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Dark and Stormy Cocktail

A Dark and Stormy cocktail tastes great regardless of the weather. However, those who don’t follow this cocktail’s rule could hit bumpy water. Discover that rule in our easy Dark and Stormy recipe while you learn how to craft the classic cocktail in just two minutes.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail with Black Background from Above

A Dark and Stormy cocktail isn’t technically (and maybe legally) a Dark and Stormy unless it’s crafted with Goslings Black Seal rum. Gosling Brothers Ltd. trademarked the name Dark ‘N Stormy and, not surprisingly, expects the cocktail to be crafted with its rum.

While it’s unlikely that the company will sue home mixologists, we’ve chosen to abide by this rule and buy a new bottle of rum to add to our ever-growing liquor collection. In our book, that’s a good thing since it completes our ever expanding bar.

What Is a Dark and Stormy Cocktail?

Dark and Stormy Cocktail with Black Background
Clear skies were ahead after we crafted this classic Dark and Stormy cocktail.

It would be easy to call a Dark and Stormy cocktail a Moscow Mule imitation crafted with dark rum instead of vodka but that would be incorrect.

The Dark and Stormy likely pre-dates the Moscow Mule by over a century

Plus, mixologists typically use lowball or highball glasses when crafting Dark and Stormies instead of copper mugs.

History of the Dark ‘N Stormy Cocktail

Dark and Stormy Cocktail From Above with Lime Wheel
The original Dark ‘N Story cocktail hails from Bermuda but we drank this one in Portugal.

We’d love to share a story about how the Dark and Stormy cocktail was invented on a dark and stormy night. That epic story would involve princesses and pirates… and would be fiction.

Instead, the Dark and Stormy traces its roots to Bermuda and a rum company.

Gosling Brothers Ltd. trademarked the drink in the 20th, a century after the Goslings crafted the original Dark ‘N Stormy cocktail. Or did they?

Dark and Stormy Cocktail and Gosling Rum Bottle with Black Background
Since we crafted this cocktail with Gosling Black Seal rum, it’s an official Dark ‘N Stormy cocktail.

It’s possible that the Dark and Stormy was invented by sailors who added ginger to rum for medicinal purposes. Legend has it that one of those savvy sailors named the drink after its ‘dark and cloudy’ appearance.

We prefer this story even though it doesn’t involve either pirates or princesses.

Dark and Stormy Ingredients

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Ingredients
Besides ice, the only required ingredients to craft a Dark and Stormy cocktail are Gosling Black Seal rum, ginger beer and a lime.

As is the case with most classic cocktails, the Dark and Stormy recipe only requires a handful of ingredients:

  • Goslings Black Seal Rum
  • Ginger Beer
  • Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • Ice Cubes
  • Lime Wheel or Wedge (for garnish)
Dark and Stormy Cocktail and Gosling Rum Bottle from Above
You’re ahead of the game if you already own a bottle of Gosling Black Seal rum. We bought this bottle specifically to craft this recipe.

While you likely have a lime and ginger beer at home, you may need to make a special trip to the liquor store before you craft your first Dark and Stormy cocktail. Goslings Black Seal rum isn’t exactly a liquor cabinet staple.

Distilled with a secret recipe passed through the generations, Goslings Black Seal rum has been a Bermuda favorite since it debuted in the 19th century. Originally called Old Rum and served on draught to locals, this Bermudan 80 proof rum ages in oak barrels.

Gosling Black Seal Rum Bottle
We love the black seal on this Goslings Black Seal rum bottle.

The Goslings started bottling their rum in champagne bottles after World War One and sealed those bottles with black sealing wax. It was only a matter of time before the rum’s name changed from Old Rum to Black Seal. Today, Goslings dark rums are sold all over the world and can be purchased from Drizly or Total Wine in the US.

The original Dark ‘N Stormy recipe included a specific ginger beer – Barritt’s Ginger Beer. However, Gosling now makes is own ginger beer. Since we couldn’t find either of these ginger beers where we live, we bought Fever Tree ginger beer instead.

Pro Tip
Use your favorite ginger beer in this recipe.

Lime
Our Dark and Stormy cocktail recipe includes both lime juice and a lime wheel.

Our recipe calls for a squirt of lime juice. We tried adding two full ounces as some recipes require and the resulting flavor was, for lack of a better word, too limey. Adding a squirt provides the necessary tang without taking over the flavor.

Fun Fact
The original Dark ‘N Stormy recipe didn’t include lime juice.

How to Craft a Dark and Stormy Cocktail

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Mise en Place
Crafting a Dark and Stormy is easy once you assemble the tools and ingredients.

