Updated: Feb 20, 2022
From Episode Four, The Bermuda Triangle
3 Parts Tea (black or green)
1 Part Canadian Rye Whiskey
2 tsps molasses
¼ of an orange
Muddle orange wedge with molasses. Pour in whiskey and tea. Shake. Poor into sturdy cup. Remove all clothing except for long johns. Lean on your cane, call everyone in your vicinity a ‘son of a bitch,’ and chug!
About This Drink
In trying to determine what could possibly be in George Worley’s “Deep Sea Punch,” I learned a lot about naval cuisine, American tea culture, and the history of booze. In the early 20th century, there wasn’t a lot of fresh fruit on board the navy ships. Of course, by then they’d learned all about scurvy, so oranges were commonplace, as were apples.
The only sweetener I found listed in inventories was molasses, and other than water, the only beverages were coffee and tea. It was commonplace to make boozey punches diluted with tea, although on land they were also diluted with fizzy stuff (water or champagne) and other fruit juices.
The navy used to ration liquor for its seamen, starting with rum but switching to whiskey at the beginning of the 19th century.
There are various recipes for grog, which is the concoction navy crews made from their rations. In its simplest form, it was three parts water to one part rum or whiskey. There are other recipes, however, usually consisting of a mix of citrus and cinnamon.
Worley’s Deep Sea Punch couldn’t just be typical grog, though, as it was clearly his own concoction. Therefore, my list of possible ingredients was whittled down to: whiskey, tea (black or green), oranges, and molasses. Thus was born, Deep Sea Punch.
I can’t in good faith recommend it.