Blockades, Bounties & Beets: Sugar and Rum in the 19th Century

Rum history students know that it’s impossible to separate rum’s story from the sugar industry; Sugar was king, rum a mere prince. In the 1700s…

Martinique’s Other Rum Regulation : The Grand Arôme (Le Galion) PGI

Martinique’s appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) is perhaps the best-known regulation in the rum world of rum. Less known is that Guadeloupe, its sister French overseas department also…

US TTB to Allow 700 ml bottles – American Drinkers Rejoice

In a surprising move, the US TTB announced today (Dec. 28th, 2020) they will soon expand the set of “standards of fill” for wine and…

Cocktail Wonk Top Ten Stories of 2020

My annual end-of-year tradition at Cocktail Wonk is a bit of introspection about my writing directions over the prior twelve months and a round-up of…

An Illustrated and Informal J. Wray & Nephew Timeline

Jamaica’s Appleton Estate is among the world’s largest rum brands, with roots going back to 1825 or 1749, depending on your perspective. The history of…

Guadeloupe’s Rhum GI and How it Compares to Martinique’s AOC

Rum regulations (aka GIs) are a favorite topic here on Cocktail Wonk. My ever-growing archive of GI-related stories, including the Jamaica and Martinique GIs is…

Rum Label Transparency: Quantifying Enthusiast’s Desires

Rum label transparency is of substantial interest to many enthusiasts. No, not whether you can see through the label or not. Rather, transparency in exactly…

Exciting News in Minimalist Tiki Land!

Mrs. Wonk and I are overwhelmed by the response to our book, Minimalist Tiki, which we released a year ago.  We’ve got some exciting news…

New Insights Into Wray & Nephew 17

Over on the Facebook Rum History forum, I shared some recent discoveries about perhaps the most sought-after rum in the world: Wray & Nephew 17,…

The British Navy’s Rum Purchases Revealed

For fifty years, the rums that the British Royal Navy blended for its sailors has fascinated enthusiasts and historians. Most stories about navy rum endlessly…

British Navy Rum Ration Hijinks

Stories about the British Navy’s daily rum ration inevitably include imagery of sailors lined up at the grog tub, emblazoned with “God Save the Queen”…

The 1969 Ministry of Defence Signal Ending the British Navy Rum Ration

July 31st, 1970 — a day that lives in infamy as Black Tot day. It was on this day that British navy sailors received their…