Updated: Mar 24, 2022
For some background information, check out Terry talking about our new Navy Strength Gin!
If you want a more in depth look at the history behind Hold Fast then keep on reading...
Navy Strength gins have a rich history stretching back to the 18th Century. On ships, gin was stored next to the gunpowder; if the gin’s proof was too low and the gin had contaminated the gunpowder then this would be a disaster. They would mix a little gin with gunpowder then set it alight, if there was a clear flame then they would know the proof was high enough so that if any gin was to contaminate the gunpowder it would still explode. As such all Navy Strength gins must be 57% ABV or higher.
Hold fast has multiple meanings depending on who you ask. Firstly it can mean to hold firmly in place or it can mean to continue to believe in an idea or principle. With regards to it’s naval background, it can mean to bear down and fight through the storm. There was an understanding among sailors that you dedicate one hand to the ship; meaning that in order to keep the crew safe you must also take care of yourself.
Sailors began to get "hold fast" tattooed along their knuckles or on their chest. The “Hold Fast” tattoo began as an identifier of a person who worked as a deckhand. This then evolved into a good luck charm for sailors not to be thrown overboard within a storm; as it seemed more sailors with the tattoo survived the heavy storms. They would be commanded to stop what they were doing and “hold fast” to the ship’s line for security.