This week’s taste test for drink of the week was quite a special experience. Rather than traveling to one of Cape May County’s favorite pub, tavern, bar, or night spot, I remained right here, at the Herald Newspapers office building where Dan LeFever of Castle Brands brought the drink of the week to me. When he told me that Castle Brands’ “Dark ‘n Stormy” cocktail would most definitely impress me, I remained neutral. Dan offered to meet me and other Herald staff members in the office for our very own tasting. Naturally, I did not decline.
Dan required only three simple ingredients to concoct the “Dark ‘n Stormy” – Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Gosling’s Ginger Beer, and a lime wedge. First, he filled a glass generously with ice. Next, he filled about ¾ of the glass with the canned Gosling’s Ginger Beer. Dan then topped the Ginger Beer with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, filling the remainder of the glass. A squeeze of the lime wedge later and I beheld the legendary Dark ‘n Stormy. The light caramel color of the Ginger Beer contrasted with its dark rum topping, truly giving the appearance of a storm cloud overtaking clear skies. After a few quick stirs, I lifted the drink to my lips and was shocked at the sweetness of the cocktail. “Very good. You can taste each individual flavor but at the same time, they blend well together,” expressed a co-worker who also attended the tasting.
The rich Ginger Beer complemented the rum’s flavor and strength perfectly, while the lime juice added a hint of tropical fruitiness native to this cocktail’s motherland – the island of Bermuda. In Bermuda, Dark ‘n Stormy is a registered trademark of Gosling’s Brothers Limited and is made exclusively with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. In 1806, with a ship full of spirits bound for America, Englishman James Gosling ran out of wind and time. With his charter expired, James settled on the island of Bermuda and opened a shop on the King’s Parade. Today, Gosling Brothers is Bermuda’s oldest business and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is Bermuda’s number one export. Also known as “The Spirit of Bermuda”, this flagship rum has changed little in over 150 years. Gosling’s Black Seal is still oak-aged and blended in restricted quantities at the same leisurely pace. No longer offered in champagne bottles sealed with black wax, from whence comes its name, the deep, dark rum still possesses the same smooth, rich, intricate flavor.
Not a master mixologist? Let Castle Brands and Gosling’s do the work for you. Pick up Gosling’s premixed Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail available now at Joe Canal’s of Rio Grande. Be sure to also sample a Dark ‘n Stormy on a night out on the town at favorite Cape May County hot spots including The Rusty Nail of Cape May, Hemingway’s of Cape May, Harbor View of Cape May, Coconut Cove of North Wildwood, The Princeton of Avalon, and The Golden Inn of Avalon.
By Megan Kummer