Dark N Stormy
The Dark and Stormy can be enjoyed from the fanciest bar in New York City to the surf side villages of Southern California. How do we know? We’ve done both.
Written by CraftJack | Updated | 7 min read
According to Vinepair, “The Dark 'n Stormy has become an iconic cocktail consumed on waterfronts around the globe. It was invented in the 1920s by British sailors who were experimenting with mixing Goslings Black Seal Rum with a Ginger Beer that was also being made on the island as a way to help the sailor’s combat seasickness.”
Sounds like some World War I shenanigans if you ask us. “Uhh, Captain, we’re going to need some more rum to heal Hank". But who could blame them ... all of them heroes.
Let us discuss ... Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy.
The best rum for making a Dark ‘N Stormy cocktail is also the ONLY rum for making a Dark ‘n Stormy, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. You see Gosling’s owns the copyright for the name of the drink. Seeing as they were the originators of it, we kinda get it.
In fact, they definitely protect that copyright, as they’ve gone after others in a court of law to defend it. You know, because nothing garnishes your beach drink like a subpoena to federal court.
We’re even half afraid that they will come after our Editorial Process in just publishing this recipe. So let us say in no certain terms that we don’t own the recipe for a Dark ‘n Stormy, nor did we originate the Classic Dark Rum Cocktail, and nor do we sell any rum, ginger beer (or ginger ale) that we insist on using in one.
All we are trying to do is let you know the ingredients, the amounts to use, and the total time it takes to make one, so that you can feel like you’re in Bermuda too, even if you’re just lounging in a recliner in your living room.
But if that’s the case, make sure to grab a handful of limes from the grocery store and a tall glass from the cupboard. And of course, Gosling’s Dark rum, because no Dark ‘n Stormy recipe is correct without it.
PS - Don’t forget the ice cubes
Well, we covered the type of rum necessary to use in the cocktail recipe. Let’s fill you in on the rest.
Ok, well there are only three things you need to make the drink. Goslings Black Seal Rum, Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, and a lime.
One reason a Dark ‘n Stormy is among our favorite favorite cocktails is because of its simplicity. There are no angostura bitters, no Fernet, no odd rituals involving standing on one foot while vigorously shaking a cocktail shaker ... none of that. Just Ginger Beer, Dark Rum, and a lime wedge garnish.
One thing the beverage is not is a shot.
- 6 oz. Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer
- 2 oz. Goslings Black Seal Rum
- Lime wedge
- Into a tall glass filled with ice, pour the ginger beer and float the rum on top
- Stir until it looks like a storm cloud
- Garnish with a Lime wedge (optional)
If we were to improve upon the recipe - and in doing so, it would lose it’s official moniker and just be a mutt of a drink - we would add some freshly squeezed lime juice to the mix. We think that fresh lime juice balances excellently against a biting ginger beer and black rum mixture.
We also try and make sure that we are serving the cocktail in a highball glass. A Stange Glass will do in a pinch.
One thing we try not to do is add simple syrup to the drink. You don’t want to artificially sweeten a Dark ‘n Stormy.
One thing we never knew was that the IBA considers the Dark ‘n Stormy to be honored among their classic cocktails list.
That seems to be an interesting distinction given how litigious Gosling’s can be over the beverage and how the IBA’s recipe calls for proportions that don’t match the prescribed amount from the Dark Rum manufacturer.
IBA Dark ‘n Stormy recipe
The IBA calls for 60 ml Goslings Rum and 100 ml Ginger Beer. That 3-to-5 ratio does not match the 1-to-3 ratio set forth by Goslings.
We are almost sorry for even bringing to your attention. That said, the IBA does want you to float the dark rum on top (to resemble the storm) and garnish with a lime wheel. So at least they got that part right.
They call the cocktail a Dark ‘n Stormy because the Dark Rum looks like a thunderstorm over the open ocean of Ginger Beer.
The name probably has a double meaning as a few too many cocktails will leave you feeling like you washed up on shore after a shipwreck.
No, a Dark ‘n Stormy is not a well drink. Goslings does not position their Black Seal Rum as a lower-tier alcoholic spirit - aka - a well liquor. Well liquors come from the bottom rail where bartenders can easily serve them for both speed and profit.
In general, a Dark and Stormy tastes like an adult ginger ale that is a bit sweeter, but also has some bite from the six ounces ginger beer.
To us at Craft Jacks, a Dark and Stormy tastes like the feeling of taking the first few steps you take on the gangplank to any seaside floating restaurant. You know what we mean, right? That sense of drinking a refreshing cocktail on the deck of some sea shanty while passing hours watching the yachts toil in the harbor.
Like rum, the best Ginger Beer for pouring a Dark and Stormy is the ONLY ginger beer for pouring a Dark and Stormy, and that is Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer.
Once again, you can use an off-brand such as Barritt’s Ginger Beer, or even your own Ginger Beer if you brew it, but it won’t create an Official Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail.
To note, Barritt’s was the original ginger beer of the Dark ‘n Stormy, but a partnership between the two companies failed.
A tall glass. Typically you want to serve a Dark ‘n Stormy in a highball glass. Or, you could go larger and opt for a Collins glass.
Heck, you could probably go all the way up to a Pilsner glass if you were so motivated.
Below is a list of the other trademarked cocktails. There are currently four, including the Dark 'n Stormy.
- Hand Grenade
Since the Bermuda company isn’t required to post nutritional information such as calories and carbohydrates surrounding their rum, we will have to take an educated guess based on competing brands.
There are 220 calories per one 8oz serving of a Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail.
- 2oz Goslings Dark Rum - 130 calories
- 6oz Goslings Ginger Beer - 90 calories
The Buck family of drinks is similar to a Dark ‘n Stormy, with the detail being the inclusion of a lime for the Dark ‘n Stormy as well as the requirement of using the Goslings brand.
A Rum buck is what you’d order if you wanted a clone beverage. A Barbados or Jamaican Buck works as well. The country helps the bartender know what type of rum to use (origin of the rum).
A Moscow Mule is essentially a Dark ‘n Stormy, but it replaces the Goslings Rum and Ginger Beer with your own ginger beer and choice of Vodka.
A Jamaican Mule is even closer to the Dark ‘n Stormy, as it uses mostly the same ingredients. Besides the ginger beer, a Jamaican Mule uses spiced rum, lime juice, and a dash of rich simple syrup.
There’s far less comparison from a Mojito to a Dark ‘n Stormy, as the Mojito focuses on fresh mint and club soda. They are both excellent beach drinks though.
- Highball Glass
|Gosling's Black Seal Rum
|Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer
Substitute Ingredients & Variations
The ingredients to make a Dark N Stormy include
What type of glass do you pour a Dark N Stormy cocktail into?
A Highball Glass.
References & Sources.