Admiral Tait, Second Sea Lord, receiving a check for the Sailor’s Fund from Pusser’s founder
Admiral Tait, Second Sea Lord, receiving a check for the Sailor’s Fund from Pusser’s founder, Charles S. Tobias, MBE

There was never a commercial BRITISH NAVY PUSSER’S RUM. It was the brainchild of Charles Tobias to commercialize the Royal Navy’s rum tradition by offering for sale the same rum that the navy had issued on board its ships for so many years. He created the brand, the packaging and the entire marketing strategy that was built around the history and folklore that so completely surrounded the issue of Pusser’s Rum in the Royal Navy. This in 1979, after numerous trips to England and much persuasion, he convinced the Admiralty Board to give him the blending formula, and the right to use the Royal Navy’s flag, the White Ensign on the label along with the name BRITISH NAVY PUSSER’S RUM.

The Royal Navy is the oldest, continuously operating military organization in the world. Its charter dates back to 1585 and the time of Henry VIII. The Navy is known to abhor commercialism of any kind, and so it was quite an achievement that Tobias was able to obtain these rights. Shortly afterwards, Tobias formed Pusser’s Ltd. in the British Virgin Islands where he erected a blending and bottling plant. In November 1979, Pusser’s Rum was being shipped commercially for the first time.

At Tobias’ insistence, the Royal Navy Sailors’ Fund, a naval charity more commonly called the ‘Tot’ Fund, receives a substantial donation from the worldwide sales of Pusser’s Rum. After almost 25 years, this Pusser’s contribution has become the fund’s largest source of income aside from its original bequest, and the ties between Pusser’s Rum and the Royal Navy continue today in a manner that benefits serving Royal Navy sailors.