Cocktail: Dark ’n Stormy
Recipe by Chad Solomon & Christy Pope
Midnight Rambler, Dallas, Texas
Like the Gimlet, the Dark ’n Stormy is a cocktail for which we have British sailors to thank. In the mid-1800s, English brothers James and Ambrose Gosling ran a thriving distillery in Bermuda famous for its dark-colored rum. British ships back then always carried booze for their sailors, along with ginger beer, which is an excellent remedy for seasickness. It’s only natural that someone would combine the two at some point.
“I love the simplicity of the Dark ’n Stormy,” says Chad Solomon, who co-owns Midnight Rambler in Dallas with Christy Pope. Solomon and Pope are both Southern—he grew up in Texas, she in Louisiana and Florida—but they got in on the ground floor of the twenty-first-century cocktail revival in New York, where both worked at several influential cocktail bars in the early 2000s, eventually starting the city’s first drinks-only catering company, Cuffs & Buttons.
Their take on the classic rum cocktail relies on fresh ginger. “Bottled or canned ginger beers are not as dynamic as the fresh juice,” Pope says. “A Dark ’n Stormy with fresh ginger is both refreshing and spicy. It is an excellent cocktail at all times of the year because it can be both cooling and warming.”
Making ginger syrup is simple: Juice some fresh ginger, and add sugar. Another technique Solomon and Pope recommend for this drink is dry-shaking: Combine the rum, ginger syrup, and lime juice in a shaker and shake without ice before assembling the drink. “This adds a little aeration and makes the texture of the drink a little lighter,” Solomon says. Just be sure everything else is chilled: he recommends sticking the glass in the freezer for a few hours, and topping the blended mix with club soda that’s as crisp and cold as possible.
Though you can fiddle with the ratios of ingredients in the Dark ’n Stormy, you absolutely cannot substitute the Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. The drink is one of a handful whose names have been trademarked, and Gosling’s has not been shy about taking legal action against competitors and bars who call for different brands of rum. Thankfully, the rich and molasses-y Bermudan spirit is ideal for a Dark ’n Stormy.