Granny's Navy Grog Recipe

This autumnal riff on the classic rum-based drink uses fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lemon juice to pull out the tart acidic notes of hard cider.

A granny's navy grog cocktail, garnished with a grapefruit peel.

Serious Eats / Autumn Giles

Why It Works

  • Dry hard cider is a flavorful (and affordable) swap for sparkling wine.
  • Blending a lighter and darker, aged rum together keeps the drink surprisingly light, but full-bodied.

A tropical cocktail with as many versions as there are bartenders, the Navy Grog is a more refined version of a drink with roots in the British Royal Navy. This version layers light, un-aged rum with a fuller-bodied aged dark rum. Fresh squeezed grapefruit and lemon juice pull out the tart acidic notes of the cider. Although you might expect that a cocktail with two types of rum would be heavy, this one is surprisingly light, with just enough body and warmth for cool weather sipping.

Here are two other cocktails featuring effervescent hard cider: a fruit-forward pomegranate ginger drink, and a variation on a Sazerac. If you choose to substitute a different local cider, you may need to adjust the recipe slightly.

October 2013

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Makes: 2 drinks

Rate & Comment


  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice, from 1 medium grapefruit
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (see notes)
  • 4 ounces Woodchuck Granny Smith Cider
  • Grapefruit peel (optional)


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add dark rum, light rum, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake until well chilled, about 20 seconds.

  2. Divide evenly between 2 ice-filled highball glasses. Top each glass with 2 ounces cider, stir gently to combine, garnish with grapefruit peel if desired, and serve.

Special Equipment

Cocktail shakercocktail strainer


To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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