Dark ‘n Stormy Night

Dark 'n Stormy

Adam, Kaiser Penguin’s Forbidden Island correspondent, reports in on Dark ‘n Stormy Night. (I want to be Kaiser Penguin’s FI correspondent! — Rick)

Tiki-mecca Forbidden Island recently hosted this event as part of their glee-inducing, month-long RUMFEST event. It was hosted by Gosling’s, and in addition to the evening’s namesake (their signature drink), Gosling’s Old Rum was also available for tasting, or in your favorite drink. Maybe I haven’t tasted regular-strength Gosling’s in a while, but I wasn’t overly impressed by their Old Rum. It was highly sippable, but I found myself going through it quickly in order to return to another delicious, bracing Dark ‘n Stormy.

Dark ‘n Stormy

  • 2oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • 3oz ginger beer
  • lime wedge

Build in a glass filled with ice, and add the lime (squeeze if you like – and you should like).

The Internet Cocktail Database

Also, the fact that the drink is named for the infamous line that spawned “a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novelssomehow enhances the drink for this English major.

Gosling’s is a fine mixing rum, but the real star of the show here was FI’s own deliciously fiery ginger brew. Forget Reed’s, forget Bundaberg — they are so much glorified Canada Dry next to its addictive, biting ginger flavor. Gosling’s endorses a brand called Barritts that I don’t think I’ve had. FI’s brew was actually opaque, and when added to the drink, creates the beautiful concoction shown above. It kind of captures light, in a way — either the mellow glow of the pufferfish lamp overhead, or the neon shine of the glow-in-the-dark Gosling’s “badges” that were handed out. Martin described to me how the ginger brew is created; the first step? Peel TWO POUNDS of fresh ginger. This man is a genius.

In addition to my usual entourage of housemates and friends, we had two FI first-timers with us, who were heard to exclaim throughout the night their desire to move to Alameda. Such behavior is to be encouraged!

KP Questions

  1. Does anyone else make their own ginger brew, or have a brand not mentioned here that you think stands head-and-shoulders above the rest?
  2. Gosling’s web site calls for 1 1/2oz of rum and an unspecified quantity of ginger beer. What is everyone’s favorite ratio?

13 Responses to “Dark ‘n Stormy Night”

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13 Comments to “ Dark ‘n Stormy Night”
  1. MarkNo Gravatar says:

    Bundaberg is opaque, and pretty biting gingery — at least in Australia. Maybe we export the crap (just like the Canuks do with beer)?

    Hmm, the picture on BevMo’s site — http://www.bevmo.com/productinfo.asp?sku=00000019893& — is definitely different from what we get, at least in bottle shape. Hard to tell what’s inside it.

    Anyway, try putting two tablespoons of orange-cardamom syrup into a D n’ S sometime; very nice.

  2. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    That photo doesn’t look like the bottles I get here in CA, either. Though I don’t buy them at BevMo.

    Didn’t mean to disparage Bundaberg (it’s still my preferred brand until I start fermenting my own!), only mentioned it for comparison — FI’s stuff was pretty intense!

  3. At Union, we use Budderim Ginger Beer. I can’t find anything about it on the web, oddly enough, but we get ours through a local distributor…. I’ve always said DIY is the way to go, but we just blow through so much I’d be spending my off-days doing nothing but making our own…

  4. Dr. BambooNo Gravatar says:

    “What is everyone’s favorite ratio?”

    I don’t measure. *GASP* I fill a double old-fashioned glass with crushed ice, put the rum in and just fill w/ the ginger beer.

    Coincidentally, I just discovered yesterday my local coffee joint had a locally-made ginger beer in their cooler. I tried some last night in a Moscow Mule and it was decent. Time for the Dark n’ Stormy test!

  5. MarleighNo Gravatar says:

    Mmmm, ginger beer. For what I can get around here, I like Buderim, Ed & Pete’s and AJ Stephans. The latter being Jamaican style, it’s quite spicy and delightful.


  6. RowenNo Gravatar says:

    I eyeball this one too, though I usually go with about two ounces of rum. In any case, it’s about getting a little rum bite and not drowning it. Sometimes I build one, taste it, and decide it needs more rum. Of course, dark rum is so luscious that it really never seems to taste too hot, so theoretically you could keep adding until you filled a balloon glass.

  7. MartyNo Gravatar says:

    It’s “almost” impossible to find, but Blenheim’s is the most gingery ginger beer I’ve ever had out of a bottle. It’s almost hard to drink, it’s so gingery.

    As for at home…I usually make up a batch of Audrey Saunder’s ginger beer (recipe easy to find on the internet).

  8. What a delightful drink! I must get me some ginger beer.

  9. Sonja`No Gravatar says:

    Hi there, I compared all the ginger beers I could find in/around Chicago recently (10 in total – here’s a link to the series: http://thinkingofdrinking.blogspot.com/search/label/Ginger%20Beer) and the Bundaberg pretty much came out on top, although a house-made version was great too. Fentiman’s ginger beer was fantastic and much spicier, it sounds like it might have been closer to what you had at Forbidden Island in terms of spice. I (and my tasting colleagues) tended to prefer the ones that had some definite ginger flavor and spice, with a touch of sweetness to balance in the drink. I’ll have to seek out the Audrey Saunders recipe now and see how it compares.

    As for ratio, I’m with Rowen on the recipe – about 2 oz. rum, then add ginger beer to taste.


  10. DinahNo Gravatar says:

    1. Keep an eye out for Prince Neville’s. It comes fresh, packaged much like Odwalla juices.
    In San Francisco I’ve found it both at Rainbow Grocery and random neighborhood groceries like Nabila’s on Hayes.

  11. MahonNo Gravatar says:

    I have been enjoying a brand of ginger ale called “Natural Brew” made in Chico, California. They sell it at Rainbow here in San Francisco, too. I don’t know if it is the utmost in ginger-i-ness, but it is spicy and assertive, doesn’t have any corn syrup or other junk in it, and makes a delectable gin buck, dark ‘n’ stormy, horse’s neck, etc. I have a notion the distribution is picayune, though, and it might just be a regional thing.

  12. LucNo Gravatar says:

    A great ginger beer for this drink is Fentiman’s Ginger Beer. It packs a wonderful gingery kick, and works fantastically in this drink. Unfortunately I believe it is very difficult to find in the US, but luckily here in Ireland I can find it just up the road! I’ve just discovered the Dark ‘N’ Stormy, and I can see many more in the future…

  13. EricNo Gravatar says:

    Looked this one up after trying a crappy version from Dilard’s. Adding simple and lime totally killed it. This version was much better – though I definitely missed a ginger kick that Reeds is lacking. Might need to talk to BR about ginger homebrew…

    Anyway, thanks KP!

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

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