Serving up another lesson in drink history for cocktail week!
Classic cocktails always have an interesting history, and the Dark & Stormy is no different. This iconic combination of rum, lime juice, and ginger beer traces its roots back to World War I. But the backstory goes quite a bit farther, back to 1806, when James Gosling landed in Bermuda, and ended up creating a rum company, which became Black Seal Rum.
When the Royal Naval Officers Club combined their ginger beer with the rum, they said it resembled a cloudy storm that you wouldn’t want to sail underneath.
From there, the drink took off, to the point where you can see it all over the Caribbean, and North America, as well as in Europe. In the United States, “Dark ’n’ Stormy” is a registered trademark of Gosling Brothers Ltd of Bermuda, meaning it technically needs to be made with their specific ingredients. Though countless variations have been made, all tying back to the classic combination of rum and ginger beer.
The warm, slightly spicy ginger flavor blends beautifully with rum’s sweet undertones, and lime adds a perfect acidity, for a memorably delicious drink.
This incredibly simple cocktail is nonetheless delicious. Here’s a simple recipe below.
1.5oz float Blackstrap Rum
.5oz Lime Juice
6oz Ginger Beer
Combine ginger beer and lime juice in a glass, then carefully top with blackstrap rum to achieve the trademark layering. Garnish with a lime wedge.
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I was a competitive sailor years ago. In Annapolis, MD, one of the world’s premier sailing capitals, the Dark N’ Stormy is traditionally drunk as a rum shot, then chased with the rest of the ingredients.