Newfoundland Screech Rum: An Island Tradition
Here at Liquor Snob, we're suckers for a hard liquor with a mythology behind it. Who are we kidding...we're just suckers for hard liquor. But when our friend Erik told us about the story behind Newfoundland Screech Rum, we were even more intrigued than usual.
It is an island tradition, but this rum doesn't get its mystique from some steamy Caribbean jungle. Newfoundland, for those of you without a globe handy, is a big island off the coast of Canada (the 15th largest island in the world, if that matters to you). So how did this Canadian province get its own rum, a drink usually associated with warmer climates? Therein lies the story.
We got our version from the Screech Rum website, which tells of an American serviceman who tried to toss back a shot of the rum the same way his native hosts did. What happened next is the stuff of legends...
The look of shock and the glorious shades of color on the American's face were overshadowed by the bloodcurdling howl made by the poor fellow as he managed to regain his breath. Sympathetic persons from miles around rushed to the house to assist the poor man in such obvious agony and of course to satisfy their curiosity as to what was going on. Among the first to arrive was a garrulous old American sergeant who pounded on the door and demanded “What the cripes was that ungodly screech?”
The taciturn Newf who had answered the door replied simply, “The screech?” ‘Tis the rum, me son.”
As word of the incident was passed around, the soldiers determined to try this mysterious “screech” and finding its effects as devastating as the name implies, adopted it as their favorite.
Rum that makes you scream at the top of your lungs? Believe us, we'll be getting a bottle for review ASAP. Just as intriguing as the legend is the "Screech In" ceremony that goes along with it. We've only found online mumblings, but apparently, it includes drinking Screech Rum and kissing a cod fish, followed by some off-color recitation. Sounds like a typical Friday night at the Liquor Snob offices, but we'll let you know when we find out more.
Learn more at the Screech Rum site.
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Posted by Jake Jamieson at September 28, 2005 8:23 PM