It has been raining up here in the northwest for several weeks now. Whenever summer is upon us but the weather just isn’t great, I think of one drink in particular: The Dark ‘N’ Stormy. This drink is a perfect late spring or early autumn drink, as it bridges the gap between light spirit summers, and dark spirit winters. It is also a drink with a unique history.

In the early 1800’s, James Gosling set out from England with £10,000 in merchandise bound for America. The ship’s charter had expired on the ninety-first day of the voyage, so they set into port in Bermuda, and later set up shop on the island. In 1824, the company rented out their iconic store on Front Street which they have maintained for 127 years. After changing the company’s name to the current “Gosling Brothers”, they started formulating what would eventually become known as Black Seal Rum. Eventually this led to the creation of the Dark ‘N’ Stormy cocktail.

The uniqueness of this cocktail lies in the fact that it is trademarked by the Gosling’s. According to two trademark certificates on file with the US Patent and Trademark Office, it is dictated that the drink may contain two ingredients in specific proportions, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer.

“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.”

If you have ever had the pleasure of a real Dark ‘N’ Stormy, you will know why Gosling’s went to such lengths to preserve the integrity of their creation. Black Seal is a rum like no other, and substituting it out, is a real tragedy. (Well not really a tragedy, but you get the idea) So do yourself a favor, and the next time you feel like a rum based refresher, reach for the Black Seal. You’ll be glad you did.

The Dark ‘N’ Stormy
2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Ginger Beer