DOTW: Dark & Stormy

Posted by Anita on 03.07.08 7:07 AM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**What is it about ginger-beer drinks that brings together unlikely bedfellows? The Moscow Mule, for example: Two guys sitting around a Hollywood bar, trying to come up with a novel way to slog their middlebrow vodka and their slow-moving sodapop, combine their bevvies in a novelty copper cup. Somehow, this unholy alliance actually resulted in a fabulous drink, one of the few vodka cocktails I’ll actually admit to liking.

Likewise, here’s our friend the Dark & Stormy. Or, I should say, the Dark n’ Stormy®. Yup — some wily bastard had the gall to trademark this classic island refresher. Worse yet, the corporate overlords who own the name actually go around telling people that it’s unlawful (!) to build your beverage with any other rum besides Gosling’s Black Seal.

However you punctuate the damn thing, it’s another product of oddball circumstance: During the late 1800s, the British Navy either bought or built (depending on who you ask) a ginger-beer plant on the island of Bermuda. Your guess is as good as mine as to what prompted Her Majesty’s finest to get into the soft-drinks line, but there you have it. It didn’t take long for the boys in blue to add their daily tot of rum to the spicy soda, and a beverage was born.

Now, I’m not entirely certain that the bartenders of my fair City are acquainted with the attorneys representing the interests of Gosling’s Export (Bermuda) Ltd, because — just between us kids — I’ve seen them pouring pretty much any dark rum that comes to hand. And trust me, I’ve watched a lot of these being made this winter: It seems like every Dom, Duggan, and Harry in SF has added this golden tipple to their cocktail list. Bars of some fame have hosted entire evenings devoted to the drink (Dark n’ Stormy night, har har). There’s no denying it: San Francisco’s pros may be knocking back Fernet, but the paying stiffs out front are guzzling rum-spiked ginger beer like it’s never going out of style.

Contrarian though I am, I’ll grudgingly admit that the best Dark and Stormys we sampled were indeed made with the legally prescribed brand. But I think it’s safe to say that your choice of ginger brew — and please, don’t use that supermarket crap, or even the fabulously subtle Fever-Tree here — will have a much more dramatic effect on the end result than any small variations in rum labels.

Given the drink’s naval origins, it’s a fair bet that Pusser’s wouldn’t be far off the traditional mark, for example. And I’ll vouch that the drink’s awfully good when made with a quality gold rum — like Appleton VX — and a sassy Southern ginger ale like Blenheim… although this turns it into something more like a “Fair n’ Breezy”. Cameron, lover of all things molasses, prefers his Stormys on the Extra Dark side, made with Cruzan Blackstrap and Bunda from Down Undah.

So, go ahead: Experiment, and find your own favorite combination. We promise not to sic the laywers on you.

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

Dark & Stormy
2 oz dark rum, preferably Gosling’s Black Seal
6 oz ginger beer (or quality ginger ale)

Fill a highball glass with ice, and pour the rum over the rocks. Add the ginger beer to fill, and garnish with a healthy wedge of lime.

Drink of the Week, drinks, recipes



Comment by Mansi

You guys always have the awesome drinks and pictures! Glad to have you back to blogging!:)

Posted on 03.07.08 at 12:35PM

Comment by Laylita

Now I’m thirsty! This drink looks very refreshing.

Posted on 03.07.08 at 12:46PM

Comment by Tartelette

It’s funny the trends are so different dependng on where you live. I asked for a Dark and Stormy the other day, and I thought the bartender would never wipe his smirk off his face!! I love that drink!

Posted on 03.07.08 at 1:40PM

Comment by cookiecrumb

It sounds totally awesome.
The only thing I’d add is a grating of fresh orange rind.
But… you know me.

Posted on 03.07.08 at 3:38PM

Comment by Bear

This is one of my two drinks of choice to pour in the summertime (the other being the more obscure Deep Six). Dark and Stormys are real crowd-pleasers — glad to hear that they’re becoming more widely known! Agreed that Black Seal is the rum of choice (though I didn’t know that it was actively being promoted as such). A J Stephans makes a fairly good ginger beer that’s widely available, but if you can’t find ginger beer near you, you can always make your own. Nice post, Anita — keep spreading the word!!

Posted on 03.07.08 at 3:54PM

Comment by Anita

Mansi & Laylita: Aw, thanks!

Tartlette: Trends like this never cease to amuse me. Luckily, this is one that I have no problem enjoying. :)

Cookie: Tu es la reine de l’orange

Bear: Indeed — we made our own last year, and it was easy -and- tasty: Gin-Gin Cooler

Posted on 03.07.08 at 4:04PM

Comment by Cindy

That main picture looks so refreshing!

Posted on 03.07.08 at 7:52PM

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