One of the most famous drinks Bermudians are known for is the Dark ‘n’ Stormy. It was invented just after World War 1 – the legend goes that an old sailor compared the cocktail’s dark colouring to that of storm clouds, “the color of a cloud that only a fool or a dead man would sail under.” While the legend has been unproven it has become one of the island’s favourite drinks amongst locals and tourists. The cocktail is made with local Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer (our favourite is the Bermudian Barritt’s) over ice.
The drink’s history begins with the Goslings, a prominent family in Bermuda. Englishman James Gosling, chartered the Mercury in 1806 and managed to steer the ship onto Bermuda’s shores after 91 days at sea, carefully avoiding its infamous coral reefs. Gosling settled in Bermuda and his family went on to enter the rum production business in 1857. After years of experimenting, they created the now famous Black Seal rum known for the distinct, full bodied flavour, named after the wax used to seal the champagne bottles it was sold in.
Once the British Royal Navy arrived in Bermuda, they began to produce ginger beer to help with seasickness. While it’s unknown when or why these two drinks ended up being mixed together, it is very clear that the result was a hit. Dark ‘n’ Stormy is now one of the most ordered cocktails island-wide. The Gosling family even trademarked the cocktail in 1991; any bar advertising a Dark ‘n’ Stormy must be made with original Gosling’s rum.
One of the most popular places in Bermuda to order a Dark ‘n’ Stormy would be Harry’s located in Hamilton at 96 Pitts Bay Road.
Dark ‘n’ Stormy
To be legally considered a Dark ‘n Stormy, it must be made with Black Seal rum made by Gosling’s.
- 1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
- Ginger Beer
- Lime wedge (optional)
In a tall glass filled with ice add 4 – 5 oz of Ginger Beer and top with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Garnish with a lime wedge. Drink carefully, these things are strong!
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