Classic Dark and Stormy Cocktail

For the perfect fusion of ginger beer, dark rum, and lime, try the Classic Dark and Stormy Cocktail

Dark and Stormy

It was a Dark and Stormy [Night]. And it tasted delicious.

Madeleine L’Engle may have been mocked for opening her classic 1973 novel, A Wrinkle in Time, with the phrase, “It was a dark and stormy night,” but I like to think that it’s possible (though very unlikely) that she drew some inspiration from this mysterious cocktail.

Topped with ginger beer, the Dark and Stormy is similar to a Moscow Mule or its cousin, Kentucky Mule, but it features dark rum as its alcohol. The Gosling Brothers, a distilling company based in Bermuda, actually trademarked the phrase “Dark ‘n’ Stormy,” which requires drinks marketed under the name to use their brand of rum.

Lots of rum drinks go fancy, like a Rum Runner or Daiquiri, but the magic of the Dark and Stormy lies in its simplicity. The flavor is robust and memorable but only requires a few ingredients.

Which Rum Should I Use?

If you live in fear of litigation and want to refer to your drink as an actual Dark ‘n’ Stormy, you’ll want to abide by the Gosling Brothers’ trademark and use Gosling’s Black Seal. Buuuuut if labels aren’t a big deal, just look for any rum that satisfies the “dark” aspect of the cocktail. If dark rum isn’t dark enough, you can use a “black” rum like Kraken Spiced Black Rum, which has a more robust (and spicy) flavor to it. You can also go in the opposite direction and choose something slightly lighter, like an amber or gold rum. Appleton Estate or Mount Gay are personal faves.

What Is Ginger Beer?

Today’s recipe is all about names! In this case, it is a misnomer. Despite being referred to as a “beer”, ginger beer rarely contains alcohol. If it does, it will have less than a percent (similar to non-alcoholic beers). In essence, it is a ginger-flavored carbonated beverage. But because it’s spicy (thanks to the cloves and cinnamon it usually contains) and heavier than your typical soft drink, it eschewed the “pop” label in favor of the more mature “beer”. These days there are several high-end brands of ginger beer, each with its own distinct taste. You may want to sample them to figure out which pleases your taste buds the most.

Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  • Fill a glass with ice.
  • Pour 2 oz of dark rum into the glass.
  • Add 3 oz of ginger beer.
  • Squeeze half of a lime into the glass and stir it all together.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Tips & Tricks for a Perfect Dark and Stormy Cocktail

  • Skip the bottled lime juice and squeeze your own for a fresher taste.
  • Don’t skimp on the ice! This drink is best served very cold.
  • Just because it’s a non-alcoholic ingredient, don’t underestimate the influence of the ginger beer. Choose a good-quality one; there are many now out there to choose from.
  • You can make this a layered drink by first pouring the rum then gently pouring the ginger beer over the back of a spoon and into the glass.
Dark and Stormy


What glass and garnish should I use?

A highball glass is normally used, though you can get away with a Collins glass. As for garnish, a lime wedge tends to work well with rum. If you love the ginger aspect, skewer a piece of candied ginger and set it across the rim of your glass.

How many calories are in this Dark ‘n’ Stormy?

There are about 163 calories in this cocktail, with a vast majority of them found in the dark rum. Lighter rums have fewer calories and a milder taste, generally, but to use one would remove the ‘dark’ aspect of your Dark ‘n’ Stormy, and no one wants that.

How do I store a Dark ‘n’ Stormy?

You can store the leftover cocktail mix in the fridge for a few days, but it honestly tastes the best on the first day. After a few days the ginger beer will lose its fizz. You might freshen it up a bit with another squeeze of lime.

Can I prep Dark ‘n’ Stormys ahead of time?

Mix up a pitcher of this cocktail before the party starts and store it in the fridge. Wait until you’re ready to serve to add the ice. When you’re ready to drink, give the pre-made mix a good swirl, pour it over ice, and add a squeeze of lime.

What’s the difference between a Dark ‘n’ Stormy and a Moscow Mule?

Aside from the Mule being served in a charming copper mug, it uses vodka (hence the “Moscow”) instead of rum.

Dark and Stormy

Other Dark Rum Cocktails Worth Trying

The Dark and Stormless: This mocktail substitutes the dark rum with a non-alcoholic rum alternative, like Seedlip’s Spice 94.

The Rum Runner Cocktail: With a name like this, you KNOW it’s going to have lots of rum.

The Bushwacker Cocktail: More a dessert than a cocktail, a Bushwacker contains an assortment of “dark” liqueurs, including dark rum, Kahlua, Baileys, and creme de cacao.

The Mai Tai Cocktail: A tropical fave that blends rums with lime juice, orange curacao, simple syrup, and orgeat syrup.

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