Concoction True Taste of Caribbean

FREDRIC KOEPPEL | Special to The Memphis News

The Dark and Stormy is a proprietary or brand-specific cocktail in that Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda Rum has a lock on it. The drink, a combination of the already mentioned Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda Rum and Barritt’s Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer – how brand-specific is that? – is popular in the Caribbean and up along the sailing centers of America’s Eastern Seaboard. It’s simple to make and tasty but rather one-dimensional in effect, yet sipping its amber-tinted effervescence definitely puts one in a mood to kiss the captain’s wife and batten down the hatches.

Gosling’s recently broke ranks with Barritt’s and created its own Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer to establish a vertical monopoly on its trademark cocktail. Purists insist that if Barritt’s or Gosling’s ginger beer is not available, the least you can do is not use a Jamaican ginger beer; how parochial is that?

Dark & Stormy

2 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda Rum
3-4 oz. ginger beer
Squeeze of lime (optional)
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the ginger beer. Gently pour the rum on top. The lime helps.

This is the second in an occasional series of forays into local cocktail culture.

Most recipes call for 2 ounces of the rum and 3 or 4 ounces of ginger beer on ice in a highball glass. Gosling’s website specifies 1.5 ounces of their Black Seal Rum and then topping up with their ginger beer, but part of the drink’s interest is in gently pouring the rum on top of the ginger beer, thereby fostering the darkness and storminess of its name.

Purists, again, insist that a squeeze of lime is anathema to the character of the Dark and Stormy, but I found that the lime freshens and enlivens the drink in a manner it sorely requires. I also threw caution to the offshore winds and made one with Fentiman’s Ginger Beer ($6.99 for a 4-pack at Fresh Market), and it was far superior to Barritt’s. So sue me, admiral.