For the 3rd Annual Volk/Watson Christmas Extravaganza I got really excited about going to the liquor store. I get excited about going to the liquor store anyway, since I’m more of an occasional drinker who splurges a little on nicer things than a regular “pick up a bottle of plonker”-er, so a liquor store trip is a special occasion and generally leads to something delicious. Kind of like how some women feel about shoe shopping…
Anyway, I’ve only bought alcohol twice over the course of my entire time back on the rock, and both times were pretty unforgettable. The first time I was sent by my mother to buy rum for my dad for his Christmas pudding. Newfoundland has a lot of rum! All that rum-running from the Caribbean really came in handy for making rum popular here, and it stuck post-prohibition. There were all the standards including Bacardi and Appleton’s but apparently the most popular rum in Newfoundland is Lamb’s despite the fact that it’s from Ontario (though the Black Sheep Spiced Rum comes from Quebec for some reason) and there are a lot of local options. Or at least more traditional ones from the Caribbean. Probably Lamb’s white is specifically the most poopular, but I needed dark rum for the pudding, so I had a hard decision to make.
So while my mom was buying groceries I wandered into the rum section of the attached liquor store to check out the offerings from home and abroad:
Mount Gay (Barbados)
El Dorado (Guyana)
Havana Club (Cuba),
English Harbour (Antigua)
Goslings Black Seal (Bermuda)
Ray and Nephew (Jamaica),
Ron Zacapa 23 (Guatemala)
Mac Na Mara (Scotland – blended scotch)
Ron Matusalem (US)
Sailor Jerry (US)
Governor General Light (Quebec)
Ron Carioca (Quebec)
Captain Morgon (Moslty Quebec, some US)
Smuggler’s Cove (Newfoundland)
Cabot Tower (NL)
Lemon Hart (NL)
Newfoundlander’s White (NL)
Old Sam (NL)
Ragged Rock (NL), and of course,
Screech rum (Newfoundland)
That makes for a lot of options for fruit cake…I didn’t want something particularly good since it wasn’t going to be drank anyway, but I didn’t want junk, and I didn’t want anything from the rest of Canada or the US, since if I was going to buy North American it was going to be from Newfoundland. In the end I chose a bottle of Cabot Tower (mostly because it was local and you could get the smaller bottles) and took it to the cash.
I haven’t been ID-ed in a good while. In Quebec if you’re taller than the counter in a bar you’re legal. Even in a liquor store you rarely get carded once you hit my age. I didn’t even have my ID on me. I’d even said to my mom when she sent me off in search of rum (like a good little Newfoundland girl) that I might get carded, but her look of “Yeah, right…”-skepticism kind of embarrassed me into trying anyway.
The woman at the cash gave me one look and asked for ID. I sighed. It was pretty embarrassing to have to say that my mother would be right there to buy it in a minute. You’re not allowed to buy alcohol for minors either, but clearly this was fine with the woman who was having a bit of an internal laugh. You could kind of see it on the sides of her mouth. Ah, positions of power. They’re supposed to card if you look under 25. My mom just laughed at me when I told her. So I spent 20 minutes choosing the right rum not to drink and I still get carded the one time I don’t have my ID. It figured. Murphy’s law. There are an awful lot of Murphys in Newfoundland, it’s true.