The Dark & Stormy is one of my favorite drinks, combining Gosling’s Black Seal Rum with ginger beer and a lime squeeze. While Gosling’s does own the trademark to the Dark & Stormy name, and it is considered the national drink of Bermuda (where Gosling’s is distilled), variations of the drink occur in a number of different countries, including Australia. For what it is worth, though, I don’t recommend substituting another rum for Gosling’s in a Dark & Stormy. For whatever reason, Gosling’s Black Seal has the right depth of flavor and pairs exceptionally well with ginger beer, something other rums often have trouble doing in this cocktail.
Bermuda is a British territory off the East Coast of the United States. Commonly misperceived to be in the Caribbean due to tales of the “Bermuda Triangle,” Bermuda actually sits in the Atlantic Ocean, about 640 miles northwest of the state of North Carolina. As Bermuda is British territory, rum distillation occurs from a byproduct of the sugar-making process, using molasses as a base rather than the cane juice used to make rhum on French islands. While islands settled by the Spanish also make rum from molasses, the Spanish style rums tend to be lighter-bodied and less flavorful. Gosling’s Black Seal is a perfect example of what a classic English style rum should taste like: rich, full-bodied, and dark.
When Gosling’s Black Seal is mixed with ginger beer, the mixture of dark rum and ginger beer turns into something greater than the sum of its parts. It becomes a crisp, flavorful, and refreshing cocktail that is (perhaps) too easy to sip. One needs to be aware that this drink can pack a real punch—more than two of these and you may find yourself sleeping away the afternoon.
The choice of ginger beer is up to you. I prefer Cock & Bull for this drink, but Bundaberg, Gosling’s, and Reed’s all have their advocates. The lime squeeze in the drink helps to brighten the flavors of the ginger and rum and is essential to this drink being more than just a run of the mill cocktail.
Ultimately, the best thing about the Dark & Stormy is that it is easy and quick to make. I like to sip these while out on the ocean or a river, but they taste great on land, too. Try one this summer and see if this doesn’t become one of your favorite summer cocktails.
Dark & Stormy
Makes 1 cocktail
- 2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
- 4 oz ginger beer (Cock & Bull or similar)
- 1 lime wedge
- In a double rocks glass (also known as a bucket) add rum and ice.
- Top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with lime wedge.