A Fancy Pirate's Grog, Inspired By "Our Flag Means Death"

Like many of you, I am obsessed with Our Flag Means Death. Unlike many of you, I'm incapable of watching anything without wondering what the characters eat. But in the case of jaunty pirates, I was more curious about what they might drink. Therefore, I present to you: Fancy Pirate's Grog, inspired by Our Flag Means Death.

This is a traditional grog recipe, but with a twist - a spiced simple syrup made with brown sugar, black peppercorns, cardamom, and cinnamon. It adds the perfect touch of sweetness to this rum-based cocktail, which feels apropos: the crew of the Revenge itself may best be described as a gang of pirates... with a touch of sweetness.

Grab your trendiest pirate's hat and a bottle of rum - after a few of these, you'll feel like you're sailing the high seas. 



  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed tightly
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 teaspoons cardamom pods
  • sticks cinnamon


  • 2 ounces dark rum (I prefer Papa's Pilar)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce spiced syrup
  • 2 ounces sparkling water
  • 1 dash orange bitters


Step 1: Make the syrup

Lightly grind the cardamom pods and whole black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. In a small pot, lightly toast all of the spices until fragrant - about 1 minute. Add all of the brown sugar, plus the water - bring to a simmer. Simmer the syrup for 10 minutes and then remove from heat. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain and store in a jar with a tight fitting lid - it will stay good for up to two weeks.

Step 2: Prepare the grog

Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Then add the rum, lime juice, spiced syrup, and orange bitters - shake until the shaker is frosty. Strain over ice, and top with 2 ounces of sparkling water. Garnish with a twist of lime and a cinnamon stick.

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