The mysterious initials on the jug…

Originally posted 17 May 2012

Soldiers in the British and Canadian military during the First World War were always delighted when they saw this jug, even though they were unsure of the meaning of the initials on the side.


The contents were definitely rum, and depending on who you talked to, the three letters stood for Special Red Demerara, Service Rum Distribution, or other names of the type beloved by bureaucrats. The soldiers naturally came up with their own acronyms: Seldom Reaches Destination and Soon Runs Dry were both popular. The jugs were delivered to the battlefields in the thousands and can still be found in antique shops in France and Belgium.

Thanks to Wolf for sending this tidbit. Do you know an interesting facet of rum history, have questions about a traditional tipple, or have a clear picture of an unusual or mysterious rum-related artifact? Send it to me using the link at the bottom of this page, and I will be happy to research it or feature it here.