Originally posted 27 June 2012
While I was in Washington DC to talk about rum for the Culinary Historians of Washington, I met a charming lady from Haiti named Anne-Gaelle Laplanche who had seen this site and was able to answer the question about the mysterious bottle of Haitian rum. I had been fooled by the eccentric spelling of Haitian creole French – the word that had been spelled “Celebride” is actually a compound word of “Sele” and “Bride,” which together mean “Saddle and Bridle.” This drink, also spelled Selebride, is a white rum made in the Cap Haitian region called Kleren that is made by moonshiners, and this label wih no distiller’s name is typical. To make Selebride, the Kleren is spiced with local herbs – the resulting drink is supposed to have aphrodisiac properties. Apparently there are many different types of Haitian moonshine – others are called tranpe or tafia. I hope to elaborate on the differences in a future post, as well as provide a link to Anne-Gaelle’s new blog on Haitian cuisine and culture.
The trip to the East Coast was quite a success – there were good crowds at all four events, one of which was followed by an impromptu rum sampling in a sunny garden. Many thanks to all who came out. I had already planned a visit to the Carolinas this fall, and may be stopping through Virginia again for more fun in early November. If you have a suggestion for a venue, feel free to contact me!