A Dark and Stormy cocktail tastes great regardless of the weather. However, those who don’t follow this cocktail’s rule could hit bumpy water. Discover that rule in our easy Dark and Stormy recipe while you learn how to craft the classic cocktail in just two minutes.
A Dark and Stormy cocktail isn’t technically (and maybe legally) a Dark and Stormy unless it’s crafted with Goslings Black Seal rum. Gosling Brothers Ltd. trademarked the name Dark ‘N Stormy and, not surprisingly, expects the cocktail to be crafted with its rum.
While it’s unlikely that the the company will sue home mixologists, we’ve chosen to abide by this rule and buy a new bottle of rum to add to our ever-growing liquor collection. In our book, that’s a good thing since it completes our ever expanding bar.
What Is a Dark and Stormy Cocktail?
It would be easy to call a Dark and Stormy cocktail a Moscow Mule imitation crafted with dark rum instead of vodka but that would be incorrect.
The Dark and Stormy likely pre-dates the Moscow Mule by over a century
Plus, mixologists typically use lowball or highball glasses when crafting Dark and Stormies instead of copper mugs.
History of the Dark ‘N Stormy Cocktail
We’d love to share a story about how the Dark and Stormy cocktail was invented on a dark and stormy night. That epic story would involve princesses and pirates… and would be fiction.
Instead, the Dark and Stormy traces its roots to Bermuda and a rum company.
Gosling Brothers Ltd. trademarked the drink in the 20th, a century after the Goslings crafted the original Dark ‘N Stormy cocktail. Or did they?
It’s possible that the Dark and Stormy was invented by sailors who added ginger to rum for medicinal purposes. Legend has it that one of those savvy sailors named the drink after its ‘dark and cloudy’ appearance.
We prefer this story even though it doesn’t involve either pirates or princesses.
Dark and Stormy Ingredients
As is the case with most classic cocktails, the Dark and Stormy recipe only requires a handful of ingredients:
While you likely have a lime and ginger beer at home, you may need to make a special trip to the liquor store before you craft your first Dark and Stormy cocktail. Goslings Black Seal rum isn’t exactly a liquor cabinet staple.
Distilled with a secret recipe passed through the generations, Goslings Black Seal rum has been a Bermuda favorite since it debuted in the 19th century. Originally called Old Rum and served on draught to locals, this Bermudan 80 proof rum ages in oak barrels.
The Goslings started bottling their rum in champagne bottles after World War One and sealed those bottles with black sealing wax. It was only a matter of time before the rum’s name changed from Old Rum to Black Seal. Today, Goslings dark rums are sold all over the world and can be purchased from Drizly or Total Wine in the US.
The original Dark ‘N Stormy recipe included a specific ginger beer – Barritt’s Ginger Beer. However, Gosling now makes is own ginger beer. Since we couldn’t find either of these ginger beers where we live, we bought Fever Tree ginger beer instead.
Use your favorite ginger beer in this recipe.
Our recipe calls for a squirt of lime juice. We tried adding two full ounces as some recipes require and the resulting flavor was, for lack of a better word, too limey. Adding a squirt provides the necessary tang without taking over the flavor.
The original Dark ‘N Stormy recipe didn’t include lime juice.
How to Craft a Dark and Stormy Cocktail
Crafting a Dark and Stormy cocktail requires no special skills and the following basic tools:
You can improvise if you don’t have a jigger. For example, you can use a small angled measuring cup instead.
We also use a bar spoon to float the rum but this step and tool are both optional.
Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.
Fill a rocks glass half way with ice.
You can use a highball glass if you want to add more ice to your Dark and Stormy cocktail.
Measure the ginger beer and pour it directly into the glass. For this step, we recommend using a Japanese jigger to ensure accurate measurements and avoid spillage.
Purchase a Japanese jigger if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
Use the same jigger to measure the rum.
While you can pour the rum directly into the glass, we like to float our rum using the back of a bar spoon. The result is an appearance that looks as dark and stormy as the drink’s name implies it to be. If you don’t do this optional step, the drink will still taste great but will look more dark than stormy.
Floating rum sounds difficult but it’s actually easy.
Add a spritz of fresh lime juice and garnish with a wheel or wedge cut from the same lime.
Now it’s time to commence your dark and stormy night. How many Dark and Stormy cocktails you imbibe is up to you.
Dark and Stormy Drink Variations
Don’t give up if you don’t have a bottle of Goslings Black Seal rum on hand. Instead, try one of the following Dark and stormy variations:
Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe
- 2 ounces Goslings Black Seal rum
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- Spritz of freshly squeezed lime juice
- lime wheel or wedge
- Fill rocks glass half way with ice.
- Pour ginger beer into the glass.
- Float the rum on top using a bar spoon or other implement.
- Squeeze a spritz of fresh lime juice into the glass.
- Garnish with a lime wheel or lime wedge.
- Cut the wheel or wedge before you squeeze the lime.
- You can use a different rum but you won’t be crafting an official Dark ‘N Stormy cocktail.
- You can use a highball glass if you want to add more ice.
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Try our Absinthe Frappe, Amaretto Sour, Americano, Aperol Spritz, Aviation, Bee’s Knees, Bijou, Black Russian, Boulevardier, Brandy Alexander, Brown Derby, Caipirinha, Clover Club, Creamsicle, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, Diplomat, Dirty Shirley, Eggnog, Emerald, Espresso Martini, French 75, G+T, Garibaldi, Gibson, Gimlet, Gold Rush, Grasshopper, Hemingway Daiquiri, Hugo Spritz, Hurricane, Irish Coffee, Kentucky Mule, Kir Royale, Last Word, Manhattan, Maple Bourbon Smash, Martinez, Mauresque, Milk Punch, Mint Julep, Mojito, Moscow Mule, Mudslide, Negroni, New York Sour, Old Fashioned, Paper Plane, Pimm’s Cup, Pink Lady, Porto Tonico, Ramos Gin Fizz, Revolver, Sazerac, Sidecar, Spicy Margarita, Tipperary, Tomate, Whiskey Ginger, Whiskey Sour, White Lady and White Russian cocktail recipes.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: October 6, 2022