The Perfect Rum and Ginger Cocktail for Imperfect Weather: Dark 'n Stormy

The Perfect Rum and Ginger Cocktail for Imperfect Weather: Dark 'n Stormy
Courtesy of Delish

If you want your ginger beer to be spicy, make sure it's spicy enough.

A Dark 'n Stormy is a drink that contains rum, ginger beer, and lime. The name seems at least partially justified given that it has one fewer syllable than "rum and ginger beer."

Despite the fact that the Dark 'n Stormy feels more adult than Coca-Cola or orange juice thanks to the spice of a good ginger beer, there is something about it that persists in eroding its perceived two-ingredient peers. It's also recommended that you layer the black rum on top first, followed by lime and ginger beer, to create the illusion of a cloud that would only allow fools or dead men to pass through it. One more thing to remember: The Dark 'n Stormy is awesome when it comes to flavors.

The fact that things tend to get lost in Bermuda is a truism. James Gosling, an Englishman, got waylaid in Bermuda in 1806, when he was planning to sail to America, only to find that Bermuda suited him and decide to stay. When the Gosling company began selling rum in 1860, they began referring to it as "black seal," because the black wax used to seal the bottles caused the rum to become known as "black seal," which was a reference to the black wax they used to seal the bottles.

As the British Royal Navy was bottling ginger beer across the island, presumably to assist any more novice sailors who may suffer from seasickness, on the other end of the island, the British Royal Navy was bottling ginger beer. Bermuda isn't a particularly big place; it didn't take long for someone to mix the two together, name it after that cloud thing and the Dark 'n Stormy was born.

Despite the fact that the cocktail business has been a dynamic one, Gosling's has remained remarkably resistant to change. Part of the reason for this is the litigious nature of their own company, but a part of the reason is that they do not really need to change it. A twist on the Moscow Mule is that the neutral vodka is replaced with the richness of the dark rum, so for some palates it may be improved with bitters, but it is not necessary.

If your ginger beer is a little sweeter, you can use lime juice to make it taste better, but it can also be enjoyed without lime juice. A Dark 'n Stormy can be made with fresh ginger syrup, soda water, and ginger beer, or with just rum and ginger beer. It can also be made with just rum and ginger beer, making it a great party drink.

Dark ‘n Stormy

  • 2 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • 4-5 oz. ginger beer
  • 0.5 oz. lime

A tall glass filled with lime and ginger beer and ice is layered with rum until it reaches about 1.5 inches from the top. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge and serve.


Courtesy of Gosling's Rum

The Gosling's rum has many admirable qualities—it's been in business for eight generations, and they've always been upfront about the fact that they don't distill themselves. In 2012, they threatened legal action against a blogger who had the temerity to wonder what the best rum for a Dark ‘n Stormy would be after holding a trademark on the term Dark ‘n Stormy since the '80s and “vigorously” pursued any other rum company that attempted to use it. Despite this rather obnoxious behavior, Gosling's Black Seal Rum isn't actually bad. In fact, a Dark 'n Stormy made with it is one of the only legal ways to prepare it.

You could, hypothetically, make a cocktail that would not be a Dark ‘n Stormy, but instead used a different rum and ginger beer, and you would be fine with it no matter what you did with the rum. The rum should have some depth and weight, and it will be delicious if it has some age. For a cocktail that isn't a Dark 'n Stormy, I prefer Guyanese or Jamaican rums when I mix them with ginger beer, but any aged will taste great.

The ginger beer craze of the 2010s has given us a lot of good ginger beer options. I personally prefer spicy ginger beers, but the Moscow Mule craze has prompted lots of good brands to emerge. The spice of Cock ‘n Bull or Blenheim Ginger Ale, or the rounder profile of Bundaberg, are some of my favorite, but there are countless others as well.

We recommend making your own ginger syrup if you're a true ginger lover (you know who you are). It's a little bit of work, but really worth it if you're a Moscow Mule devotee.

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