The History of the Dark ‘N’ Stormy Cocktail

The Dark ‘N’ Stormy cocktail is a delicious blend of dark rum and ginger beer that is simple to create and delicious to enjoy on a hot summers day. While the modern variant is made using any variety of brands, usually started with a muddled lime for a sharp twist, the original was made with a very specific selection of drinks, since it was created to boost a new rum brand.

Who Invented the Dark ‘N Stormy Cocktail?

The story of this beverage starts in 1806 with a gentleman named James Gosling, who set out on his ship from Gravesend in the UK with the intention of travelling to America. The boat didn’t quite make it to its destination, docking instead in Bermuda.

By 1857, Gosling had started a rum business with his family. They started by selling their spirit from a large rum barrel, allowing the locals to bring their jugs to fill up as required. It didn’t take long before the company progressed into selling their rum in champagne bottles, giving their product the name Black Seal rum.

The rum became very popular on the island, but the Dark ‘N Stormy cocktail was not born until sometime after the First World War. It is thought to have been created within the Royal Naval Officers Club, who ran a ginger beer factory. They discovered that the combination of the two drinks made for a delicious treat. The name was given for the colour of the cocktail, as one sailor is thought to have commented that it looked like a cloud that nobody could hope to sail underneath and come out of it alive.

An added interesting fact is that it is actually illegal to make a Dark ‘N Stormy cocktail without the original ingredients. Even a slight twist on the recipe could get you in trouble, as the Gosling brothers have trademarked the name and the family have not been afraid to sue anyone caught using the name without the right ingredients.

Variations of the Dark ‘N Stormy Cocktail

Of course, one way to get around the trademark issue, is to create a similar drink with a different name. You can, in theory, replace any of the ingredient with other products, so long as you don’t say it is a Dark ‘N Stormy. Other tasty options include adding two dashes of orange bitters, to create an Orange Mule. A Minty Mule adds lime juice, bitters and a sprig of freshly clapped mint to the mix, while a Mexican Mule swaps the rum for tequila.

The perfect drink for sipping on the coast, as you watch the waves roll in and boats sailing calmly in the distance.

This post was written by ....

Suzanna H
Hi, I am Suzanna. I would describe myself as a bit of a foodie with a side-interest in fancy cocktails. Anything sweet and alcoholic and I'm in! I am also an avid writer, proofreader and editor and work freelance through the website People per Hour.


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