Black Stripe


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Welcome to the warm embrace of the Black Stripe, a cocktail that marries the boldness of dark rum with the sweetness of molasses. This traditional drink, perfect for chilly evenings, offers a comforting heat with every sip. Let’s delve into the rich tapestry of flavors and history that make the Black Stripe a timeless classic.

The Black Stripe is not just a drink; it’s an experience. With its origins in the mid-19th century, this cocktail has warmed many a soul. Its simplicity belies a complex flavor profile that can only be described as a hug in a mug.

Whether you’re winding down after a long day or seeking solace from the cold, the Black Stripe is your go-to companion. Join us as we explore the depths of this storied concoction.

Key Facts About the Black Stripe

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV
  • Calories: Roughly 150 kcal per serving
  • Glass Type: Heat-proof glass or mug
  • Typical Garnish: Lemon peel

Interesting Facts about the Black Stripe

The Black Stripe is a close relative of the Hot Toddy, sharing its warming properties. The choice of rum is crucial; a high-quality dark rum transforms the drink. This cocktail is often associated with maritime traditions, offering comfort to seafarers braving the cold ocean winds.

Black Stripe Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Black Stripe is a symphony of flavors. The dark rum provides a robust foundation, while the molasses adds a rich, velvety sweetness. When combined with hot water, these ingredients create a soothing, spicy beverage that’s both invigorating and relaxing.

This cocktail appeals to those who appreciate the finer things in life. It’s perfect for sipping by the fire or as a nightcap. The Black Stripe is a versatile drink, suitable for quiet evenings at home or as a sophisticated offering at social gatherings.

History of the Black Stripe

The Black Stripe has a storied past, with its roots tracing back to the 1800s. It was a popular choice among sailors and travelers seeking warmth and comfort during their voyages. The cocktail’s simplicity made it easy to prepare, even in the most challenging conditions.

Over the years, the Black Stripe has maintained its status as a beloved winter drink. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal and the universal desire for warmth and comfort.

Black Stripe Ingredients

  • Dark Rum (2 oz): The backbone of the cocktail, providing a deep, complex flavor.
  • Molasses (1 tablespoon): Adds a rich sweetness and a smooth texture.
  • Hot Water (4 oz): Dilutes and integrates the ingredients while adding warmth.
  • Lemon Peel (for garnish): Offers a citrusy aroma and a hint of brightness.

Did you know? The Black Stripe’s molasses were once a common sweetener aboard ships, making it an accessible ingredient for seafaring mixologists.

Preparing Black Stripe

Black Stripe Method

Combining Rum and Molasses

Start by pouring the dark rum into a heat-proof glass. Add the molasses and stir until it’s completely dissolved. This step is crucial for achieving a smooth texture.

Adding Hot Water

Slowly pour in the hot water while stirring continuously. This ensures that all the flavors meld together harmoniously.

Garnishing with Lemon Peel

Finally, garnish with a lemon peel. Twist it over the drink to release the essential oils before dropping it in, adding a subtle zest to the cocktail.

Serving Suggestion

The Black Stripe should be served in a heat-proof glass or mug to handle the temperature of the hot water. The glass’s shape allows for the perfect sipping experience while keeping the drink warm.

The lemon peel garnish is more than just decoration; it’s an integral part of the flavor profile. Preparing the peel correctly—by twisting to release oils—enhances the drink’s aroma and taste.

Elevating the Black Stripe

  • Quality Rum: Opt for a premium dark rum to enrich the flavor.
  • Water Temperature: Use water just off the boil to ensure the molasses dissolves properly.
  • Stirring Technique: Stir gently but thoroughly to combine the ingredients without causing excessive cooling.

Black Stripe Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Black Stripe

If dark rum isn’t available, a spiced rum can provide a similar depth with added spice notes. For a less sweet version, honey or maple syrup can replace molasses.

Similar cocktails include the Hot Buttered Rum and the Hot Toddy, both of which share the Black Stripe’s comforting warmth.

Add a twist

For a modern take, infuse the rum with spices like cinnamon or star anise before mixing. Alternatively, add a splash of orange liqueur for a citrusy complexity.

Another variation is to incorporate a dash of bitters, which can add an extra layer of flavor and balance the sweetness of the molasses.

Preferred Liquors for the Black Stripe

When it comes to the Black Stripe, the choice of rum can make or break the drink. Aged dark rums from brands like Gosling’s or Myers’s are highly recommended for their rich, full-bodied flavor.

These rums have the necessary character to stand up to the boldness of the molasses while complementing its sweetness.

Similar Cocktails to the Black Stripe

If you enjoy the Black Stripe, consider trying the Dark ‘n’ Stormy or the Rum Old Fashioned. Both feature dark rum and offer a similar warmth and complexity.

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy pairs rum with ginger beer, while the Rum Old Fashioned offers a more spirit-forward experience with bitters and sugar.

Food Pairings to go with the Black Stripe

The Black Stripe pairs well with rich, hearty foods like stews or chocolate desserts. The cocktail’s warmth complements the savory flavors and enhances the sweetness of desserts.

For a more adventurous pairing, try it with spicy jerk chicken or a caramelized banana dessert to echo the molasses notes.

Black Stripe FAQs

Can I use light rum instead of dark rum? Light rum will change the flavor profile significantly, resulting in a less robust drink.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Black Stripe? Yes, you can substitute the rum with a non-alcoholic dark spirit alternative or use a rum-flavored syrup.

How can I make the Black Stripe sweeter? Adjust the sweetness by adding more molasses or a touch of brown sugar.

Can I make a large batch of Black Stripe? Yes, you can scale up the ingredients and keep the mixture warm in a slow cooker for serving at parties.

What’s the best way to dissolve the molasses? Ensure the water is hot and stir continuously until the molasses is fully integrated.

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Black Stripe

A warm and potent concoction, the Black Stripe is a classic cocktail that hails from the mid-19th century. It combines the rich flavors of dark rum with the sweetness of molasses and the spiciness of hot water, making it an ideal drink for cold evenings or as a nightcap.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Calories 150 kcal


  • Heat-proof glass or mug
  • Spoon for stirring


  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 tablespoon Molasses
  • 4 oz Hot Water
  • 1 Lemon Peel for garnish


  • In a heat-proof glass or mug, combine the dark rum and molasses.
  • Stir the mixture until the molasses is fully dissolved.
  • Pour the hot water into the glass and stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Garnish with a lemon peel, twisting it over the drink to release its oils before dropping it in.


The Black Stripe is a variant of the Hot Toddy and is often enjoyed in the colder months for its warming properties. The quality of the rum is key, so use a good dark rum for the best flavor.
Keyword Black Stripe, classic, dark rum, Hot Water, Molasses, Nightcap, Traditional Cocktail, Warm Drink

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