“The History of Grog” was John Quarstein’s topic at the October 11 Fall Court at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.Quarstein is Director Emeritus of the USS MONITOR Center at the Mariner’s Museum on Newport News.
He described the introduction of grog to the British Navy by Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon in the 17th Century as an attempt to develop a shipboard beverage as a health supplement, energy boost, vitamin supplement and motivational beverage among seafaring crews. The classic mixture developed by a British admiral included dark rum, boiled water, lime, brown sugar and cinnamon. Distribution of grog was common in the U. S. Navy and British Navy until well into the 19th Century.
Quarstein directed the Center housed in the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News until his retirement in 2008. He is an author of nineteen books on maritime history and frequently lectures on the Civil War and writes for YouTube and a number of websites covering naval history.
The Society meeting was held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture beginning at 5:45 p.m. in the Thomas F. Farrell II Gallery with a Society business meeting. At the reception prior to dinner, grog made according to the historic recipe furnished by Quarstein was served to attendees by historical interpreter Josh Lehurray. A business meeting during the reception elected new officers and members of the Council.