At first glance, a Dark and Stormy seems out of place at the Thanksgiving dinner table—normally the exclusive purview of turkey, sweet potatoes and canned cranberry sauce. After all, the Dark and Stormy is Bermuda in a glass, the official drink of the island nation. And so, it’s the drink for when you’re marooned in a tropical locale, not exactly a Thanksgiving staple.
But recently, it hit me: Spiced rum employs many of the same flavors we associate with a fall harvest and the holidays (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves). Why not bring those flavors into a Dark and Stormy (a mix of rum and ginger beer with a thick lime wedge) and serve it at Thanksgiving?
Truth be told, I’m a sucker for things that don’t necessarily go together—at least at first glance. As such, I have been known to pair German Riesling with fried chicken, French cheese with a light American lager and White Russians with hot dogs. (Okay, I borrowed that last one from The Big Lebowski.)
In the case of a fall-themed Dark and Stormy, though, there’s a spice blend perfectly suited for the occasion—pumpkin pie spice. Available at any spice or grocery store (Penzeys Spices sells a particularly good version), it’s a combination of cinnamon, dried ginger, nutmeg and cloves. (In other words, the spices that pair perfectly with a Dark and Stormy.) I pour a teaspoon of the stuff into a bottle of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum; after letting it sit for an hour, I strain the rum through a coffee filter. The end result is as autumnal as a pile of leaves.
Spiced Dark and Stormy
2 oz. spiced Gosling’s Black Seal Rum*
4 oz. ginger beer, preferably Barritt’s, Fever-Tree or Fentiman’s
Combine ingredients in a tall glass over cracked ice. Stir to combine. Garnish with a generous lime wedge.
*For the spiced rum, combine 750 ml of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum with 1-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in a large container and stir until the combine. Let rest for one hour to let the flavors marry. Strain the mixture through a paper coffee filter and store in a bottle.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler is the bar manager at Pépé le Moko and Clyde Common, the acclaimed gastropub at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon. He is also author of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique.