A daily rum ration was instituted in 1775 by General George Washington on the 4th of November, 1775 and continued 1914 when it was replaced by a coffee ration by Secretary Josephus Daniels, hence a “Cup of Joe”. It was provided to all soldiers throughout the 19th Century and was a recruiting tool during the Civil War.
Sailors in the British Royal Navy received a daily ration (known as a tot) of a 1/2 gill of rum which was served in a copper mug. Sailors in lower ranks received their tot diluted with two parts water to create a half pint of grog. Lime juice was also added to help prevent scurvy.
“The benefits arising from the moderate use of strong liquor have experienced in all militaries, and are not to be disputed”
-General George Washington