Cocktail of the Week #5: The Dark ‘N’ Stormy

The Dark ‘N’ Stormy may be the best well known example of a brand-owned cocktail. The brand in this case is Gosling’s (no relation to Ryan) and the official recipe calls for, surprise, all Gosling’s ingredients (okay, not the lime juice, but everything else). Take a look at the recipe after the photo jump:

  • 2oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • 4-6oz Gosling’s Ginger beer
  • Juice of half a lime

Fill a Collins glass with ice and then ginger beer, until it is 2/3rds full. Add the lime juice and then pour the rum on top.

Personally, I can’t find Gosling’s Ginger Beer for the life of me, so unless the good people at Gosling’s HQ want to start driving around in a van and giving the stuff out, I’ll stick with what I can get my hands on, such as Reed’s or Regatta. If you’ve got the PDT Cocktail Book and are feeling adventurous, you can find a recipe for homemade ginger beer too.

But back to the drink.

This is the first Cocktail of the Week that is a highball, which simply means that it has a base of booze and a much larger amount of some non-alcoholic mixer. Remember all those Cranberry Vodkas, Screwdrivers and Jack & Cokes you had in college (or perhaps still enjoy)? Yep, those are highballs.

The Dark ‘N’ Stormy is a bit of a different beast though, if only for its presentation: the “dark” of the rum floats down through the ginger beer like a descending storm cloud, giving you the name “Dark ‘N’ Stormy”. Mind blown? No? Oh, oh well.

This drink — probably because it’s a highball — is far more widespread than other cocktails in the CotW column, with the only limiting factor being the availability of ginger beer. The downside, of course, is that the recipe undergoes mutations at an insane rate. Sometimes the limes are in there but muddled, sometimes the rum is added first, sometimes there’s mint, sometimes there’s ginger ale, sometimes the proportions are just flat out terrible.  But that’s the price you pay for not having to hunt this one down in the arcane alleys of speakeasy-goodness.

Why should you love this one? It’s light yet strong, great for any season (though especially Fall, I’d say) and, perhaps best of all for the beginning enthusiast, it’s easy to make. And sometimes, when you’re exhausted as all hell and just need your own refuge in the dark and the stormy, “easy to make” is the most important thing of all.

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