Rum Deals and Snow for Sugar

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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The West India Interest lobby persuaded lawmakers to institute the extremely profitable naval rum ration—half a pint of molasses-derived grog per seaman. See rum. After the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), in a deal nicknamed Snow for Sugar, the lobby convinced the English government to return the prolific sugar island of Guadeloupe to France and to retain the giant fur-trading colony of Canada. Guadeloupian sugar would have benefited consumers, but it would also have competed mercilessly with the eroding West Indian sugar operations.