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Dark ‘n Stormy August 19, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Cocktail, Recipe.

1-1/2 oz. fine dark rum
4-1/2 oz. strong ginger beer
cube ice
squeeze lime

The Dark ‘n Stormy is an elemental highball: a liquor and a mixer over ice, with a garnish.  Only martinis are more basic.  But the fewer ingredients there are in a drink, the more important the balance between them becomes.

This a simple cocktail to prepare once its character is understood.  It is Bahamian in origin and Bahamian dark rums are preferred for their authenticity.  Any fine cane amber rum or dark rum will have the integrity to pull it off.  The ubiquitous Meyer’s Rum “Original Dark” is an acceptable baseline.

Like many highballs, the quality of the mixer is arguably more important than that of the liquor.  A mediocre ginger beer will ruin this drink, whereas a mediocre rum will merely limit its potential.  A spicy, syrupy, highly-carbonated hand-brewed ginger beer is ideal.  These aren’t easy to come by.  I have found that Stewart’s Ginger Beer is a nicely suited brew which isn’t too rare.  Reed’s Original Ginger Brew is passable, but only when augmented by a few shavings of fresh ginger.  Everyday ginger ale should not even be considered.

The prescribed ratio of mixer-to-liquor for a Dark ‘n Stormy is 3-to-1.  For some highballs the ratio is a suggestion, to be adjusted for taste and experience.  But in my opinion the Dark ‘n Stormy does not shine when it is in any way off-balance; it pays to be careful with the proportions of this drink.

The squeeze of lime is not a classic requirement.  It’s just a suggestion.  But I have yet to taste a Dark ‘n Stormy which wasn’t improved by the balance of a lime offering.



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