Drinks You Should Know: The Dark ‘N’ Stormy

I am not a big cocktail drinker but there is a time and a place for an ice cold, possibly sweet, strong concoction. The Dark ‘n’ Stormy is one of my favourites because it pairs something I like (ginger beer) with something that I also like (dark rum) and lime juice for a super simple, refreshing cocktail. Another upside to the Dark ‘n’ Stormy is how easy it is to make. Dark Rum, Ginger Beer and Lime juice , is all you need to make a drink that may make you fall asleep in the sun.

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy is the official cocktail of Bermuda as well as the unofficial cocktail of Australia. It seems that this rich yet refreshing is suited for the heat, sand and salt water.

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy is actually something of a weird corporate invention of the Gosling Brothers, Ltd, which makes Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. The Dark ‘n’ Stormy is the official cocktail of Gosling’s Brothers Ltd. and it’s not just a suggestion, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a trademarked and patented product. The craziest thing about this cocktail is that it really does taste better with Goslings*. From the ground up the cocktail was created to suit Gosling’s Black Seal rum.

So what is so special about Gosling’s Black Seal Rum that is cannot be substituted for a boutique rum? Why can’t I choose to add a dash of bitters to the drink to balance the sweetness a little bit? Why do I have to sip my Frankenstein Dark ‘n’ Stormy in fear of litigation? First Gosling’s Black Seal is a blend of aged rums that have a dark rich burnt molasses flavours that are the trademark of dark rums from the region. Second, you can’t add bitters because the people at Gosling’s know better than you**. And three you can do whatever you please at home, you can blend Ginger Beer with cuban white rum and mint leaves***.

Beyond the weird genesis and legality of the Dark ‘n’ Stormy it really is a great summer drink and who doesn’t like breaking a law or two while drinking.


*Unless you decided to tempt the good people at Gosling’s and you pour some Sailor Jerry’s Spiced rum into your dark and stormy. Please don’t sue me.

**Ok so, you’re not going to get sued personally by the Gosling’s people for tweaking their recipe at home. But if you are a bartender or mixologist and you are advertising a Dark ‘n’ Stormy with Bacardi you are first a dickhead for using Bacardi but you are also breaking trademark law. But if you were to advertise the drink as a Dark & Stormy you are free to add whatever rum you’d like. You just got ampersanded Gosling’s.

***But please don’t.


B&B Book Cover Final (done)-1

You can pick up my new book Braised Blue: Year One at Amazon’s Create Space right now. It’s 170 pages of recipes, essays like this one, original photography and other curiosities about Food, Wine and Whisky.