Pirate Food and Drink


The following activities are based on the food and drink pirates had on board their long journeys on the sea as well as their feasting in ports.


Pirates are well known for their love of rum. Grog is a pirate drink made from rum, lemon/lime juice, sugar and water. Make your own (non-alcoholic) grog!

  1. Replace the rum with cold decaffeinated tea or a herbal or fruit tea like Rooibos for an iced tea drink. You could also use ginger ale or a fruit juice like apple or orange.
  2. Use some juice from a lemon, lime or some other citrus fruit such as grapefruit.
  3. Add a small amount of sugar (not too much!)
  4. You can add water to your grog according to taste – try still and sparkling.
  • Write the ingredients you will use and instructions of how to make it (look online for some recipes or make up your own using the basic ingredients above).
  • Try different amounts/ratios of each ingredient or add some others of your own.
  • Keep a record as you go of how each one tasted.
  • Write, audio-record or video your thoughts, then go back over your notes and decide which was your best one.

You now have your own, family secret recipe for the best grog on the seven seas! Include advice for how to serve it and best places and times to drink it.

  • Think about descriptions for how your grog tastes.
  • Use these descriptions to write a sentence persuading people to choose your special grog from a menu or list of grog recipes they have found.
  • Make an advert for your grog to be shown in a pirate magazine or television channel.

Pirate food

Keeping food fresh on the sea was difficult. At the start of a journey pirates would have had fresh food on board, but as the journey went on, they would be left with stale biscuits called tack biscuits that were often crawling with weevils. They would also have meat left that had been preserved in salt, but it had often become so tough that the pirates would use it to replace buttons on their clothes!

Do your own research to find out more about pirate food, including when they were able to call in at a port where they could feast on fresh food and stock up. Try making this information into part of a diary or story you write about life on a pirate ship.