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For over three centuries sailors worked for months at a time without access to fresh water. They basically existed on alcoholic beverages.  Beer, wine and rum were the preferred available drinks, while rum was somewhat rationed, beer and wine were served to satisfy thirst. The Royal Navy   allowed rum as a toast in the officers mess, and served double rations in times of battle. Our elegant silver-plated rum measure as it was called, or rum-cup, was used to accompany the toasts as printed on the box. On Sunday in honor of a day of contemplation and church service only beer was served.