Dark 'n' Stormy Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 7, 2023

The Dark 'n' Stormy is an easy-to-make and flavorful three-ingredient cocktail made of Goslings Black Seal Rum, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice.
Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail with lime

The Dark 'n' Stormy is a spicy, layered rum cocktail and most likely an invention of the Navy. It's supposed to resemble a dark, dangerous cloud looming over the sea.

Quick Facts Dark'n'Stormy Cocktail

  • Method: built in glass
  • Flavor profile: spicy
  • How to serve it: over ice
  • Glassware: highball glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 11% ABV, 16.5 grams of alcohol per serving

The dark, aged rum brings an intense and distinct note to the Tiki cocktail, which -at 11%ABV- is not as potent as the name suggests.

Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail with lime

Dark 'n' Stormy Cocktail Recipe

A truly delicious rum-based cocktail made with Gosling's Black Seal Rum, ginger beer, and lime juice.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: ginger beer, rum
Servings: 1
Calories: 194kcal
Cost: $2.80


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Bar spoon


  • 1.75 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
  • 0.75 oz Lime juice
  • 4 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer


  • Fill up a long and tall glass with ice and add Ginger Beer and lime juice and stir gently.
    0.75 oz Lime juice, 4 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer
  • Now carefully layer the rum on top to create the stormy appearance. You can pour the rum via your bar spoon to make the layering easier.
    1.75 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
  • Garnish with a wedge of lime (optional)


Serving: 6.5ozCalories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 7.35gSodium: 4.75mgPotassium: 35.25mgSugar: 7gVitamin C: 7.3mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.07mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ingredients & Recommendations

The Dark 'n' Stormy is a beautiful mix of rum, lime, and ginger beer. Here is all you need for the drink, with our recommendations and favorites:

  • Rum for the Dark 'n' Stormy Cocktail: A Dark 'n' Stormy officially and legally has to contain Goslings Black Seal Rum. However, when mixing it at home, you don't need to worry about that. Even though Black Seal Rum is an excellent fit, to be fair. It carries notes of vanilla, caramel, and plenty of spice. Plus, it mixes perfectly with quality ginger beer.
  • Ginger Beer: Our favorites for the Dark & Stormy are Bundaberg Ginger Beer, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, or Thomas Henry. 
  • Lime juice: A splash of freshly squeezed lime juice helps to marry the flavors of the drink. Don't cut the corner with pre-bottled lime juice. Only the taste of fresh limes makes the drink perfect.

How to layer a perfect Dark & Stormy Drink

To get the layered look of your drink right, you have to add all ingredients in the right order. Add ice to the glass first, then pour the ginger beer and the lime and stir with a bar spoon. -Gently, though, to keep the carbonation in the beer.

Only then can you add the rum to the glass. Don't pour it in straight from your jigger. Use the back of your bar spoon to help keep the rum afloat. 

Hold the spoon as close to the ginger beer-lime mix as possible and your jigger close to the rim of the glass. Now, pour slowly, and you will see that the rum stays on top and doesn't mix with the other ingredients.

More Tips

First and foremost, make sure that you use ginger beer and not ginger ale. Ginger Ale is sweeter and only flavored with ginger, whereas actual ginger beer is brewed and fermented with ginger. Therefore, the beer version is a lot spicier. -Don't get confused by the term beer. Ginger beer is non-alcoholic.

Serve your Dark n Stormy with a long drink stirrer or a biodegradable or reusable straw. People rarely drink this cocktail the way it is served. Usually, they might want to stir it up to mix the rum with the ginger beer.

Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail from top

The traditional way to serve it

In Bermuda, the probable home of the Dark & Stormy Cocktail, you usually get a mix of ginger beer and rum without juice. Instead, you get a lime wedge on the side. That way, you can squeeze lime juice into your drink if you like, and if you don't, you don't.

History of the Dark 'n' Stormy Recipe

Despite the lack of proper documentation, Bermuda is accepted as the official home of the cocktail. And that certainly makes sense. 

Even though the drink's history is not documented all the way to its beginnings, most likely, it got invented by sailors - quite similar to other famous cocktails like the Gin and Tonic or the Navy Grog

Bermuda is not only famous for rum but also for producing ginger beer. So it does stand to reason that someone from the island in the North Atlantic Ocean first created the drink.

But the main reason why Bermuda is the official home is due to the rum company Goslings. -And that tale does not go back quite so long.

Goslings in Bermuda has been producing rum since the very early 1800s. So, it's a company with a long tradition. However, only in 1991 did Goslings Rum successfully register a trademark for the Dark'n'Stormy Cocktail. 

Since then, each drink that goes over a bar counter by the name Dark 'n' Stormy must be made with Goslings Black Seal Rum. And Goslings is serious about that! They enforced their rights and sued multiple other brands for promoting the drink with another rum as the base.

So, for 30-odd years, there's literally only one possible solution to legally name a cocktail Dark 'n' Stormy, and that is to use Goslings. Luckily, as a home bartender, you don't need to worry about such formalities.

Related Drinks

One drink that gets mentioned frequently in connection with the Dark & Stormy recipe is the Moscow Mule - a blend of ginger beer and vodka. However, as a Caribbean rum cocktail, this drink is part of modern tiki culture, and you might want to serve it along with other tropical creations like

You can find more inspiration in our list featuring the top 20 Tiki Cocktails.


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