alt. A drink made from rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg. n. A drink made from rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg.
Bumbo (also known as bombo or bumboo) is a drink made from rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg. Cinnamon is sometimes substituted for or added to the nutmeg. Modern bumbo is often made with dark rum, citrus juice, Grenadine, and nutmeg.
Bumbo was popular in the Caribbean during the era of piracy, largely because it tasted better than Royal Navy grog. Pirates and short-haul merchantmen did not suffer from scurvy as often as British sailors, largely because their voyages were shorter and their diet included plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. This meant that citrus juice could be dropped from the grog recipe, and sugar and nutmeg sweetened the mix.
Bumbo was commonly used during election campaigns in colonial British America, to the extent that treating voters to gifts and other freebies during election campaigns was referred to as "swilling the planters with bumbo." George Washington was particularly noted for using this technique. His papers state that he used 160 gallons of rum to treat 391 voters to bumbo during campaigning for the Virginia House of Burgesses in July 1758.
Usage examples of "bumbo".
I was about to do my usual number on my ex, but I thought it might be awkward for my host, since he too was a bumbo, albeit not as flamboyantly.
He declared that he could swallow a bowl of punch and two mugs of bumbo without any difficulty whatever, and told a long tale of how, being in Wapping, he had a fierce toothache and could find no one but a woman to pull the rogue, which she did with so muscular an arm that he thought she must be a man in disguise, until inquiring further he found that she was a woman indeed.