Summer Cocktail Week: How to Make a Classic ‘Dark and Stormy’

Welcome to Part Two of our Summer Cocktail Week, the series in which we ply you, gentle garden reader, with drinks for the warm weather.

The classic Dark and Stormy cocktail is one of our favorites this time of year, even if the name doesn’t square with our persistent sun and often spotless skies. (When we lived back East, we got thumped by lots of summer thunderstorms. We miss them, sort of, especially in the wake of California’s calamitous droughts…) This drink is like a party full of strong personalities — the spiced, tropical intensity of dark rum meets the sharp kick of ginger beer, under a squeeze of lime.


Your ingredients for a Dark and Stormy. The ginger beer options we found at our local supermarkets are Reed’s and Fever-Tree. The latter easily won our blind taste test. (Not to be confused with ginger ale, ginger beer is a fermented, non-alcoholic wallop of ginger and other botanicals.)

This year we’re even more gaga about it — thanks to the discovery of our new favorite ginger beer: the botanically endowed, almost psychedelically flavorful Fever-Tree.

We also like creating a storm effect with the drink itself, having the black rum descend like a storm cloud into the glass of ice and ginger beer. Here’s the recipe…


2 ounces black rum (Gosling’s Black Seal is classic, but other black rums can also be used)

3 ounces ginger beer (Fever-Tree is our hands-down favorite, available on Amazon and at markets like Von’s and BevMo; you can also make your own, or use the ever-popular Reed’s)

A squeeze of lime

A lime wheel for garnish


Fill glass with ice. Pour ginger beer over ice. Add rum. Squeeze lime on top and garnish with lime wheel. Serve while stirring to your guests’ oohs and ahhs. Be tumultuous.



Even the label is spirited! This brew took us on a magical flavor ride.


Serving a Dark and Stormy is half the fun. To simulate an approaching dark summer thundercloud, pour the dark rum over the ginger beer before stirring gently.

Be sure to stir up a storm before serving.

Be sure to stir up a storm before serving.