Tap the Admiral

That last post reminds me of a funny turn of phrase that you can still hear every so often in Britain: “Tap the Admiral”. It means to sneak a drink. During part of my stint in Britain I lived in a chapel house, populated almost entirely by monks and theological students. One fellow (the abbot of a nearby monastery) liked a nightcap, and routinely invited me to help him raid the rec room liquor cabinet come 11:00 or so. “‘Scuse me Joe, I’m off to tap the admiral.”

The term is of course related to the Nelson story I recounted below. Actually a myth, which holds that by the time Nelson’s body arrived back at port, the cask of rum that contained him had been half drained by desperate sailors in search of a drink. Balderdash of course. For one, because it’s been documented that Nelson’s body had a round-the-clock guard. Second that it was brandy that he was soaking in, not rum (French brandy too…talk about adding insult to injury). But that hasn’t stopped some seafarers from calling rum “Nelson’s Blood” to this day.

This is all quite unsavory talk first thing in the morning, I realize, and on top of that has nothing whatsoever to do with baking. All I can say is, it’s free entertainment.

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