Dark and Stormy Cocktail

A friend from Bermuda turned me onto these grown-up sodas. He says locals traditionally use Gosling’s rum and Barritt’s ginger beer. Other brands are fine, just be sure you use ginger beer, not ginger ale. This simple concoction combines the sweetness and spice of ginger, the tropical nuances of rum, and the citrus tang of lime in a rich flight of fancy that looks good, too.–Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan

LC Dark & Stormy Note

It was a dark and stormy night. Er, let’s try that again. April showers bring May flowers, sure. They also bring an excuse to sit on your porch and sip something sweetly, stiffly satisfying as you watch the thunderclouds roll in. Yet just as there’s more than one way to convey dark storminess, there’s more than one way to take–and make–a Dark & Stormy. When you crave a relatively tame nip, rely on the genteel proportions of rum to ginger beer in the below recipe. But when you’re partial to something tipsier, turn to the proportions proposed by entertaining designer Lulu Powers in Lulu Powers Food to Flowers: Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining. Her tactic is to pour 1 1/2 ounces of dark rum over ice, top it with about 1/2 cup ginger beer, and then finish it with the juice of 1/2 lime. (You may as well toss that spent lime into the glass for good measure.) One version isn’t better than the other. Just different.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Serves 1

Ingredients

  • Crushed ice or ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) dark rum
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) ginger beer (NOT ginger ale)
  • 1 lime wedge or, if you want to be trendy, chunk of candied ginger

Directions

  • 1. Fill a highball glass–or, let’s just be realistic, whatever glass you happen to have handy–with ice.
  • 2. Pour in first the rum and then the ginger beer. Stir gently. Garnish with the lime or candied ginger. We think you can handle things from here.
Thirsty for more? Sip on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Susan Bingaman

Apr 20, 2012

With all apologies to Oprah, I’ll take a Dark & Stormy over a Moscow mule any day. Not only do you not need a special mug, but I think dark rum cuts the ginger beer’s sharpness better than vodka does. Just a warning though. These highballs are strong, so if you’re thinking you might make another to finish off the bottle of ginger beer, stand up first.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Apr 20, 2012

I had these in Australia many years ago. This is a refreshing and delightful cocktail. My mother agreed to taste-test the drink, even though she didn’t think she’d enjoy it since she is not fond of ginger beer, but she loved it. It was wonderful the way it was not too gingery or rummy, but it all blended smoothly. This would be great on a hot summer afternoon while the shrimps are on the barbie

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

Apr 20, 2012

Very refreshing drink with the rum and ginger beer. I did like some of the lime juice squeezed in mine. Perfect drink when you want a little something special.

Testers Choice
Linda B.

Apr 20, 2012

This Dark and Stormy Cocktail is refreshing, simple and delicious! A great cocktail that is not too sweet and is even better with a squeeze of lime. I’m a sucker for anything with ginger.

Testers Choice
Pat Francis

Apr 20, 2012

Simple to make and easy to drink. The spiciness of the ginger beer comes through in this refreshing cocktail, but doesn’t overwhelm. It would be interesting to try this with different brands of ginger beer (or even homemade, but then it stops being so simple).

Testers Choice
Sheri C.

Apr 20, 2012

Such a simple drink, yet refreshing and delicious. For this Dark and Stormy Cocktail use good-quality rum (the official, trademarked version specified Goslings) and a great ginger beer (I used Bundaberg).

Testers Choice
Caroline Chang

Apr 20, 2012

Not wintry enough for a heavy cocktail? Too early for a margarita? Try a Dark & Stormy. This easy-to-follow recipe makes this cocktail even more fun to drink. I’ve had luck with Gosling’s brand ginger beer, as well as with Regatta.

Testers Choice
Cindy Zaiffdeen

Apr 20, 2012

This is a very tasty beverage indeed. The spiciness of the ginger beer goes together very well with the dark rum. Make sure you use the best of both–rum from Trinidad and ginger beer from Jamaica. And fresh lime! I prefer crushed ice over ice cubes, as it makes more of a slushy-type drink. Would be perfect on a hot sunny afternoon in the sun. Excellent!

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Apr 20, 2012

The weather forecast for this week is gloomy, so this seemed like an appropriate drink to try. I didn’t know if the drink was to reflect our overcast, rainy day or transport me to a sunny beach. Because the drink comes together quickly, I didn’t have to wait long to find out. My first sip definitely said sunny beach. The ginger beer lightens the flavor of the rum, and the hint of bubbles is pretty cool. It’s refreshing, bright, and smooth, with a bit of spice on the finish. It has a tropical feel to it and gave me something other than clouds and rain to think about.

