Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Summer Drinking: The Dark 'n' Stormy

dark 'n' stormyIn making the rounds this summer, perhaps you've noticed a few more Dark 'n' Stormy cocktails on drink menus around the city. We certainly have.

But we're not complaining — a good Dark 'n' Stormy is a great summer drink.

So it's no wonder that the New York Times noticed it as well.
“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare famously asked. In the case of the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, a Bermudan cocktail that’s been making a quiet resurgence in New York City bars and restaurants in the last couple of years, it’s two ounces of Gosling’s Black Seal rum and a fizzy hit of ginger beer.

And, by law, nothing but.

That’s according to two trademark certificates on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which — in an exceptionally rare instance in the cocktail world — dictate the precise ingredients and amounts required to call a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, well, a Dark ‘n’ Stormy.

“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.”

But a trademark-protected drink — especially one as storied and neo-classically cool as a Dark ‘n’ Stormy — seems anathema to the current bartending practice of putting creative individual spins on time-tested drinks. Drinks like this one undergo something like a wiki process: a tweak here, a substitution there, and the drink is reimagined.
So that's something.

A few places at which you can sample a top-tier Dark 'n' Stormy locally: Pub & Kitchen, Southwark, Chick's and an off-the-menu version at Oyster House.

Related:
Shaken and Stirred - The Dark ‘n’ Stormy from Bermuda Comes With Directions [ New York Times ]

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