Perfect for the hot and thirsty
The Dark and Stormy is a refreshing mix of dark rum and ginger beer (the latter is a nonalcoholic carbonated soft drink similar to root beer — but spicier and more grown up, IMO). This cocktail originated in Bermuda, created by the makers of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum (more about that in the Notes.)
In the US, the Dark and Stormy is primarily a summer cocktail. It’s a tall cool one with terrific flavor. Carbonation gives it the refreshing and easy-to-drink quality of beer, while dark rum adds just the right amount of oomph. Add a squeeze or two of (optional) lime, and you’ve got a perfect picnic cooler.
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend in the US, lots of people are planning cookouts and barbecues. Why not add the Dark and Stormy to your menu? Despite the name, it’s a fun drink that will make your guests feel bright and sunny. Guaranteed!
Recipe: The Dark and Stormy Cocktail
If you’re in a hurry, you can pour this drink by eye, with no measuring: Just put ice in a glass (preferably a highball glass — one that holds about 9 ounces or so), add dark rum, and top up with ginger beer. Then add a squeeze or two of lime if you like (not traditional, but tasty).
That procedure makes a good drink. But you’ll get better results if you measure the ingredients (creating a more balanced blending of rum and ginger beer). Most recipes call for either 2 parts dark rum to 3 parts ginger beer, or 2 parts rum to 4 parts ginger beer. I prefer the 2:4 ratio (it’s really a 1:2 ratio, but you know what I mean). Different brands of rum (and ginger beer) do drink a bit differently, however, so some experimentation is in order.
I recommend using Gosling’s Black Seal rum (it’s traditional and widely available) and Gosling’s ginger beer. But there are lots of other brands out there, so (again) feel free to experiment.
This recipe makes 1 drink, and takes a couple of minutes to prepare.
- 2 ounces Gosling’s Black Seal rum (see Notes)
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (optional and not traditional, but exceptionally tasty)
- slice of lime for garnish (optional)
- Fill a highball or rocks glass with ice (you want to use a glass that holds about 9 ounces or so).
- Add the rum, ginger beer, and lime juice to the glass (see Notes for variations). Add a pair of straws, optional lime slice garnish, and serve.
- The makers of Gosling’s Black Seal rum have trademarked the name “Dark ‘n Stormy.” Yes, really! So by law bars have to use Gosling’s if they serve a drink by that name. For more information, see this 2009 article from the New York Times: The Right Stuff (by Law).
- But, hey, you’re making this at home. So feel free to mix it anyway you like (and call it a “Cute ‘n Fuzzy” if you want). Gosling’s dark rum and ginger beer do work great in this drink, but there are other good brands available. For instance, I haven’t tried Barritt’s ginger beer in this drink (it’s also from Bermuda), but it’s supposed to be sensational.
- Amanda and Scotty at the blog Chew Town swear by Kraken black spiced rum and Bundaberg ginger beer. And since Scotty is obsessed with the Dark and Stormy, his opinion is worth considering, I’d say.
- I’ve seen recipes that specify a couple ounces of dark rum with 5 to 8 ounces of ginger beer. Way too much ginger beer, IMO! Plus ginger beer can be more caloric than regular beer, so you don’t want to overdo it.
- I sometimes add the lime juice and ginger beer to the glass, and then gently pour the rum on top. That way, I get a nice dark “cloud” of rum that sorta floats on top, though it quickly blends into the ginger beer.
- Like root beer, ginger beer can be made at home. I haven’t gotten around to it yet (I will, someday). But in the meantime, if you’re interested, take a look at Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe.
- You can also make an alcoholic version of ginger beer. In most US states, it’s legal to make limited quantities of beer or wine for personal consumption. But it’s a no-no everywhere in the US to distill your own dark rum (or any other spirit). Sorry about that. (And BTW, never rely on Kitchen Riffs for legal advice! We’re food bloggers, not legal experts. Check your local laws before you try any brewing or bottling.)
It’s an Even-Numbered Day on Some Planet
Mrs. Kitchen Riffs took a long sip of her Dark and Stormy. “Such a great drink!” she enthused. “Wonderful flavor, and so refreshing.”
“It is,” I said. “Some people call it Bermuda’s national drink!”
“But last year you said the Bermuda Rum Swizzle had that distinction!” said Mrs K R. “How can the same place have two national drinks?”
“Beats me,” I said. “Especially since Bermuda is pretty small — you’d think one would do the job.”
“Well, it’s a fun place to visit,” said Mrs K R. “So maybe they need two different national drinks just to keep the party going.”
“Right!” I agreed. “Maybe on even-numbered days, the Dark and Stormy is the national drink.”
“And on odd-numbered days, it’s the Bermuda Rum Swizzle!” added Mrs K R. “Brilliant solution!”
We clinked our glasses to celebrate. Then I made us another round.
It was an even-numbered day, after all.
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