Sweet Potatoes with Newfoundland Rum

Screech, as Newfoundland rum is called, is today a toned down version of a notoriously strong rum produced in Jamaica and traded for Canadian cod during the 19th century. The story is that back then it was carried in barrels that were also used for molasses and which often were not washed between trips. In the US it is only available in the three northern New England states so you may have to substitute a different dark rum. Sweet potatoes take well to a bit of strong spirits; bourbon being a common additive in the southern states.


  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup dark rum, preferably Screech
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400° (375° for convection). Bake the sweet potatoes until quite soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until they can be handled. Peel and mash in a large serving dish, mix in the butter and rum, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Warm in the oven before serving.


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