What is the X in X-mas?
alcoholic drink diluted with water, 1749, supposedly a reference to Old Grog, nickname of Edward Vernon (1684-1757), British admiral who wore a grogram (q.v.) cloak and who in August 1740 ordered his sailors' rum to be diluted. George Washington's older half-brother Lawrence served under Vernon in the Carribean and renamed the family's Hunting Creek Plantation in Virginia for him in 1740, calling it Mount Vernon.
[fr British naval grog, ''rum and water,'' so called because it was introduced in the mid-18th century as a sailor's ration by ''Old Grog,'' Admiral Sir Edward Vernon, who habitually wore a grogram coat]