Dark and Stormy

It was a dark and stormy night… and so starts the sailor’s tale, whether it be of vengeful ghosts or monster whales. Thus the aptly named “Dark ‘n’ Stormy” cocktail, a favorite of the sailing set from Bermuda to up and along the coast of the eastern states. It consists of rum and ginger beer, and maybe, just maybe, a splash of lime. But it can’t be just any old rum. Dark rum is a necessity, and if you want to make the drink true and proper, it must be Gosling’s black rum.

If you’ve spent any amount of time with me, you’ll know I’m not much of a drinker. (Cheap date!) But I find it very hard to turn down a Dark n Stormy. I had one for the first time several years ago visiting my friends Ann and Nick in Annisquam, Mass, a village outside of Gloucester, right on the water by Lobster cove. This is a drink for breezy days by the ocean, with sailboats and salty air.

annisquam-sunset.jpg

Do you like Dark n Stormy’s? If so, with lime juice or without? (I prefer it with.) And do you have a favorite brand of ginger beer to go with it?

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Dark and Stormy Recipe

  • Prep time: 1 minute
  • Yield: Makes one drink.

The official Dark 'n' Stormy uses only Gosling's black rum. If you don't have Goslings, use a dark rum.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 1/4 lime, cut into two thick slices, one for garnish, one to squeeze over the ice (optional)
  • 2 ounces Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda black rum
  • 4 ounces ginger beer (Gosling's makes one just for this purpose)

Method

Fill a highball glass with ice. If using lime, squeeze a slice over the ice. Add the Gosling's rum. Add the ginger beer and place a slice of lime on the rim of the glass for a garnish.

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Links:

The Right Stuff (by Law) - All about the Dark and Stormy in the New York Times
The Wikipedia on Dark n Stormy

34 Comments

  1. Charles Reichenbach

    Elise,

    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The cocktail-istas have modified this classic take…and the results are delicious. I would suggest equal measures to your recipe, subbing out Kraken Black Spiced Rum and Barritt’s Ginger Beer.

    Hi Charlie! Thanks for the suggestion! ~Elise

  2. Amy

    I love Regatta Ginger Beer for my Moscow Mule and Dark & Stormy. If you have it, adding Domaine de Canton’s ginger liqueur makes a “Dark and Stormier”. :)

    Love it, thanks! ~Elise

  3. Gail

    Yum! I love ginger beer. I will need to try this one. Any idea where to get that brand of rum in No. Cali? I’ve never heard of it.
    I think I would like it with the lime in it. Lime makes everything taste better.

    Hmm, you might try BevMo. ~Elise

  4. Suzy

    I LOVE me a good Dark & Stormy! You should try adding a bit of fresh grated nutmeg…delish

    Great idea, thanks! ~Elise

  5. Gina

    I love a dark and stormy from the Doug Fir in PDX- includes lot of lime! The name reminds me of my late grandpa’s favorite way to tease us during bedtime stories “It was a dark and stormy night and the captain said ‘Jack, my boy tell me a story’ and the story went like this…It was a dark and stormy night and the captain said ‘Jack, my boy tell me a story’ and the story went like this…” Repeat until little girls screech “Grandpaaaaaa, stop!”. Make up for it the next day with blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup.

  6. Kilgore Trout

    Drink these all the time. This is the best ginger beer I have found for them, and I have tried quite a few. Less sweet than most. They also come in great little cocktail sized bottles. Not bad if you have Prime for shipping.
    http://www.amazon.com/Fever-Tree-Premium-Ginger-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B002NVZDR4

  7. Glenn

    BTW, the true way to make this drink is to layer the dark rum on top of the glass of ginger beer… it creates the layered “rolling clouds” effect of a dark and stormy night, hence the name.

    Admittedly I always mix the layers together before drinking, but the effect of delivering someone a glass with the layers showing (and with the rum usually rolling around like a stormy night’s clouds on top of the ginger beer from the delivery) is worth the slow pour effort.

    Side Note: Gosling’s ginger beer is “brewed” about a mile from where I am sitting right now, at the Polar Beverage Corp in Worcester, MA.

