The folks who make Gosling’s dark rum are reportedly so insistent that only their Bermuda black rum can make a true Dark ‘n Stormy (the official spelling has just the one apostrophe) that they’ve trademarked the name. Well, when you realize that they sell a rum-and-ginger-beer premixed drink-in-a-can that they call Dark ‘n Stormy, I think the reason behind the legal posturing becomes apparent. If you want to read about the purported trademark fuss and hear an umpteenth-generation Gosling defend his family’s trademark, check out articles in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.
If instead you want to taste a great cocktail, whether it is technically a Dark ‘n Stormy or not, let me recommend the following. Pour a generous shot of Cane and Abe rum (from Madison’s own Old Sugar Distillery) over ice in a highball, squeeze in a wedge of lime, and top with a great ginger beer. I’ve been using Fentiman’s. Despite the fact that their website looks to have been built last century, they do know what they’re doing when it comes to ginger beer; theirs is a wonderfully flavorful drink, made with real botanical ingredients including actual ginger. (A gentle inversion of the bottle before opening helps ensure that all the tasty bits are afloat before you pour.) I’ve seen it locally at both Woodman’s and the Willy Street Co-op.
For a fun review of Cane and Abe, head here. Finally, for the local take on the Old Sugar Distillery and their tasting room, check out this review and an earlier piece from Isthmus, along with this feature from 77 Square.