This Week’s Cocktail is Brought to You By a Fateful Accidental Ship Landing
On Front Street in Hamilton, Bermuda, Gosling Bros. Ltd, Wine & Spirit Merchants’ storefront welcomes with a pale blue façade that mirrors the tropical waters and island skies. Like so many of the world’s greatest delights, the store came here by accident of sorts. In 1806, James Gosling, son of the label’s founder, William, set sail for America with over half a million dollars’ worth of the family’s signature spirits in barrels aboard the Mercury. After more than three months at sea, the ship hit the shores of Bermuda – nearly 700 miles short of its final goal. James decided that Bermuda (St. George’s, specifically, at the time) suited him just fine and set up shop as a purveyor of what would become one of the world’s most distinguished dark rums.
Also happening in Bermuda around this time, Royal Navy officers and sailors were concocting their own batches of ginger beer at the Royal Naval Officers’ Club. It stands to reason that a group of seamen would fancy a refreshing beverage also known to soothe seasickness. The biting spice of the ginger and fizzy (perhaps even stormy) appearance of the carbonation appealed to drinkers looking for something cool on hot island afternoons.
It didn’t take long for it to become clear that the two beverages were meant for each other, though the who-how-when details are a bit cloudy. Nevertheless, the Dark ‘n Stormy was born, becoming a huge hit in Bermuda and beyond. Inevitably, people began interchanging Goslings with other dark rums over the years, which offended the spirits-maker’s palate. In 1991, Goslings Bros. Ltd. won two trademarks for the recipe. This is notable, given that the Dark ‘n Stormy is one of only four patented cocktails in the world with official trademarks.
The unofficial cocktail of Bermuda is simple to make and simply delicious. Grab a highball glass and toast to accidental successes this Thirsty Thursday.
Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy
1.5 oz. Goslings Black Seal Rum
4-5 oz. Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer
Lime wedge for garnish
In a highball glass, pour the ginger beer over ice and top with the rum. Add the optional wedge of lime and raise your glass.
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