Grog Cocktail Recipe

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Grog Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Grog is a historical cocktail that dates back to the 18th century when British sailors were given a daily ration of rum. To prevent the sailors from hoarding their rations and becoming intoxicated, Admiral Edward Vernon introduced a mixture of rum, water, lemon juice, and sugar, which became known as Grog. This cocktail was not only enjoyed by sailors but also became popular among pirates.

  • Admiral Edward Vernon was nicknamed 'Old Grog' due to his grogram cloak, which is how the cocktail got its name.
  • Grog was initially created to help prevent scurvy among sailors.
  • The cocktail has evolved over time, with various ingredients being added or substituted.

How Grog Tastes?

Grog has a unique balance of flavors, with a strong, warming rum base, tangy citrus notes from the lemon juice, and a hint of sweetness from the sugar. The addition of water helps to mellow out the intensity of the rum, making it a smooth and enjoyable drink.

Interesting facts about Grog

  • Grog was originally served warm, but it can also be enjoyed cold over ice.
  • The term 'groggy' is believed to have originated from the effects of drinking too much Grog.
  • Grog has inspired many variations, including the popular Tiki cocktail, the Navy Grog.


Dark Rum

Dark rum is the soul of Grog, bringing rich, caramel sweetness and a warming alcohol base. Go for 2oz; too little, and you'll miss the hearty spirit of the sea, too much, and you'll be overboard with booze. Substituting with light rum will lighten the drink, but you'll miss the depth.

Mary Mitkina


Water (4oz) helps temper the potency of the rum, ensuring your Grog is pleasantly sippable rather than a punch to the senses. Omitting water will make your Grog a heavy hitter, loss of balance, loss of ship!

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice at 1oz provides a tartness that cuts through the sweetness, keeping scurvy at bay and your palate refreshed. Less lemon makes for a cloying drink, more, and you're in sour seas. Lime juice can be a zesty alternative.

Alex Green


1tsp of sugar smooths the edges, balancing the drink's tartness. Skip the sugar, and you'll be grimacing more than grinning. Too much, and you're in cloying waters. Honey can add a different kind of sweetness.

Mary Mitkina


A pinch of nutmeg adds a gentle spice that sails across the drink's surface. Without it, you'll lose that whisper of the exotic. Cinnamon could substitute for a different warmth.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Grog Drink

  1. In a mixing glass, combine the dark rum, water, lemon juice, and sugar.
  2. Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
  4. Grate a pinch of nutmeg over the top of the cocktail.
  5. Stir the cocktail gently before serving.

Pro Tips

  • Dark Rum: Use a high-quality dark rum for a richer flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice will give a fresher and tangier taste.
  • Nutmeg: Freshly grated nutmeg will provide a more aromatic and flavorful cocktail.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Meats: The smoky flavor of grilled meats complements the caramel notes of the dark rum.
  • Seafood: Spicy or citrus-marinated seafood like shrimp or scallops can balance the sweetness and acidity of the Grog.
  • Tropical Fruits: Mango, pineapple, or papaya salads can enhance the cocktail's summer feel.
  • Spiced Desserts: Desserts like cinnamon rolls or apple pies echo the warm spice of nutmeg.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Brew Coffee: For a non-alcoholic option, the richness of cold brew coffee can accompany the depth of the Grog.
  • IPA Beers: The bitterness of an IPA can contrast nicely with the sweet and sour elements of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Grog

  • Dark Rum: Can be substituted with Bourbon or Brandy.
  • Lemon Juice: Can be substituted with Lime Juice.
  • Sugar: Can be substituted with Honey or Agave Syrup.

Explore all drinks starting with G here

And of course - twists🍹

Tropical Grog

  • Ingredients: 2oz Spiced Rum, 4oz Coconut Water, 1oz Pineapple Juice, 1tsp Brown Sugar, 1pinch Cinnamon
  • Recipe: Swap water for coconut water and lemon juice for pineapple juice. Mix spiced rum, coconut water, pineapple juice, and brown sugar. Serve over ice and sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  • Flavor: This twist sails you to a tropical island where spicy rum and coconut water wash over you like a comforting wave.
  • Why Make It?: Perfect when you're yearning for a taste of the tropics with a cinnamon sunset.

Smoky Grog

  • Ingredients: 2oz Dark Rum (Aged), 4oz Smoked Tea (Chilled), 1oz Lime Juice, Agave Syrup, Pinch of Smoked Paprika
  • Recipe: Replace water with chilled smoked tea and sweeten with agave. Combine with rum, lime juice, and agave syrup. Serve with ice and a dusting of smoked paprika.
  • Flavor: A mysterious fog of smoky flavor with an undercurrent of aged rum and bright lime.
  • Why Make It?: For a lingering smoke on the horizon and a fusion of land and sea.

Fiery Grog

  • Ingredients: 2oz Dark Rum, 4oz Ginger Beer, 1oz Lemon Juice, 1tsp Maple Syrup, Dash of Hot Sauce
  • Recipe: Introduce ginger beer in place of water and maple syrup for sugar. Blend with rum, lemon juice, maple syrup, and a daring dash of hot sauce. Ice it.
  • Flavor: Like a cannonball of flavor, the ginger beer and hot sauce set your throat afire, with the maple as the sweet salve.
  • Why Make It?: When you need an adventure in a glass that warms from within.

In case you forgot basics how to make Grog

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Grog

What is the best type of rum to use in a Grog cocktail?

A good quality, aged dark rum would be ideal for a Grog cocktail. It's all about preference but the richer the flavor, the better the Grog.

Are there any well-known variations of the Grog cocktail?

Yes, the 'Navy Grog', which is a tiki cocktail, is a well-known variation of the Grog. Some others include the 'Jamaican Grog' and the 'Black Grog', both of which include additional ingredients for a variation in taste.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of Grog?

Yes, non-alcoholic versions of Grog exist. They often substitute the rum with non-alcoholic alternatives for a similar flavor profile.

Are there any specific glasses to serve a Grog?

Traditionally, Grog is served in a rustic, heavy-bottomed glass. However, it can also be served in a tumbler or old-fashioned glass.

Can I use a sweetener other than sugar for the Grog cocktail?

Yes, you can use honey or agave syrup as a substitute for sugar. It all depends on your preferred taste profile.

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