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It not rum, then what?

Whisky fans may have comments about Sparrow’s mantra “Why is the rum gone?” So why is it be rum ? Because the Caribbean in which he inhabits, is abundant in sugar cane and therefore rum production.

Alcohol is necessary for sailors and navies. It boosts morale and more importantly, sustain their lives in long voyage, as the water on ship was easy to become stagnant due to the lack of storage system.

Beer is often the first to be consumed because it suffers as much deterioration as water. The water stored in the barrel is often added with alcohol to extend its longevity. The concoction is called grog, and sometimes lemon or orange juice is added to prevent scurvy.

Before 17th century, brandy from France is the most popular alcohol in grog. Since the British Royal Navy occupied Jamaica, where rum is largely made, they switched the ration from brandy to rum as it is easy to make and cheap. France certainly was not happy with this, as it competed fiercely with the French brandy market. Therefore the French had banned the production of rum in their colonies.

 

Sailors and pirates love to drink rum. In the novel “Treasure Island” there’s such description:

“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest--

Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

Drink and the devil had done for the rest--

Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! “

On the other hand, the officers of Navy tended to drink wine,

in particular Port wine.

Why is the rum gone? 對於威士忌迷來說,應該對 Sparrow 船長的口頭 禪有點意見。點解 Jack Sparrow 飲的是 Rum ?原因很簡單。加勒比是他 的地頭,而當地盛產甘蔗和冧酒。

酒對於水手和海軍們是必需的,一來可以振奮士氣,更重要的是在幾百年 前並沒有先進儲存系統,長途航程中,船上的水很容易就會變壞。

船員口渴時一般會先消耗啤酒,因為啤酒跟水一樣捱不長。至於儲在木桶 中的水,會溝進不同的酒精讓其不易變壞,溝了酒的水,他們稱為 grog, 有些船員會在酒中添加檸檬或橙汁,以防止壞血病。

在 17 世紀前,法國的白蘭地是船上最受歡迎的 grog,自英國皇家海軍佔 領牙買加後,冧酒就迅速取代了白蘭地——冧酒不但容易釀造,且便宜得 很。不過法國對於此並不高興,因為平價的冧酒搶了法國白蘭地的生意, 因此在加勒比的法屬殖民島上,曾一度禁止生產冧酒。

 

一般船員或海盜都愛飲冧酒,小說《金銀島》中就有這樣的描述‥

“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!” 不過軍官們卻愛飲葡萄酒, 特別是砵酒。