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Newfie screech is a type of Jamaican rum that was originally popular in Newfoundland, an island off the coast of Canada. After noticing its popularity, the government took control of the liquor business and began selling it. The rum did not have a name, and the bottles remained unlabeled until American servicemen came to the island during World War II.

The Story of Newfie Screech

The story of how this drink became known as Newfie Screech is quite interesting. As legend goes, a visiting commanding officer was offered rum after dinner. He noticed that local people were downing shots of the rum without making a grimace, so he did the same, letting out a howling scream in the process.

The scream was so loud that people ran to his aid. An American sergeant, the first person to arrive, knocked on the door and asked, “What the cripes was that ungodly screech?” The Newfoundlander who had answered the door replied, “The screech?”Tis the rum, me son.”

Once it became known how strong this rum was, every American serviceman wanted to taste it. Eventually, the screech rum became their favorite drink. The name was quickly adopted, and sellers began labeling the dark rum “Newfoundland Screech.”

How to Make Newfie Screech

Newfie Screech is manufactured in a process similar to the way most rum is made. Molasses and water is mixed together, fermented, distillated and aged. Newfie screech is a deep golden brown in color, much like that of dark caramel syrup.

Newfie screech has the aroma of molasses and wood without the strong aroma of alcohol. It has a distinct taste that is a blend of a slight sweetness and dry wood. It goes down smooth followed by a slightly hot sensation and a lingering molasses flavor.

How to Drink Newfie Screech

Newfie Screech is powerful rum with a rich tradition. While it isn”t quite as harsh as its name suggests, it is not very smooth either. Because it has a strong flavor, it can be enjoyed alone or mixed with other ingredients.

In particular, Newfie Screech blends well with:

  • club soda
  • coffee
  • cola
  • orange juice.

Some also say that the taste of Newfie Screech improves if it sits in a glass and airs out for awhile before it is consumed.

Recipes for Popular Newfie Drinks

While Newfie Screech can be enjoyed straight, mixing it with a few other ingredients also produces some interesting results. If you”re feeling adventures, try these Newfie Screech cocktail recipes.



  • 2 oz. Newfoundland Screech Rum
  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec or blue curacao
  • the juice of one lime
  • splash of club soda.


  1. Mix all ingredients, except the club soda, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Pour the mixture into martini glass and top it off with splash of club soda
  3. Use a lime wedge for garnish.

Newfoundland Night Cap


  • 1 1/4 oz. Newfoundland Screech
  • 1 to 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • black coffee
  • whipped cream.


  1. Pour Newfie Screech and the brown sugar into a coffee cup.
  2. Fill with black coffee and stir.
  3. Top off with whipped cream.

Screech Punch


  • 1 oz. Newfoundland Screech Rum
  • 1 oz. coconut rum
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice.


Pour all ingredients (in the order listed above) in a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

Over the years the alcohol content of Screech has been toned down and refined. In 2003, Newfie Screech Rum won a gold medal at the International Rum festival for excellence in taste. Newfie Screech remains a favorite Newfoundland drink to this day.

 Posted on : May 26, 2014