill off bacteria. Sailors were then rationed daily portions of this mixture, which was called grog, along with a daily ration of hard liquor.
Prior to 1655, the British Navy supplied their ranks with beer and various imported liquors to offset their clean water intake. But once their ships traveling to the Caribbean had access to Jamaica’s sugar cane supply, it was a no-brainer: Rum, which is distilled from sugar cane, became the way to go. It wasn’t until July 1970, that Britain’s Royal Navy issued its last daily rum ration. Now that’s a long-haul tradition!
How Did Pirates Become So Famous for Rum Drinking?
Here’s where we get to the pirate part. Sailors were navigating the Caribbean Seas to keep peace and to protect privateer ships that had contracted with the British Government in the trade of molasses, cane sugar, and a few other commodities. Naturally, these ships carrying mass cargo for the British Empire became targets for pirates.
Like the British Royal Navy, pirates could only live off of unspoiled water. When their water went bad, they also moved on to harder stuff, like beer and liquor. But as they began attacking and looting British trade ships in the Caribbean, they discovered (and confiscated) RUM!
And there you have it. British Navy ships controlled much of the Caribbean, as well as the cane sugar trade—and made rum. And pirates drank rum because they looted the cargo of those British Navy Ships, including their stashes of rum. Now, if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to grab the best pizza and wings in Phoenix at Long Wongs—and if you’re a pirate, to enjoy one of our rum cocktails!