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Another Drink You (May) Not Be Able to Name

Another Drink You (May) Not Be Able to Name

Dark-n-StormyAt the beginning of the year, I wrote about a delicious cocktail whose name many of you cannot use when making, at least not legally. The trick is that it has a brand name in its name, and a nearly one hundred year old court case requires that you use Bacardi brand rum when you make it.
I thought it was a cute story that gave a neat hook to write about a delicious, accessible cocktail.
I also thought it was unique.

Not so fast,
Barracuda-Breath!

Exactly. The New York Times lets me know differently. A couple of weeks ago, they published an article by Johnathan Miles, entitled, The Right Stuff (by Law).
The Dark ‘n’ Stormy is an iconic Bermudan cocktail made from dark rum and ginger beer.
Except it isn’t.
This is the only recipe for a Dark ‘n Stormy. The only recipe….

DARK ‘N STORMY

Put ginger beer and large ice in a small collins glass. Add Gosling’s gently to layer on top of the glass. Serve with a straw or swizzle stick. Adding a squeeze of lime is of questionable legality, but pretty tasty.

I say this is the only recipe because Gosling’s holds the registered trademark for the name and recipe for the Dark ‘n Stormy. And Gosling’s protects that intellectual property, says the Times:

“We defend that trademark vigorously, which is a very time-consuming and expensive thing,” said E. Malcolm Gosling Jr., whose family has owned Gosling’s since its founding in Bermuda in 1806. “That’s a valuable asset that we need to protect.”

During the course of the interview, Miles apparently got another rum company sued. He described an ad in Imbibe that had previously escaped Gosling’s notice. Thanks are due all-round from the billable hours club.
The Dark ‘n Stormy is undergoing something of a renaissance these days driven by several factors, I surmise.

  • The retro cocktail movement in general
  • The increase in general use of premium and niche rum
  • and the fact that it’s a pretty good drink.

You may well be taken aback by your first ever sip of this drink. Gosling’s is a distinctively pungent rum, and takes a moment or two to get used to. You can serve the drink layered or mixed, and I specify the straw or swizzle so you can easily alter the cocktail from the first state to the second. Until you are used to the flavor profile of this rum, I’d try your first Dark ‘n Stormy mixed.
At the Velvet Tango Room in Cleveland, my friend Paulius makes his Dark ‘n Stormys with the required Gosling’s. He told me, if I remember correctly, that it’s really the only way to make the drink really work. At the VTR, they give you your Dark ‘n Stormy layered beautifully, with a pretty large caliber straw. Paulius suggests that you plunge the straw into the drink and sip, then remove the straw and drop it in again. This way you get the Gosling’s and the ginger beer flavors in mini layers with each sip, increasing the apparent complexity and interest of the drink.
So if you run a bar, and want to try serving this interesting and delicious acquired taste, be sure to make them with the right rum. It’s a unique drink, and to preserve that character, you need to make it with the unique rum it was created to employ. It’s the legal thing to do, the right thing to do as well, because the only paper you want lawyers to hand you is green, with engraved portraits on it.
In my series on the Four Gospels of Cocktail, I called various variations on those classic drinks, Heresies. But mixing your Daiquiris in a blender with strawberries will only get you laughed out of the finer bars. With the Dark ‘n Stormy, the Inquisition is real!

inquisition_monty_python
Hello! Malcom sent us.

RELATED POST

  1. How the hell do you manage to layer your rum on your ginger beer, Doug??

    Also, I agree about the squeeze of lime.

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  2. Doug

    16 July

    I poured in the ginger beer first, and let the fizz subside.
    I also used my largest ice cubes, and poured the rum over the back of a spoon and then onto the ice cubes. It was surprisingly easy and effective.
    That’s not my photo (it’s the Times’), but my drink was almost as clearly defined. I just had light too lousy to use.

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  3. Peggy

    18 July

    intellectual property rights are getting a little crazy nowadays… but the drink does look tasty, so i may have to abide by the law for this one…

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  4. Gordon

    18 July

    It is interesting that there is the legal attachments with the Dark & Stormy as Bundaberg Rum, the Australian icon, has for a number of years made a premixed can called a Dark & Stormy that is a dark rum & ginger beer. http://www.bundabergrum.com.au/our-products.htm

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  5. Doug

    18 July

    Gordon, I saw that too. In a rare episode of editorial restraint, I cut the bit on that. I imagine it is the difference in name, or perhaps the two came to some detente early on.

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  6. sport shoes

    19 July

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

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  7. nina camp

    26 July

    I’ve had this drink a few times at a super wonderful speak easy style martini bar in Nashville called the Patterson House.

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  8. A week or two ago I wandered across your site and have been reading along. I felt I would leave my opening comment. I dont know exactly what to write except that Ive enjoyed perusing. Cool website. I shall continue visiting this website very often. I have also grabbed your rss feed to get any updates.

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  9. William

    9 December

    Thank you for the great post!

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  10. Bobby

    18 December

    Is there a preferred ginger beer to use? And what do you define as “ginger beer? Most ginger beer I’ve seen is basically a soft drink, like a more gingery ginger ale. But then there is also actual beer, brewed with ginger, of the alcoholic variety. Which goes in the Dark and Stormy?

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  11. Doug

    18 December

    Gosling’s now makes their own brand of ginger beer, but the traditional brand is Barritt’s. I usually use Reed’s, because I can get it locally and easily.
    Ginger beer is indeed a soft drink, like ginger ale. It is much less sweet and a bit spicier than the ginger ale, but it is not alcoholic either.

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  12. Michael James

    19 December

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It?s the old what goes around comes around routine.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  13. cool thanks for posting this

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  14. I am completly Agree with you! Great Article!

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  15. Hehe that sure is a halarious image. Thx for sharing it! =)

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  16. good post. I will be backing roger fed to beat rafa later at ATP Madrid.

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  17. Jaylen Cairns

    28 September

    Nice easy to follow recipe idea – thankyou

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  18. Dagreb

    31 May

    Doug,

    The layering instructions have served me well. But, since I used 2oz do I need to change the name? 😉

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  19. Doug

    31 May

    Dagreb,

    Yes,

    You must call that a Midnight Gale, or they will come for you with the comfy pillows….

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