The Start Of My Long Voyage With Pusser’s Rum

by admin on March 5, 2009

MAR off Rhodes - the start of my long voyage with Pusser's Rum

MAR off Rhodes - the start of my long voyage with Pusser's Rum

The commercialization of Pusser’s Rum had its beginnings on board my yacht MAR, in 1978.

For 330 years Great Britain’s Royal Navy issued a daily rum ration to its sailors. This daily allotment was known as the ‘tot’, and its issue and the ritual that went with it was one of the longest running traditions in maritime history. The rum issued was a very special rum called Navy or Admiralty Rum, or sometimes PUSSER’S, a corruption of the word purser, after the officer in charge of the daily issue. This issue of rum was stopped on July 31st, 1970 – a day known to the navy as “Black Tot Day”.

On departing Gibraltar in 1978 while heading out to open sea to cross the Atlantic to Barbados, a small pump quit working. A Royal Navy vessel was conveniently close at hand, and so I pulled alongside to enquire if they had the part I needed.  I was invited on board by the captain, who not only had the part, but also an old extra two-gallon jug full of PUSSER’S RUM that he gifted it to me for my forthcoming long voyage. After a few tipples, I made it down the ladder to the deck of MAR and cast off for Barbados.

Now until this time, PUSSER’S RUM had never been sold or offered to the public, and if a connoisseur obtained a ‘tot’ or two, he valued it for a very special occasion. Now I had an almost full jug for myself and my crew for our Atlantic crossing that we were about to begin.

During the 14 days that it took to reach Barbados, the jug was emptied. I had never tasted such good, full-flavoured rum, so good in fact that I decided that the commercial launching of PUSSER’S RUM as a worldwide brand would be my next project.

Two years later, after much persuasion, I was able to convince the Admiralty that naval charity could benefit from the commercial sale of the rum as indeed it has. I managed to obtain the formula and the right to use the White Ensign and the name on the label, and started to bottle and sell PUSSER’S to the public for the first time in 1980.

PUSSER’S makes a donation to the Royal Navy Sailor’s Fund, a naval charity, from the sale of each bottle. This PUSSER’S contribution has become the fund’s largest source of outside income.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony O Donnell April 13, 2009 at 9:44 am


I hope you and your wife are well. I am the ex Andy Thorntons buyer you dealt with years ago. Was Ephram your contact then. Look Shirley and I are 55. I have a good position in the UK, Manager of Englands oldest stained glass company. We did all of the windows in the House of Lords, made the hands for Big Ben and the last window for the Queens Palace of Westminster.
Can we come and be your greeters! All we need is a room and minimal pay / food and the adventure of a different life for a few months. Six would do

You take care

Tony and Shirley O Donnell

Lupo May 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I’ve been flogging your mighty liquor to my chums on my blog. Read about it here if you’re interested, and thanks for making this mighty drink!

chris smith July 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Greetings from the North (Canada),as an avide drinker of the best Rum in the world,i wish to say thanks.The Pusser’s we get in Canada has undergone some change in the last year or two.The bottles has changes(no more Anchor) and the flavour has changed with it..I hope on my next trip to the BVI i can still get the original.The 15 year rum is also tasty,but cannot get here.See you soon,Chris

Hank Martin July 13, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I was fortunate to work for Charles in the late 1980’s and had a chance to become acquainted with Pusser’s Rum and can attest to it’s unique taste and soothing ability. For a long time we were not abile to purchase Pusser’s Rum where I live in southeast Georgia. However, I am proud to announce that it is now available in nearby Brunswick and I have a good stock on-hand to help with difficult days! Everyone would do well to try it!!

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