Navy Grog Cocktail

Navy Grog Cocktail
Marianna Massey / Getty Images
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
Ratings (16)

Navy grog is one of those cocktails that has so many variations that it is almost impossible to keep track. When you search for Navy grog you will be lucky to find two recipes that match. The likely reason is that there are quite a few ingredients in this drink. As it was passed from bartender to bartender, things were missed, added, misinterpreted, or simply personalized.

The drink began exactly as it sounds, as a refreshment for British sailors. It was a way to enhance and preserve the water they stored on the ship and get vitamins to fight diseases such as scurvy. This grog dates to the mid-1700s and was typically a mix of rum, water, honey or molasses, lemon, and cinnamon. It was served either hot or cold.

The Navy grog recipes you are familiar with today stem from the tiki movement that began in the 1940s and it is said that Don Beach was the first to mix it up. Trader Vic's has a claim on the cocktail's conception as well. Both of their recipes are below, with Don the Beachcomber's being this first listing.

What You'll Need

  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce demerara rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce white grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • 5 ounces club soda (or enough to top off a collins glass)
  • Garnish: 1 orange slice
  • Garnish: 1 cherry

How to Make It

  1. Pour the rums, juices, and syrups into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with soda.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry skewer.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


Trader Vic's Navy Grog

There is not a big difference in this recipe from Don the Beachcomber's above. The key difference is the use of pimento dram (or an allspice syrup) in place of the runny honey (or honey syrup).

Also, notice that less grapefruit is used here and there is one of the few Navy grog recipes that skip the soda.

  • 1 ounce light Puerto Rican rum
  • 1 ounce gold Jamaican rum​
  • 1 ounce demerara rum
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 ounce pimento (allspice) dram

This cocktail is shaken and served over a mound (or customarily, an inverted ice cone) of finely shaven ice with a straw stuck inside.

Dale DeGroff's Navy Grog

Dale DeGroff's (also known as King Cocktail) "The Craft of the Cocktail" book has a completely different take on the grog that certainly leans more to that traditional 18th-century grog of British sailors. It is an equally great cocktail as the tiki drinks above.

Shake the ingredients with ice and pour into a double old-fashioned glass.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
396 Calories
0g Fat
54g Carbs
2g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)