Known as All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, Halloween is a celebration observed on the 31st October. It’s believed that many Halloween traditions may have had pagan roots and beginnings including, trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving pumpkins, telling scary stories, watching horror films and lighting bonfires. In some places, bonfires were lit in order to "prevent the souls of the dead from falling to earth." Later, these bonfires served to keep "away the devil".
The festival also involves people going from house-to-house in costume, or disguise, usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food. It is suggested that the disguises "personify the old spirits of the winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune". If the household donated food it could expect good fortune; not doing so would bring misfortune.
Wearing costumes and playing pranks at Halloween spread to England in the 20th century. Traditionally, pranksters used hollowed out turnips often carved with grotesque faces as lanterns. The lanterns were said to represent the spirits, or were used to ward off evil spirits. They became common and known as jack-o'-lanterns.
En route home after a night's drinking, Jack encountered the Devil and tricked him into climbing a tree. A quick-thinking Jack etched the sign of the cross into the bark, trapping the Devil. Jack then struck a bargain that Satan could never claim his soul. After a life of sin, Jack was refused entry to heaven when he died. Keeping his promise, the Devil refused to let Jack into hell and threw a live coal straight from the fires of hell at him. It was a cold night, so Jack placed the coal in a hollowed out turnip to stop it from going out. In Ireland and Scotland, the turnip has traditionally been carved during Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger, making it easier to carve than a turnip.
By the end of the 12th century traditions involved ringing church bells for the souls in purgatory. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door collecting, in exchange for praying for the dead, especially the souls of friends and relatives. It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities.
Pirate's Grog Rum
Discovered by two British travellers by the names of Gareth and Beth in 2012, Pirate’s Grog Rum began it’s journey in Hottest Sparrow, an isolated village deep in the jungle of Roatán. Pirate’s Grog is a blend of four Caribbean rums, (Trinidadian, Jamaican, Guyana and one other mystery island). The rums are aged between three and five years in ex American oak Bourbon barrels making the liquid light yet full of flavour. The fact this rum is distilled in a Jamaican pot still provides a warming finish, with hints of vanilla, raisin, mint, orange peel and molasses. It’s a well balanced full flavoured rum which makes it very versatile for use with a mixer or in a cocktail.
The Mince Pie Daiquiri made with Pirate’s Grog Rum
50ml Pirate’s Grog Rum
25ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
25ml Homemade Sugar Syrup
2 bar spoons of Mincemeat
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a glass with no ice.
Garnish with orange peel.