A taste of Newfoundland and Labrador awaits in Bottoms Up. Readers may be tempted to pour a cocktail of spirits or sleeve of craft beer to help settle in for a delightful reading experience. Residents and intrigued tourists can use the references to various lounges, taverns and pubs as a tipple tour guide.
Sheilah Roberts Lukins has worked her way through a rich archive to present a very well researched and documented local history of alcohol that is tough to put down. I learned the origins of the common expressions such as “to give a toast.” I learned why so many women have managed drinking establishments. And I learned the makeup of the notorious “Screech-in” ceremony–Lukin’s writing on the subject was worthy of an episode of The Rick Mercer Report.This is both a coffee table book and a library reference with many notable facts, images and stories that can be retold as part of our more entertaining Canadian heritage. In the spirit of the community building through raised glasses and hearty meals described in Bottoms Up, I will gift my copy to my favourite local long-table pub on the west coast, run by a delightful Irish-Canadian family--
Mala Rai is a poet, drummer, psychology student and technical writing hired gun on the West Coast. Her most recent poems have appeared in Eclectica Magazine, High Shelf Press and Anti-Heroin Chic. You can follow her on Instagram @malaraipoetry.
Recommended to lovers of history, lovers of good wine and spirits and everyone in-between
It’s really great to see independent Canadian publishers producing interesting works of history that might not otherwise get into people’s hands or be documented. I am so impressed by the quality of this book and look forward to whatever comes next from this author and publishing house.
Here are some highlights I learned from the book:
- A really interesting exploration of the global influences that came from the fishermen who helped shape Newfoundland & Labrador’s culture
- The interrelationship between the use of liquor as a salary for fisherman (whether good or bad) and how it related to the development of related laws. How the early gentry used alcohol as a currency as opposed to just a commodity
- The continuity of traditions from the 1600s like tap houses and kitchen parties that have survived to this day
I recommend this book to lovers of history, lovers of good wine and spirits and everyone in-between--
Arianna McLaughlin @ arianna.reads
Sheilah Roberts Lukins serves up another award-winner.
Bottoms Up: A History of Alcohol in Newfoundland and Labrador wins the Gourmand Award for Best in the World Food and Drink Culture! Every year, the Gourmand Awards honour the best food and drink books, printed or digital, as well as food television. In 2017, books from 215 countries and regions were submitted to the awards, the only international competition of the sector. The award jury noted that "wine and drink books [were of]very high quality this year (2020)."