  8. Joanne Truchon

    Love Dark & Stormies and all the better with a big ol’ hunk of lime, though my husband disagrees…he prefers his D&S’s au naturale. We agree to disagree. There is nothing better relaxing and enjoying once you tie up to a mooring or dock! And no better ginger beer than Barritt’s, though they were bought out by Gosling, so Gosling it is! I also like Goya, when I’m in an extra=spicy mood. :) Thanks for the post, it reminded me that I have not had one in a couple of weeks!

  9. awineguy

    Dark & Stormy has been my “go to” summer drink for many years.

    In my opinion the lime is essential, I squeeze the juice of half a lime into a shaker with ice and the rum and shake until the shaker is frosted then strain over the top of a tall glasses full of ice and ginger beer, for a pair of drinks. Pouring the rum on top to simulate the dark rolling storm clouds is a nice touch as “Gina” mentions.

    Can’t get Goslings Ginger Beer here in Vancouver but there are a number of good ones on the market and while Gosling’s “invented” the drink any good Caribbean dark rum will do.

  10. Vicki

    I was introduced to the Dark and Stormy earlier this summer on my first trip to Bermuda. I bought back some Goslings Black Seal so I could make them at home. I was thrilled to find Barritts Ginger Beer at my local Wegmans.

    I tried the Saranac Ginger Beer and was disappointed, it was more like ginger ale.

  11. Rhonda

    The best Dark & Stormy is made with Blenheim Ginger Ale! http://www.blenheimgingerale.com/
    Use the kind with the pink cap if you like it extra spicy.
    And yes, the lime is essential.

  12. Peggie

    Maybe I mixed it wrong, or you have to aquire a taste for it. It tases like cardboard to me.

  13. Also Rhonda

    I was first introduced to Dark And Stormy at a quaint little place in Utica, NY called the Nail Creek Pub. Of course you must use Goslings Black Rum, but a great ginger beer for it is Saranac Ginger Beer, made right here in Utica. I haven’t tried it with lime, but will be soon!

  14. Steve

    This is my favorite drink. Everyone has their own combo, but my personal favorite is Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum and Bundaberg Ginger Beer (a Cost Plus or World Market). All the other spiced rums are too bland (I find Gosling’s especially so), Sailor Jerry’s has a great vanilla undertone to it. Also, most ginger beers have either way too much sugar or way too little ginger (again, gosling’s doesn’t cut it). I used to be a fan of Stewarts Ginger beer, which would burn on the way down from all the ginger, but since it was discontinued, Bundaberg is a decent second place.

  15. cory

    Natrona Bottling Company – Jamaica’s Finest Ginger Beer.

    Best ginger beer out there.

  16. Mike G

    Open up the rum room baby! I use Gosling’s rum and their ginger beer. My twist is to muddle fresh lime and fresh ginger then pour in the rum and ginger beer and serve over ice. Aahhh!

  17. Lorri H.

    One of my favorite drinks of all time – Goslings dark rum and lime are must-haves. My favorite ginger mixer is Bruce Cost Unfiltered Original Ginger Ale (http://www.freshgingerale.com/) If you like spicy, this is the cat’s meow.

  18. Alicia*

    WhooHoo! My favorite cocktail! I love using Goslings dark rum in baking. Good for banana bread and brownies.

  19. kellypea

    My husband is obsessed with these and he’s not even someone who drinks much of anything but tea. I’ve never thought to surprise him with one at home so thanks for sharing — gotta try it now. Enjoying the suggestions in the comments, too.

  20. Mitch

    i don’t eat much sugar, so the Gosling’s Diet Ginger Beer has been a great find. any dark rum seems to work fine–and we’ve been known to use regular rum in a pinch. on our mini-vacation last week on Lake Michigan my wife and I enjoyed a couple of “Saugatuck Storms” while the kids fell asleep in the tiny hotel room–Diet Goslings and Bacardi over ice in plastic cups. They were fantastic!

  21. Debra

    I tasted Ginger Beer for the first time this Summer. It was like drinking Ginger. Wow! I am excited to try this drink.

