Sift flour with salt, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.
Combine water with rum or apple juice. Combine baking soda with molasses. Cream sortening and sugar. Add sifted dry ingredients and water-rum mixture alternately, a third at a time, blending well after each addition. Chill dough, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 375* On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 4inch cutter. Place on greased baking sheets, leaving room for spreading, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let stand on sheet a few minutes befoe removing, to prevent breaking.