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The Day the Royal Navy Ended its Daily Rum Ration

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Rum isn't just the preferred drink of pirates: For more than 300 years, the booze was also part of the daily rations of sailors in Britain's Royal Navy.

The tradition began in the 17th century, when ships traded out daily rations of beer—which tended to spoil on long journeys—for the spirit. Later, the booze was spiked with lemon juice to help prevent scurvy. Until 1740, the daily ration was half a pint of rum, but in 1850, the amount was set at a tot, 70 milliliters of rum (or an eighth of a pint) distributed at midday. Junior sailors had their share watered down with water, while higher-ups took theirs neat.

"In my era it was a social occasion," Commander David Allsop, who joined the British Navy in 1955, told the BBC. "You paid for favors quietly, you had friends come round to share the tot. It was just the same as going to the bar and having a pre-lunch drink. That's all it was, at the end of the day, a strong aperitif."

The British Royal Navy ended its daily rum rations on July 31, 1970, citing concern that sailors who took a swig at lunch would be less capable when operating ship machinery. "It was badly received," Allsop said. "There was a lot of muttering below the decks." Sailors called it "Black Tot Day," marking the occasion by wearing black armbands and burying their tots at sea. And at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, cook Thomas McKenzie (above) drank the last drop of rum on his ship directly from the barrel.

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New Pop Chart Lab Poster Is a Boozy Blueprint For Making Classic Cocktails
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Pop Chart Lab's posters combine design with data, and their latest offering—a full breakdown of the ingredients in 60 classic cocktails—is no exception. From the exact ratio of gin and tonic that should go into a G & T (2 ounces and 4 ounces, respectively) to the garnishes you'll need to make a proper Tom Collins (a maraschino cherry and a lemon twist), the 3-foot-by-2-foot "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" artwork teaches mixology basics you'd typically learn in bartending school, sans tuition fee.

In addition to mainstays like the Negroni and the Whiskey Sour, the poster also includes relatively obscure drinks (ever heard of the Golden Dawn, or the Journalist?), which you can attempt after drinking your way through your favorite concoctions. Before you know it, you'll be explaining to your friends the intricacies of why you should stir martinis instead of shaking them (sorry, James Bond), or the difference between a highball and a Collins glass. Bottoms up!

"Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" costs $37, and is currently available for pre-order. Shipping begins on Friday, October 20, 2017. (To see the poster's details up close, visit Pop Chart Lab's website and click on the diagram.)

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Attention Beer Lovers: A London Brewery Is Hiring a Professional Taste-Tester
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Beer lovers aren’t given many chances to discuss their passion for imbibing at job interviews. But a new open position at London's Meantime Brewing Company lists that expertise as one of the top qualifications. As Fortune reports, the brewery is seeking a professional beer taster to help improve its products.

The brewery’s part-time employee will “join the panel brewers as they taste, discuss, and pass opinion on a range of different beers,” according to the job listing on LinkedIn. On top of steady access to free booze three hours a week, the taster will receive a competitive salary “with beer benefits.” As the description reads: “Yes, this could just be the best job in the world.”

Meantime isn’t just considering any casual beer drinker for the role. Their ideal candidate will have a precise palate that can distinguish “chocolate malt from dark malt” and “Fuggles from Cascade hops.” They will also have an understanding of global consumer markets, a functioning knowledge of English, and an extensive beer vocabulary. The brewery is located in the London borough of Greenwich, so applicants who aren’t local should be willing to relocate.

Founded in 1999, the Meantime Brewing Company made its name on the beer scene with signature beverages like their London Lager, London Pale Ale, and Yakima Red. If you’re interested in joining the team, post 30 words on your LinkedIn profile explaining why you deserve the gig, along with any photos or videos that may help your case, with the hashtag #pickmemeantime. The company will narrow down the pool to three candidates for an in-person beer tasting before deciding their top pick. Meanwhile, you can prepare for the job by brushing up on your beer facts.

[h/t Fortune]

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