What is the best rum for a dark and stormy cocktail?

best rum for dark and stormy

As Newport residents, we’re constantly reminded of how lucky we are to live here.

The proximity to beaches, golf clubs, and parks is pretty amazing. We’re a very friendly, 

warm group of people who like to have a good time.

Though it’s a small city, it’s a great city, and there are so many reminders of what makes us unique.

Picture it: the salty sea air is mingling through the bustling atmosphere of Newport, RI.

You’re in the mood for a classic cocktail and ask a local for a recommendation that will perfectly capture the essence of this iconic seaside town.

The answer will most likely be the Dark and Stormy, also called a Dark ‘N’ Stormy.

At the Newport Protective Club, crafting the ultimate Dark ‘n Stormy is akin to a rite of passage. With every shake and stir, we pour a bit of Newport’s spirit into our highball glasses. 

Let’s delve into why this stormy cocktail continues to be a harbinger of good times and the best rums to elevate its classic flavor.

The Anatomy of a Dark ‘n Stormy

A true Dark ‘n Stormy is one of the simplest cocktails, yet its flavors are complex enough to captivate any cocktail enthusiast. 

The cocktail’s main ingredients are dark rum, spicy ginger beer, and a slice of lime. The dark rum gives the drink a deep base, the spicy ginger beer adds a kick, and the lime juice offers a refreshing citrusy balance. It’s typically served in a tall glass or highball glass and garnished with a wedge of lime or even the back of a spoon to stir. Pro tip: Use a lot of ice!Goslings Black Seal Rum – The Main Ingredient

When talking about Dark ‘n Stormy, it’s impossible not to mention Goslings Black Seal Rum—it’s really the heart and soul of this classic drink. The original recipe was trademarked by the Gosling family, ensuring that their distinctive blend of rich, smooth rum would forever be synonymous with the iconic Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail.

This rum not only provides the color of a cloud-covered, stormy sky but also brings a rich flavor profile that complements the sharpness of ginger beer. Goslings Black Seal Rum may be synonymous with the national drink of Bermuda, but it’s found a second home in Newport, Rhode Island.

best rum for dark and stormy-contender

Other Rum Contenders

While Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is the traditional choice, exploring other rums can add a unique twist to your Dark ‘n Stormy. Caribbean rums like Appleton Estate provide marmalade and caramel notes that add complex flavors. 

For a lighter touch, Bacardi Gold can be used for those who prefer a smoother, more subtle rum flavor. Jamaican rums, known for their full-bodied profiles, also make a great choice for those looking to experiment with deeper, more tropical drinks.

The Importance of Ginger Beer

Ginger beer plays a crucial role in the Dark ‘n Stormy as it provides the signature fiery kick that complements the smooth flavor of the dark rum. A good ginger beer, like Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer or Bundaberg Ginger Beer, brings a vibrant, spicy edge that defines this cocktail. 

The quality of the ginger beer makes a significant difference—its bold, peppery spice layered on top of the ginger beer melds beautifully with the rum. Whether it’s a Bermudan ginger beer known for its sharpness or a Jamaican ginger beer with its robust flavor, the choice of ginger beer can transform the entire experience of the cocktail. Feeling adventurous? Try making your own ginger beer at home!

Ginger Beer Alternatives

While traditional ginger beer is the go-to for a Dark ‘n Stormy, there are several interesting alternatives for those looking to experiment. Ginger ale, while lighter and less spicy, can be used for a milder version of the cocktail. For a twist on the classic, mixing in ginger syrup with soda water can mimic the ginger flavor with a customizable intensity. 

In the realm of ginger beer cocktails, the Moscow Mule also utilizes ginger beer mixed with vodka, showing the versatility of ginger-flavored beverages. Additionally, premium brands like Fever Tree offer meticulously crafted ginger beers that can elevate the drink with their fine bubbles and blend of natural gingers. These alternatives allow for personalization of the cocktail, making each Dark ‘n Stormy a unique experience.

perfect setting

The Perfect Setting: A Stormy Night at Newport Protective Club

Imagine sipping this popular cocktail as a foggy, stormy night envelops the coast of Newport. The dark rum mirrors the stormy sky above, while the spicy ginger beer echoes the rough seas, creating a perfect drink for both a cozy night in or a lively evening at the club.

Why It’s More Than Just a Cocktail

In Newport, the Dark ‘n Stormy isn’t just a drink; it’s a part of our culture. It’s a connection to the history of British naval officers and the high seas, a nod to the British sailors who once frequented this port city. This drink carries with it stories of World War sailors and safe harbors, making it a significant part of our local heritage.

For your next visit to Newport, or if you’re simply looking to recreate a piece of it at home, remember that a great Dark ‘n Stormy is not just about mixing the right ingredients. It’s about capturing the spirit of adventure, the nostalgia of maritime history, and the essence of a city that prides itself on its unique cocktail culture. Here’s to finding the perfect sip and savoring the stormy cocktail that has become a symbol of Newport itself. 

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