Celebrate Black Tot Day with Rock Rose

It is Navy Strength Gin Day on 31st July 2022

It’s Black Tot Day on 31 July, marking the moment in 1970 when Royal Navy sailors were no longer served a daily tot of alcohol, a tradition that had evolved since the 17th century. Officers were given gin – specifically Navy Strength Gin – whilst sailors were given rum. The demise of this long seafaring tradition is commemorated annually.

For all those suffering sailors, and other lovers of strong well-crafted gin, Rock Rose Gin created a cocktail called, aptly, The Suffering Sailor. Naturally it uses Rock Rose Navy Strength Gin (57% ABV).

Regardless of whether you have links with the sea, Black Tot Day provides an excuse to enjoy this award-winning gin which is made on the Scottish coast in Caithness overlooking the sea and which boasts a Great Taste award.

Rock Rose Navy Strength is available direct from the makers, Dunnet Bay Distillers at £42 for a beautiful ceramic bottle or £38 for a recyclable refill pouch. If you’d like to try before you buy a full size 70cl bottle there is also a 5cl miniature at £6.

This gin is delicious and, despite its strength, has subtle taste notes. You will experience a strong warm pine release at the front of the drink with notes of lemon sherbet.  The heart of the drink delivers very bold berry notes from blaeberries, rowan berries and hawthorn.   These give way to the deeper earthier notes that are hidden in the original Rock Rose, including angelica and orris.

The Suffering Sailor Cocktail recipe


35ml Rock Rose Navy Strength
35ml Bourbon35ml Freshly squeezed lime juice1 dash Angostura bitters

Chilled ginger beer

Garnish: a slice of orange and a sprig of mint.


Place the top four ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and then strain into a Collins glass half filled with ice. Top up with ginger beer and garnish with a slice of orange and a mint sprig.