Crafting a Dark and Stormy cocktail requires no special skills and the following basic tools:

You can improvise if you don’t have a jigger. For example, you can use a small angled measuring cup instead.

We also use a bar spoon to float the rum but this step and tool are both optional.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Adding Ice to a Dark and Stormy Cocktail
It was go time once we added the ice to this glass since we didn’t want the ice to melt.

Fill a rocks glass half way with ice.

Pro Tip
You can use a highball glass if you want to add more ice to your Dark and Stormy cocktail.

Measure the ginger beer and pour it directly into the glass. For this step, we recommend using a Japanese jigger to ensure accurate measurements and avoid spillage.

Purchase a Japanese jigger if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Use the same jigger to measure the rum.

While you can pour the rum directly into the glass, we like to float our rum using the back of a bar spoon. The result is an appearance that looks as dark and stormy as the drink’s name implies it to be. If you don’t do this optional step, the drink will still taste great but will look more dark than stormy.

Pro Tip
Floating rum sounds difficult but it’s actually easy.

Squeezing Lime Juice into a Dark and Stormy Cocktail
A little bit of lime juice goes a long way in our Dark and Stormy cocktail recipe.

Add a spritz of fresh lime juice and garnish with a wheel or wedge cut from the same lime.

Now it’s time to commence your dark and stormy night. How many Dark and Stormy cocktails you imbibe is up to you.

Dark and Stormy Drink Variations

Dark and Stormy Cocktail with Ingredients
Crafting a Dark and Stormy is as easy as drinking a Dark and Stormy.

Don’t give up if you don’t have a bottle of Goslings Black Seal rum on hand. Instead, try one of the following Dark and stormy variations:

  • Replace the dark rum with gin to craft a Gin-Gin Mule.
  • Replace the dark rum with whiskey to craft an Irish Mule.
  • Replace the dark rum with bourbon to craft a Kentucky Mule.
  • Replace the dark rum with vodka to craft a Moscow Mule.
  • Replace the dark rum with tequila to craft a Mexican Mule.
  • Use a different dark rum to craft a Safe Harbor cocktail.

Dark and Stormy FAQs

What are the ingredients in a Dark and Stormy?

Rum, Ginger Beer, Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Ice and a Lime Wedge or Wheel

What’s the best rum to use in a Dark and Stormy?

Goslings Black Seal Rum is the only rum to use in this recipe. Otherwise, your cocktail won’t be an official Dark and Stormy cocktail.

What’s the best ginger beer to use in a Dark and Stormy?

The original Dark ‘N Stormy recipe used Barritt’s Ginger Beer but you can use any ginger beer in our recipe.

Is the Dark and Stormy shaken or stirred?

Neither – there’s no need to shake or stir a Dark and Stormy cocktail.

What type of glass is best for the Dark and Stormy?

We like to serve this cocktail in a lowball glass but you could use a highball glass if you want to add more ice to your cocktail.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Centered

Dark and Stormy Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Learn how to craft a Dark and Stormy cocktail at home in just two minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Goslings Black Seal rum
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • spritz of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • lime wheel or wedge
  • ice

Instructions

  1. Fill rocks glass half way with ice.
  2. Pour ginger beer into the glass.
  3. Float the rum on top using a bar spoon or other implement.
  4. Squeeze a spritz of fresh lime juice into the glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel or lime wedge.

Notes

  • Cut the wheel or wedge before you squeeze the lime.
  • You can use a different rum but you won't be crafting an official Dark 'N Stormy cocktail.
  • You can use a highball glass if you want to add more ice.

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About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Original Publication Date: October 6, 2022

Dave

Saturday 12th of November 2022

Gosling’s is a delicious rum, well worth adding to your cabinet! It has a distinct flavor profile that I haven’t encountered in any other rum I’ve tried - richer than most, but not as heavy or molasses-ey as Myers dark, which I find a bit overbearing at times. Although a copper cup is not a requirement, it does have the benefit of getting the drink extra-chilly, which can be nice on a hot summer day. Also, a Moscow Mule us made with vodka, not gin. Otherwise, a great article!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Monday 14th of November 2022

Thanks for commenting and for pointing out the typo. Much appreciated on both counts!

Miguel Dajer

Tuesday 11th of October 2022

While vacationing in Maine a few years ago i tried a dark and stormy that was truly amazing and different. After having a couple I had to ask the bartender how she prepared it, the difference was to add six grapes port. So along with the traditional recipe she added an ounce of port. Play around with the amount of port for a very distinctive and fun drink. I settled on 0.5 ounces but it is up you to try.

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