Another classic, the Dark & Stormy. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

I’ve been traveling and hobnobbing with entertainment industry folks this week, so work and body clock are all off. Now I’m back in the deep Cleveland gray and longing for the fine days of cooking in Key West, so I’m reposting this most excellent cocktail that started off all those long lovely boozy nights in the southernmost with my sailing family, the Dark & Stormy: Gosling’s rum, ginger beer, and lime. I like equal parts rum and ginger beer, because that’s me; the traditional ratio is 2:1 beer to rum. This time I’d like to stress the use of lime. There should be plenty in the perfect Dark & Stormy or the drink is cloying after the first sip or two. Don’t give a desultory squeeze but rather an aggressive one, as much as half a lime depending on the lime, always to taste. Just remember the lime is every bit as important as the rum and ginger beer, not an afterthought.

This cocktail is recommended especially to all my friends on the east coast from Virginia (hammered with rain) up through New York and Boston, where it’s going to be dark and stormy, blanketed, cold, and gray gray gray. Chase those grays away with a couple of Dark & Stormys at home and then stay home, make a deep rich stew or, better, roast a chicken and stay warm!

The Dark and Stormy

  • 3 ounces/90 grams Gosling’s Rum
  • 3 ounces/90 grams ginger beer, or to taste
  • Up to 1/2 lime, juiced
  1. Pour the rum into a highball glass and fill the glass with ice.
  2. Add the ginger beer and the fat wedge of lime.

Commentary from original post, June 1, 2012

Last week’s cocktail post, The Moscow Mule, allowed me to show off OYO, the awesome Columbus, Ohio, vodka by Middle West Spirits, but it also got me thinking about how cool ginger beer is. It also demonstrates how specific drinks are defined by the spirit used. The Manhattan, made with American whiskey, becomes a Rob Roy when made with scotch (not a “scotch Manhattan”). A Martini made with vodka becomes a Kangaroo (not a “vodka martini”). Swap out the vodka in a Moscow Mule and you don’t have a “rum Moscow Mule,” you have a Dark and Stormy. (I don’t know if this is an official cocktail, but it’s great from a taste standpoint, noted by a commenter: make a Dark and Stormy with Maker’s Mark instead of rum and you have a “Mark and Stormy.”)

A couple side notes: last week we drank Fentimans ginger beer. It was delicious and is what I’d choose. But our store was out so Donna got Barritt’s (diet, no less, yikes!), which originated in Bermuda, and so is appropriate for this rum (even the diet part—it tasted good). And an observation on limes: choose the ones with the smoothest, shiniest skins: less skin, more juice.

The Dark and Stormy is a most excellent warm-weather drink. It’s the drink of choice when I go down to Key West to write and to cook for the boys (and girl) who race in the January regattas there. This one has a goodly quantity of rum. If you’re like the boys on the boat, it’s a nice start.

Previous cocktail posts for your reference: the excellent Whiskey Sour (with egg white); one of the oldest and best for its simplicity, the Old Fashioned; and a cocktail of my own devising, The Berkshire Martinez (which, happily, has made it onto the drinks menu at the VTR!).

If you liked this cocktail post, check out these other links:

© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

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19 Wonderful responses to “Friday Cocktail Hour Revisited: The Dark & Stormy”

  • Sean Wenham

    I’m a bit terrified to try it. After your post about the Paloma, I became a much less productive individual and have since consumed an unholy amount of reposado.
    In fact, I created my own blend of Paloma perfection and I’m obsessed with it.
    Thanks a bunch!

    • ruhlman

      yeah, that paloma is a good one. will need to do a version with fresh grapefruit as theyre coming into their season.

  • Sara Anderson

    I once found that putting dark rum in diet hansen’s root beer covered up the diety flavor, and it just tasted like regular root beer.

  • Tamar Amidon

    Gosling’s actually has a diet ginger beer that is really good in a Dark and Stormy. You didn’t mention that if you call it a Dark and Stormy in your bar or restaurant you have to use Gosling’s, it’s a branded drink…really,

  • Ken

    Almost everything is better with Ginger Beer, and I’ve been so happy to finally see it in local markets on a regular basis.

    Tall soda fountain glass. Vanilla bean ice cream in glass. Pour Ginger Beer into glass. And a Dark & Stormy as a nightcap!

  • Hugh

    Juice ginger & combine with equal parts sugar to make an awesome ginger syrup with tons of bite (IMHO much better than infusing simple syrup with ginger). Use in this recipe with soda water, and then start dreaming of the myriad other drinks it would improve upon.

    • Dean

      Great concept. I’ll give that a try. Sounds like something I could use in a lot of ways including adding a dash of the syrup to a shrimp stir fry.

    • Sean Wenham

      Good call, Hugh! I recently made a batch of ginger-infused simple syrup (I wanted a starting point to make homemade ginger ale…) that left me very unenthusiastic. I’ll look forward to making some sweetened ginger juice.

  • Dean

    Thanks for posting about one of my favorites. I like to make it using Fever Tree Ginger Beer because it isn’t too sweet and has a lot of real ginger in it. The storm missed my part of VA (thanks for thinking of us) so maybe I’ll brave the chill and grill a good steak. I roast a chicken almost every Sunday. My recipe is 1) clean it; 2) dry it; 3) season it (salt and almost any variation of herbs and spices; 4) truss it; 5) roast and rest it; and, 6) enjoy it.

  • Mantonat

    The dark and stormy is one of my favorite cocktails! Gosling’s is one of those rare mixing spirits that isn’t as good straight as it is mixed (at least in my opinion).

    I’m making a different summer beverage to help stave off the cabin fever – the hailstorm. It’s basically a mint julep only you shake everything together in a mason jar and then just drink out of the jar. It’s supposedly the oldest cocktail recipe native to Colorado, and the original recipe called for wheat whiskey or Monongahela rye (which I don’t think is made anymore). I’m using Lion’s Pride wheat whiskey from Chicago.

  • Victoria

    I like this drink a lot, but Walter’s already started making a negroni, so maybe tomorrow night when we’re really socked in.

    I must once again say yay for your La Paloma!!!!! I always have the ingredients in stock.

  • Allen

    Very thoughtful, best to the north east. Original post has a lot of home made ginger beer references, well worth trying.
    That fim maker friend made a great documentary called A Decade Under The Influence. My era of fim buffdum.
    Cheers, happy Friday into drunken Saturday for me, lemon chicken with white wine, butter & too many aviation cocktails. Lemon theme, lemon butter broccoli.
    Summer like for our north eastern friends, wishing you warm hearts. Limoncello for liquid sunshine to warm the soul and bring cheer.
    Salute!

  • Eric

    The Gosling’s brand Ginger Beer is not half bad either…plus it is placed conveniently placed right next to the Gosling’s Black Rum at my local liquor store. This cocktail is definitely on the same level as the Paloma, though: one is never enough.

  • Stephen

    I know it “has” to be made with Gosling’s to be called a Dark & Stormy, but I recommend trying it with Cruzan Black Strap one day. Yum.

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