Another classic, the Dark and Stormy/Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

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.

The Dark and Stormy

  • 3 ounces/90 grams Gosling’s Rum
  • 3 ounces/90 grams ginger beer, or to taste
  • Fat wedge of lime
  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.

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!).

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© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.