Dark ‘N’ Stormy: Did You Know The Fascinating History?
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The iconic Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail – a rum-based drink, as mysterious as it might seem, is traditionally made with a blend of the darkest of rums, a splash of refreshing ginger beer, lime juice, occasionally some syrup and ice. Although good dark rums rarely ever need the addition of syrup, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy has a rich and storied history tracing its roots back to Bermuda – a British-governed island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Although the cocktail’s popularity extends beyond that of Bermuda, all across the globe, its history and inception are truly a fascinating read.

Bermuda: The Mecca Of Dark Rum

Born in Bermuda and currently believed to be the unofficial drink of the island, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy has its roots in the rum production that takes place on the island which has pre-colonial origins thanks to the abundance of molasses. A by-product of sugarcane, a staple crop cultivated on the island’s fertile soil combined with the subsequent sugar trade potential attracted British colonialists to the island. When Bermuda became one of the key participants in the trans-Atlantic trade network in the 17th and 18th centuries, sugar as well as rum were the primary exports to Britain and its many colonies.

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Due to this, rum became a spirit of huge significance for the natives, the immigrants and colonial British rulers. Since the people of Bermuda were proficient in harnessing the potential of molasses to craft a number of rum styles from light to dark varieties, the Goslings came into prominence as a result of this phenomenon. To shed spotlight on the history of this cocktail, it is important to note that one of the leading Bermudian families that ventured into the rum trade back in 1806, first crafted their rum despite being widely recognised as wine and spirits merchants. With time, as the family became Bermuda’s most prominent rum makers and exporters, and the Great Depression and two World Wars affected trans-Atlantic trade, Bermuda’s rum production was faced with multiple challenges; however, the Goslings and those connected, managed to continue their legacy of rum production.

It was at the peak of this rum production that the iconic cocktail was created; legend has it that while the cocktail itself was born at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the Gosling’s rum was first used to concoct the Dark ‘n’ Stormy by blending dark rum with another locally produced beverage – ginger beer. To say that the Dark ‘n’ Stormy encapsulates the essence of Bermuda in a single glass would be an understatement. Dark rum – the foundation of this drink, not only reflects the island’s rich history of rum production but also the fact that the rich, robust flavours of dark rum, especially varieties with a hint of caramel and spice, blend perfectly well with the fiery fizz and spicy kick of ginger beer.