The Dark 'n' Stormy is a rum-based cocktail closely related to another famous classic - The Moscow Mule. The classic Moscow Mule is typically served in a copper mug and consists of Vodka, ginger beer, and freshly squeezed lime juice. If you are a fan of the Moscow Mule, the Dark 'n' Stormy is a great way to try a cocktail with similar ingredients but a very different taste. The flavor of dark and unaged Rum lends an intense and distinct aroma to the cocktail.
In many countries across the globe, the Dark 'n' stormy often gets served with lime juice. In Bermuda, however, which is the home of the drink, you will usually get it without juice. There, it's normal to serve just a mix of ginger beer and Rum together with a lime wedge. That way, you can squeeze lime juice into your drink as you like it.
Now, continue reading if you want to know how Bermuda became the home of the spicy rum and ginger drink.
History of the Dark 'n' Stormy
Even though the drink's history is not documented all the way to its beginnings, chances are it got invented by sailors -quite similar to other famous cocktails like the Gin and Tonic. Of course, nowadays, the Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail is available all over the globe.
However, despite the lack of proper documentation, Bermuda is accepted as the official home of the cocktail. And that certainly makes sense. Bermuda is not only famous for Rum but also for producing ginger beer. Therefore it would 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 Gosling's. Gosling's in Bermuda has been producing Rum since the very early 1800s. In 1991 Gosling's Rum successfully registered a trademark for the drink. Since then, a cocktail that goes over the counter under the name Dark 'n' Stormy must be made with Gosling's Black Seal Rum. And Gosling's is serious about that. They enforced their rights, suing multiple other brands for promoting the drink with another Rum as the base.
So, today there's literally only one possible solution to make a legally correct Dark 'n' Stormy.
The ingredients for making a Dark 'n' Stormy
Again, a "correct" Dark 'n' Stormy has to contain Gosling's Black Seal Rum. And to be fair, Black Seal Rum is an excellent fit for the drink. It carries notes of vanilla, caramel, and plenty of spice. Plus, it mixes perfectly with quality ginger beer.
There are quite some brands out there producing superb ginger beer. My personal favorites are Bundaberg Ginger Beer, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, and also the one from Thomas Henry. But no matter which you prefer, just make sure you use beer and not ginger ale. Ginger Ale is only flavored with ginger, whereas real ginger beer is brewed and fermented with ginger. But don't get confused by the term "beer". Ginger beer is, in most cases, non-alcoholic and is only named beer due to the production process.
Now back to the Dark 'n' Stormy: A splash of freshly squeezed lime juice helps to marry the flavors of the main components of the drink. For most classic recipes, those three ingredients are everything you need to create the cocktail. But by adding a bit of rich simple syrup and some Angostura bitters, you can make the drink even more complex and tasty.
- 1.75 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
- 0.75 oz Lime juice
- 0.25 oz Rich simple syrup
- 3-4 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Fill up a long and tall glass with ice and add Rum, lime juice, and rich simple syrup.1.75 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum, 0.75 oz Lime juice, 0.25 oz Rich simple syrup
- Gently stir the mix and top up the drink with Ginger Beer.3-4 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- Finally, add 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters to the cocktail and garnish with a wedge of lime (optional)2-3 dashes Angostura bitters