Tradition of rum and milk

THE origins of rum and milk may be unclear, but the tipple is very much a part of the town’s Common-Riding.

And it gives a huge boost to the coffers of Skipper Rum, who have sponsored a race at the Moor for over 15 years, and provide refreshments for the top table and guests during the three visits to The Hut. Scott Mackenzie, sales manager at Marblehead who own Skipper Rum, revealed they will sell in excess of 1,500 bottles throughout the Common-Riding period. And their largest sales outside of Hawick are in London.

He said: “People are very interested to hear the story about rum and milk and we are constantly directing them to the Common-Riding website to find out more.”

According to local historian Ian Landles, the drink developed from the best band in the world, the Drums and Fife.

He said: “The story goes that a member of the Drums and Fife wasn’t feeling too well at the start of Common-Riding Friday and a woman in a house in Kirk Wynd, which is now demolished, invited him in and gave him a rum and milk to settle his stomach. It seemed to work, he went out and told the other band members and they got some as well. And it took off from there.”