  22. Bunkster

    A number of years ago my family actually had a dark and stormy taste test with several different ginger beers. I prefer Stewart’s ginger beer because it’s very spicy, but most of my family likes Barritt’s or Regatta better.

  23. Kasia

    This is one of my favorite cocktails as well. I first tried it on Cape Cod, and have been hooked since. For me, it has to be Gosling’s and Gosling’s. I like lime too.

    Last summer I discovered a different take that I enjoy as well, “the light and breezy”. It has white rum instead.
    Cheers!

  24. patty parent

    I love this drink! When I was first introduced to it it was as a “hangover drink”, just as you have it but with a couple of drops of bitters added. The rum acts as the hair of the dog, the ginger and bitters are to help settle the stomach.

  25. Scott

    First introduced to this heavenly nectar upon entering St. Georges harbor after the 97 Marion-Bermuda race. A skiff came along side with a sleeve of Goslings and some ginger beer. I have been hooked ever since and have made it my life’s work to enlighten the uninitiated. Heavy pint glass filled with ice, big chunk of lime, three fingers of Goslings (the fatter your fingers the better) and ginger beer. I’ve tried every form of ginger beer that I could find and the one I prefer is D&G’s Jamaican Ginger Beer as it has more of a bite to it. Rum Rules!

  26. mantha

    I love ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger beer . . . and I love this drink. Had it first years ago at the Black Pearl in Newport.

    So glad to see someone else likes D&G Jamaican ginger beer! It has a lot of real body — I think it actually has a small amount of some kind of oil content to provide the smoothness. And there is a bite.

  27. Brendan

    As a Dark & Stormy lover and a native of Newport, RI, I can’t help but throw in my 2 cents on this one…

    First, lime. Yes, as a garnish; no way as an ingredient.
    Second, ginger beer. The Gosling’s version is brand new and just an effort to capture the other half of the D&S ingredient market. The original and only acceptable ginger beer is Barritt’s.

    Thanks for the post though – a recipe near and dear to my heart :)

  28. Becky

    Of course everone’s tastes differ, so I would encourage trying out a variety of ginger beers to find your own favorites for this drink. Oh, what a daunting task! I have to mention (because I don’t see it listed above) that my hands down favorite is Reed’s “Extra Ginger” Ginger Beer. It has a nice bite of ginger without being too spicy. Also, by including fruit juices in lieu of some of the sugar, it provides balance and complexity without being overly sweet. An additional plus is that it is widely available in most areas.

  29. Adam

    I’ve been in love with Dark & Stormys for a few years since I was introduced to one at singlebarrel in San Jose.

    I’ve always had an affinity for rum drinks, and in particular Rum & Tonic which my grandfather used to drink since he sailed around the Bahamas a lot (previously an English Caribbean colony, so lots of tonic, lots of limes and nothing but rum), so a Dark & Stormy was right up my alley.

    While a good dark rum is required, I think what really pushes a Dark & Stormy to godlike levels is homemade ginger beer. I usually use Alton Brown’s recipe, but I generally substitute the baking yeast for champagne or ale yeast if I have it.

    Don’t skip the lime. It brings the right kind of brightness and balance to the sweet ginger beer and the intense rum.

  30. Josh Miller

    Love a good Dark and Stormy–hard to beat on a hot afternoon. I have tried several different dark rums with my favorite ginger beer, and settled on Coruba from Jamaica as my favorite.

    Cheers!
    Josh

  31. Erin

    I don’t drink very often but this sounds very refreshing and it is going to be hot this weekend. This will make a great end-of-the-day drink for my husband and I. Lime for me!

  32. Brandon Wilson

    I just had my first Dark & Stormy a week ago in Savannah at the Crystal Beer Palace. Wow! Great drink. I love the balance of the drink. I know they used Goslings Rum but not sure about the ginger beer. The bartender suggested I try a version with Wild Turkey in place of the rum but I didn’t care for that one.

  33. Michael

    Try it with Old New Orleans Spiced Rum and Ginger Beer.

  34. Lynn

    No lime and it’s gotta be Barritt’s Ginger Beer from a true Bermudian!

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