Testers Choice
Dan Kraan

Apr 20, 2012

A Dark & Stormy is a light, deceptively mild-flavored drink. Ginger beer definitely works better than ginger ale in this mix (I tried, just to taste the difference). The rum is in there, but not overly assertive. The drink itself is quite refreshing, with or without the lime, belying the dark and stormy moniker. At two ounces of rum per glass, though, things may get rather dark if you underestimate it!

Testers Choice
Marilee Johnson

Apr 20, 2012

I loved this simple cocktail. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and the lime adds a delicate citrus taste. A friend had given me a bottle of Gosling’s Black Seal black rum several years back, and I just opened it for this drink. The ginger beer was Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew. I wouldn’t change anything about the recipe

Comments
Comments
  1. Penny Wolf says:

    Ooooh this sounds yummy! It makes me think along the lines of a drink we enjoy, ROOT and birch beer. (ROOT is a spirit.) We do a fair amount of period-correct camping and rum is certainly a part of the experience. Thank you A LOT for this one. It’s going to fit in nicely.

  2. rob says:

    I am glad you highlighted the brand of ginger beer, that being said it is important to note that if your ginger beer is on the sweet side or not a sharp ginger taste you won’t experience the the best that this cocktail has to offer. Maine Root is another great brand of ginger beer. In boston, JM Curleys has a great dark-n- stormy… they are creative with some of their classics and others and in the case of their version of a gin and tonic they vary the lime to orange and also include yellow chartreuse and use powdered tree bark – chiachona (sp?) – to give the tonic/quinine flavor… also delicious.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Rob,

      My Bermudian husband married me, or so he says, because of my treatment of a dark and stormy in a rainstorm that kicked up during a garden wedding in Bermuda. I covered the drink instead of my head. We are such purists that even rain is not allowed to adulterate our drink. That being said Barritts is the only way we will go. Sure hope you can find it in your area.

  3. Candy says:

    David,

    The very best dark and stormy is made with Fever Tree Ginger Beer. There is no other ginger beer quite like it. The ginger is incredibly potent, over the top in gingerland and any other brand is just limp and wimpy in comparison. I have to order it through Amazon, no one carries it around here. Brands of Britain imports it from England (of course). Their tonic, while on the subject of summer drinks, is also superior. I had it first in London and was smitten. The only product that they produce that I have been disappointed in is their diet tonic. It is just plain nasty.

    Candy

    • David Leite says:

      Every time I see that you left a message, I hear the song “Candy” in my head. I guess it’s another melody to add to the dinnertime playlist.

      All of us agree heartily about Fever Tree ginger beer–especially Renee, our resident, um, beer expert. Thanks for the confirmation.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Candy,

      Thanks so much for the tip. I’m always searching for alternatives to my beloved Baritt’s ginger beer. I’ll be sure and check it out.

  4. Alanna says:

    I just had my first Dark and Stormy on Nantucket last week – it was the highlight of the trip! Cisco Brewery makes a super-gingery version with house-made ginger syrup that they call “d’ack and stormy” (ACK being Nantucket’s airport). Now I’m off to the store to get some ginger beer and limes to go with the rum in my cupboard. Greatly appreciate this post, and the recommendations for brands of rum and ginger beer. Thanks!

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Alanna…love that name, d’ack and stormy! So glad that you discovered this wonderful drink.

  5. Claire says:

    Just came across this. This was my Nana’s favorite cocktail. In fact, I drank my fair share at her wake in honor of her. Being Bermudian (Beth, your husband will agree) Barritt’s Ginger Beer is the best and the way to go. Gosling’s Ginger Beer isn’t bad, but Barritt’s is the best. If you are ever in Bermuda you should stop by Swizzle Inn and get the frozen Dark n Stormy. She’s tasty.

    • Beth Price says:

      Couldn’t agree more Claire. Except I tend to head for the swizzles at the Swizzle Inn in Baileys Bay. I’ve spent many an afternoon indulging in those frosty little pitchers of fruity libations (and paying the price the next day).

      • Claire says:

        Yes, well a trip to Bermuda would not be complete without a trip to the Swizzle. (Anyone else reading this post should head on down.) I think we are there 2-3 times per month. In fact we were there last night and asked them how many times a day they need to make Swizzle and I think they said up to 8 depending on how busy they are which if you see where they store it, that is a lot! You should post the recipe on here. I am sure a lot of people will enjoy. It is like a little glass of heaven. But be careful, she has a bite that will sneak up on you!

  6. Kady says:

    I agree — they are strong! We found the Gosling’s ginger beer too sweet (48 sugars/can!) but we liked their Black Seal rum. Fever Tree ginger beer is nice & spicy; loved it.

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Kady, so glad that you found my favorite drink! We also use a ginger beer called Blenheims- real spicy!

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