- In the 1600s, the Royal Navy began stationing ships in the West Indies. To encourage the naval presence and deter the pirates that ravaged their merchant ships, planters sold their spirits at bargain prices to the Navy Pursers, (commonly known as Pussers.) West Indies rum quickly gained popularity with the sailors and in 1687, the Royal Navy adopted a pint of rum as the daily ration.
Much stronger than the beer that it replaced, rum contributed to enough accidents and general disorder among the sailors that, on August 21, 1740, Admiral Edward Vernon ordered the ration be diluted with two parts water prior to issue. The order also contained provisions for sugar and lime juice to be added to the tot as a reward for good behavior, “that it be made more palatable to them.” The diluted tot became known as grog by the sailors, in honor of Admiral Vernon who often wore a grogram coat. Over the next 200 years, the ration continued to be reduced until July 31, 1970, when the last grog was drunk on board the ships of the Royal Navy.
After the abolition of the daily tot, stores of rum remained in warehouses in England and around the world. Contracts, which had been in effect since 1810 when the blend of West Indian dark rums was made a part of the official naval protocol, were canceled.
Then, in 1979, Charles Tobias approached the Royal Navy with a plan to donate to the navy retirement fund if he would be allowed to blend the six Caribbean rums according to the naval protocol. The Admiralty Board gave its approval and soon Pusser’s Navy Rum was being bottled in Tortola.
In addition to blending and bottling rum, the spirited entrepreneur opened a small bar and restaurant decorated in nautical antiques and interesting memorabilia from the bygone era of wooden ships and iron men.
When expansion plans to take the successful restaurant, bar, and store concept were baffled by US laws restricting the sale of liquor by an importer.
These aged, dark rums are blended and bottled under two labels. Pusser’s Red Label at 40% alcohol by volume (80 US proof) and Pusser’s Blue Label at 47.75% alcohol by volume (95.5 US proof). Originally, this was 95 British proof, which is over 100 US proof.
Recently, these labels have changed and are being requested.
- There are 2 products in our database bottled by Pusser's West Indies Ltd..
- Pusser's Blue Label
- Pusser's Red Label