Dark ‘n’ Stormy


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Dark 'n' Stormy_001

Introduction to the Dark ‘n’ Stormy Cocktail

Embark on a journey to the heart of Bermuda with the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, a cocktail that perfectly balances the robustness of rum with the zesty kick of ginger beer. This highball is not just a drink; it’s a storied concoction that carries the essence of its homeland. Whether you’re lounging on a sunny beach or nestled by a warm fire, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy offers a sip of relaxation.

With its deep, rich color and a name that evokes the thrill of an impending storm, this cocktail promises an adventure in every glass. Its simplicity belies a complex taste profile that has made it a favorite across the globe. Let’s dive into the flavors and history that make the Dark ‘n’ Stormy a truly iconic drink.

Key Facts About the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 16% ABV
  • Calories: Roughly 185 kcal per serving
  • Glass Type: Traditionally served in a highball glass
  • Garnish: Lime wedge (optional)

Interesting Facts about the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

  • The Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a registered trademark of Gosling’s Export Limited.
  • It’s the national drink of Bermuda, intertwining with the island’s maritime history.
  • Authenticity demands Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, without which it’s just not the same.

Dark 'n' Stormy Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail is a symphony of flavors. The boldness of the rum provides a warm, vanilla-like base, while the ginger beer adds a refreshing and spicy effervescence. This drink is perfect for those who appreciate a cocktail with a kick. It’s a versatile choice, ideal for both summer and winter gatherings.

History of the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy has roots that trace back to the early 20th century. Born from the collision of British Navy sailors and the local rum of Bermuda, it’s a drink that tells a tale of the sea. The name itself is said to have come from a sailor who compared the drink’s murky hue to the color of storm clouds.

Dark ‘n’ Stormy Ingredients

  • Gosling’s Black Seal Rum (2 oz): The soul of the cocktail, providing rich, complex flavors.
  • Ginger Beer (4 oz): Adds a spicy zest and carbonation, creating a refreshing contrast.
  • Lime Juice (1/2 oz, optional): Offers a tangy twist, brightening the drink’s profile.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the drink, maintaining its crispness.
  • Lime Wedge (for garnish, optional): Enhances presentation and adds a fresh aroma.

Did you know? The Dark ‘n’ Stormy was said to be the favorite drink of sailors to ward off the chill of the North Atlantic.

Preparing Dark 'n' Stormy

Dark ‘n’ Stormy Method

Creating the perfect Dark ‘n’ Stormy is an art. Begin by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to the brim. If opting for lime juice, squeeze it over the ice, adding a zesty foundation. Next, pour the ginger beer gently to preserve its fizz.

Finally, top with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, pouring slowly to achieve the signature layered look. A lime wedge can be perched on the rim for an extra touch. Stirring just before the first sip blends the flavors, completing the experience.

Serving Suggestion for the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

The highball glass is the vessel of choice for the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, its tall shape accommodating the perfect ratio of rum to ginger beer. When garnishing with a lime wedge, a small cut allows it to sit snugly on the glass edge, ready to be squeezed or dropped in at the drinker’s discretion.

Elevating the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

  • Quality Ginger Beer: Opt for a premium ginger beer with a strong, spicy profile to complement the rum.
  • Layering Technique: Use the back of a spoon to gently pour the rum, achieving a dramatic, cloudy layer.
  • Ice Quality: Large, clear ice cubes melt slower, preventing dilution and preserving the integrity of the drink.

Dark 'n' Stormy Drink

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

While Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is essential for an authentic Dark ‘n’ Stormy, other dark rums can be used in a pinch. For a non-alcoholic version, a spicy ginger ale can replace the ginger beer. Similar cocktails include the Moscow Mule and the Rum Swizzle, which share the ginger and rum DNA.

Add a Twist to the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

Infuse the rum with spices like clove or cinnamon for a seasonal twist. Experiment with flavored ginger beers, such as those with added pineapple or mango, for a tropical flair. A splash of bitters can add complexity and depth to the drink’s flavor profile.

Preferred Liquors for the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is the gold standard for a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, but other dark rums like Kraken or Myers’s can also provide a rich, molasses-heavy base. The key is to choose a rum that can stand up to the boldness of the ginger beer.

Similar Cocktails to the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

If the Dark ‘n’ Stormy has piqued your interest, you might also enjoy the Moscow Mule for its ginger kick or the Cuba Libre for its rum-and-citrus combination. The Painkiller offers a creamier, tropical alternative with a similar rum base.

Food Pairings to go with the Dark ‘n’ Stormy

Pair the Dark ‘n’ Stormy with savory snacks like jerk chicken wings or salted nuts to complement its spicy notes. For a more adventurous pairing, try sushi with pickled ginger to echo the cocktail’s zesty character.

Dark ‘n’ Stormy FAQs

Can I use any rum for a Dark ‘n’ Stormy? Legally, no. The name is trademarked and requires Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. However, for personal enjoyment, any dark rum can be used.

Is the lime juice necessary? Traditionally, no. But many enjoy the added brightness it brings to the drink.

How do I achieve the layered effect? Pour the rum gently over the back of a spoon to let it float on top of the ginger beer.

Can I make a large batch for parties? Yes, but add the rum last to maintain the layers. Stir individual servings.

What’s the best ginger beer to use? A spicy, non-alcoholic ginger beer is ideal. Look for brands that emphasize real ginger flavor.

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Dark 'n' Stormy

A classic Bermudian cocktail that is both refreshingly spicy and tantalizingly sweet, the Dark 'n' Stormy is a trademarked recipe that requires Gosling's Black Seal Rum to be considered authentic. It's a simple highball that's perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or as a cozy drink during colder months.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Bermudian
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 185 kcal


  • Highball glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon


  • 2 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • 1/2 oz lime juice optional, as lime is not included in the trademarked recipe
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge for garnish optional


  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • If using lime juice, squeeze the lime over the ice and drop it into the glass.
  • Pour the ginger beer into the glass over the ice.
  • Top with Gosling's Black Seal Rum, allowing it to float on top for a layered effect.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.
  • Stir just before drinking to mix the flavors together.


The Dark 'n' Stormy is a registered trademark of Gosling's Export Limited of Bermuda. To serve this drink legally under the name "Dark 'n' Stormy," it must be made with Gosling's Black Seal Rum.
Keyword Bermuda, Cocktail, Dark 'n' Stormy, Ginger Beer, Gosling's Black Seal Rum, Highball, Lime, Rum

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