Dark 'n' Stormy | Cotswold Cocktail School
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Dark 'n' Stormy

Dark 'n' Stormy

ABV 11.5% / 2 Alcoholic Units

Primary Spirit: Rum

A Brief History of a Dark 'n' Stormy

The Dark 'n' Stormy originated in Bermuda, linking it intrinsically to the island’s maritime history. The cocktail's roots are tied to the British Royal Navy's presence in the Caribbean and their production of ginger beer to help sailors combat seasickness. Meanwhile, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, a product of Bermuda, became the preferred choice for this drink. The distinctive combination of ginger beer and dark rum became a favorite among sailors, giving rise to the drink's name, which alludes to the "stormy" appearance created by floating dark rum atop the ginger beer. This drink is not only a staple in Bermuda but also has a protected status, meaning that a true Dark 'n' Stormy should be made with Gosling's Black Seal Rum.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Dark 'n' Stormy delivers a powerful flavour contrast that is immediately captivating. The deep, caramel notes of dark rum provide a warm, comforting base, which is beautifully complemented by the sharp, spicy kick of ginger beer. The addition of a fresh lime wedge adds a touch of acidity, brightening the drink and tying all the flavours together into a cohesive, refreshing cocktail. The result is a perfect balance of sweetness, spice, and citrus, a true delight for the palate.

Food Pairings

The bold flavours of the Dark 'n' Stormy make it a versatile companion to a variety of dishes. Its spiciness and refreshing ginger notes pair wonderfully with the rich, smoky flavours of barbecued meats or grilled seafood. It also complements spicy foods well, making it an excellent match for Caribbean or Asian cuisine. Try it with jerk chicken, grilled mahi-mahi, or a spicy Thai curry for a truly complementary flavour experience.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Hawthorne strainer
  • Highball glass
  • Jigger


  • 50ml Black strap rum - Goslings Black Seal
  • 20ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 10ml Simple syrup*
  • 2 Dashes off Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger Beer 
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge to garnish


  • Add the first 4 ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cooled
  • Strain into the highball glass filled with ice
  • Top with the ginger beer and briefly stir
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

*Simple syrup - 1 part sugar to one part water. Gently heat in a pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to cool.

What's the best Rum for a Dark 'n' Stormy?

The best and most traditional rum for making a Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail is Gosling's Black Seal Rum. This choice is not only a matter of taste preference but also a matter of trademark. The Dark 'n' Stormy is actually a trademarked cocktail by Gosling's Brothers Ltd of Bermuda. According to the trademark, the authentic Dark 'n' Stormy should be made specifically with Gosling's Black Seal Rum.

Gosling's Black Seal Rum has a rich, smooth flavour that perfectly complements the spicy and sharp notes of ginger beer, which are key to the Dark 'n' Stormy's signature taste. The rum’s deep, complex flavour and its ability to blend harmoniously with the ginger beer without being overpowered make it the ideal choice for this cocktail.

If you're in a pinch and cannot find Gosling's, or if you're looking to experiment with the drink outside of the trademark constraints, another good quality dark or black rum (such as Kraken Black Spiced Rum or Myers's Original Dark Rum) can also work well, offering a similar depth and richness to the cocktail. However, for the most authentic and traditionally respected version, sticking with Gosling's Black Seal Rum is recommended.


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