The Dark ‘N’ Stormy, that mix of rum, lime juice and ginger beer, is on the short list of rum drinks that everyone at least knows about—even if they can’t recite the recipe from memory. But there is a facet of the Dark ‘N’ Stormy that makes it rather unique in the cocktail world: It can only be legally made with one rum.
Goslings, Bermuda’s best known distillery and makers of Black Seal rum, trademarked the Dark ‘N’ Stormy almost three decades ago.
If anyone can lay claim to the Dark ‘N’ Stormy, it’s probably Goslings. As Malcolm Gosling Jr. recounts, the Dark ‘N’ Stormy supposedly got its name when a Bermuda fisherman, with the concoction in front of him, compared it to “the color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under.” But even if that story can’t be entirely proven, the drink was created in Bermuda and it was created with Goslings Black Seal rum. The British navy was stationed on the island following World War I and had its own ginger beer bottling plant. At some point in the early period between the wars, sailors began mixing the navy’s product with Gosling’s Black Seal, which was the most plentiful on the island. “[The trademark] is to protect the integrity of the cocktail that has such deep roots to Bermuda going back to the 1920s,” says Gosling. “It isn’t to say other rums can’t be mixed with ginger beer, it’s that It will taste different than the authentic Dark ‘N’ Stormy.”