One of my favorite parts of being involved in a world where the trends constantly ebb and flow is that ingredients that you may have forgotten about manage to make their way back into your glass, and you realize how much you really loved them. Recently, I had that realization with an ingredient that I can’t get enough of, no matter what season it is, and that is ginger beer.
Just to be clear, this is ginger BEER, not to be confused with ginger ALE. No haterade toward ginger ale or its avid followers, but the two are very different. Ginger beer is to ginger ale what ice cream is to frozen yogurt.
While ginger beer may seem like it is much more well-suited for a late spring/early summer cocktail, such as a Moscow Mule, I find that it can be equally enjoyable in our cocktail of the month, the Dark 'n Stormy. Incidentally these two cocktails are incredibly similar in ingredients, with the exception of the main spirit, which changes from vodka in the Mule to dark rum in the Stormy.
In a cocktail where the ingredients are so few, the most important thing to keep in mind is quality. You have three main things to work with here; dark rum, lime juice, and of course my beloved ginger beer. In the rum category, I would go with something reliable like Gosling’s Black Seal. However, if you have a dark rum that you use often and think has the funky flavor profile to work in this beverage, go with that instead. For the lime juice, fresh is best, there’s really no other alternative.
When it comes to the ginger beer, however, there are a few options. My top choice? Fentimans Traditional Ginger Beer. I find that the flavor of the ginger is incredibly fresh and has an excellent spice to it as well. As an alternative to that, I’d go with Reed’s Premium Ginger Brew. Both of these brands are widely available in the United States, so rest easy my friends, your ginger beer needs will be fulfilled with ease.
Below is a recipe for the perfect Dark ‘n Stormy, provided by cocktail writer and enthusiast, David Wondrich. In this recipe, he recommends that you experiment with the ratio of dark rum to ginger beer in order to achieve the perfect balance of flavors, and we definitely agree. Mix one up at home and let us know what you think. Cheers, and happy sipping!
— Sara Kay, The Spir.it