A simple mix of rum and ginger beer—with maybe a squeeze of lime—a Dark ‘N’ Stormy is a no-frills drink. But not every iteration tastes the same. The flavor changes depending on the type of ginger beer you choose, as well as the rum you use. Here are the best rums for your Dark ‘N’ Stormy, according to your taste preferences.
Gosling’s has the cocktail name Dark ‘N’ Stormy trademarked—should you try to market a DIY Dark ‘N’ Stormy kit or Dark ‘N’ Stormy gear, they will litigate. The brand claims ownership over the cocktail, avering that the first ginger and rum drinks were mixed with their own Black Seal rum by British soldiers on leave in Bermuda. It does make for a very fine cocktail, thanks to its dark, rich flavor. So if you do go with the original Dark ‘N’ Stormy rum, you won’t be disappointed.
For an Extra Strong Dark ‘N’ Stormy: Plantation O.F.T.D. ($30)
Seven rum luminaries came together to make this potent but extremely potable rum: Plantation’s rum master Alexandre Gabriel, cocktail historian David Wondrich, Cognac Ferrand brand ambassador Paul McFadyen, and tiki legends Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Paul Mcgee, Scotty Schuder and Martin Cate. The resulting mix is 69 percent alcohol and filled with delicious coffee, toffee and marmalade notes.
It might just be a sensory suggestion from the name, but we always get honeyed apple flavors from this smooth and fruity Jamaican rum. Hints of baking spices like clove and nutmeg make it a friendly addition to ginger beer. For an ultra-easy drinking cocktail, opt for a lighter ginger beer that doesn’t go too heavy on the heat. You’ll get a great day-drinking cocktail that you can gulp down.
A blend of pot still Jamaican rum and rhum grand arôme from Martinique, this complex rum is layered with flavors of cooked pineapple, black pepper and cinnamon. Though it was inspired by a Mai Tai—Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, to be precise, which he made with a blend of Jamaican and Martiniquan rums—it is still delicious in an earthy, aromatic Dark ‘N’ Stormy, especially with a hefty squeeze of lime.
For a Sweeter Dark ‘N’ Stormy: Myers’s Jamaican Dark Rum ($21)
Easy to find in pretty much any liquor store, this reliable Jamaican rum is filled with classic flavors like caramel and brown sugar. If you really want something to satisfy your sweet tooth, pair Myers’s with a fairly mild, sweet ginger beer like Bundaberg. But if you’d rather bring some balance to the cocktail, try a spicy-but-still-sweet brew like Reed’s.
While this silky smooth rum is a pleasure to drink solo or on the rocks, its flambeed banana flavor and bright, tropical flavors turn a Dark ‘N’ Stormy into a beach-ready drink. Leave the lime on the rim, and let the rum and the ginger beer do all the work in this sunny sipper.
Behind Kraken’s appealing packaging and eye-catching illustrations of cephalopods lies a black pepper-spiced rum, which already has a gingery flavor on its own. Adding ginger beer and lime to the mix only boosts the flavors within the rum, making for an intensely flavorful cocktail filled with a spice cabinet’s worth of piquancy.