The Dark ‘N’ Stormy is not only the quintessential rum highball. It’s also the best cocktail to have on hand when the mercury starts to rise. Plus, with just three ingredients, it’s as easy as squeezing a lime and opening a bottle of ginger beer. If you’re a fan of this Caribbean sipper, and looking for an easy upgrade, here are five simple hacks to make your Dark 'N' Stormy even better than it already is.
Add Angostura Bitters
It’s true, a dash or two of Angostura bitters makes everything taste better—especially a Dark 'N' Stormy. These classic Trinidadian bitters not only temper the sweetness of the ginger beer, but they also give the drink a rich, bitter depth. Simply mix up your cocktail, add two hefty dashes of bitters to your drink, and stir.
Use More Than One Rum
An easy way to add more complexity to your Dark 'N' Stormy is by splitting the base spirit between two different rums. This hack is commonly used in tiki cocktails like the Zombie, which layers rums for flavor and potency. Mixing and layering rums gives the drink another dimension, with each rum adding a different flavorful facet. For a more funky, herbaceous cocktail, use equal parts dark rum and rhum agricole. To play up the bright, acidic zing of the lime juice and the gingery bite of the ginger beer, split the dark rum with a crisp white rum like Denizen 3 Year.
Make Your Own Ginger Syrup
Using homemade ginger syrup gives you complete control over both the gingery potency of your Dark 'N' Stormy and its level of carbonation. Instead of using ginger beer, this method mixes rum and fresh lime with ginger syrup and soda water. If you want a less spicy cocktail, make a syrup with less fresh ginger, and more aromatic herbs and spices like allspice berry, clove, black pepper and fresh bay leaf. Add as much soda water as you want, or swap it out entirely for a lime flavored soda water or something completely unique like a biscuity Champagne or sparkling wine.
Use Craft Ginger Beer
If you’re a fan of spicy, ultra-gingery Dark 'N' Stormys, using a high quality, craft ginger beer will make your cocktail next-level delicious. Our favorite ginger beers with maximum ginger heat and flavor are Barritt’s (an absolute zinger on the palate), Reed’s, Fever Tree and Goslings, which is the only ginger beer formulated specifically for the Dark 'N' Stormy.
Add Pimento Dram
A staple in tiki cocktails made with allspice berries, unrefined sugar and a rum base, pimento dram works wonders in a Dark 'N' Stormy. The piquant Jamaican liqueur adds another layer of spiciness and gives your cocktail an extra boost of booziness. Add half an ounce of the liqueur for a milder effect and a full ounce for maximum potency.