International Dark 'n Stormy® Day – June 9, 2020

Tue Jun 9

Sailors and cocktail enthusiasts rejoice, this year June 9* is International Dark ‘n Stormy® Day. This delicious and potent highball was created in an accidental collaborative effort by a family of Bermudian rum makers (you know the Goslings, don’t you) and some seasick sailors. Members of the British Navy stationed on Bermuda in the 1920s brewed ginger beer as a remedy for seasickness. Some intrepid sailors began adding a dash of the Goslings’ locally made Black Seal Rum to the ginger beer, transforming a dizzy-tummy remedy into one of the most popular and widely-recognized cocktails to date. So pour yourself a tall glass of Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer with a topper of Goslings Black Seal Rum and raise a toast to the gifted minds who brought us this liquid masterpiece.

Five Fast Facts:

It has a specific recipe

While mixing other rums with ginger beer might taste good, a cocktail just isn’t a Dark ‘n Stormy® unless it utilizes the unique flavor of Goslings Black Seal Rum®.

Hall of Famer

The Dark ‘n Stormy was awarded #19 on 2020’s list of the World’s Best Selling Cocktails.

The Best Mixer Around

Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer® is the #1 Selling Ginger Beer Brand in the U.S.

The Taste of Bermuda

The Dark ‘n Stormy holds the title of Bermuda’s National Drink.

A Global Phenomenon

Goslings Black Seal Rum is exported to more than 20 countries. Making the Dark ‘n Stormy a truly global cocktail.

History of International Dark 'n Stormy® Day

It was a dark and stormy night…well, it’s more likely that it was a nice and peaceful day in the spring of 1806 when James Gosling — the eldest son of wine and spirit merchant, William Gosling — embarked on a journey from England to America with 10,000 pounds of merchandise. Unfortunately, after 91 days at sea, his charter ran out, so James and his crew decided to head for the nearest port: St. George’s, Bermuda. Instead of moving on from Bermuda to America, he and his brother Ambrose set up shop on King’s Parade Street in 1824. Over the years, the Gosling family perfected their blending technique until they created their unique black rum, originally referred to as “Old Rum” up until World War I. In the early 1900s, they began packaging their rum in repurposed champagne bottles and sealing them shut with black wax. From that moment, the rum became widely referred to as “Black Seal.”

In the 1920s, the family’s rum caught the attention of Royal Naval Officers who were brewing their own ginger beer. They added a hefty splash of the dark rum to their sparkling drink and accidentally created a delicious and iconic cocktail. According to legend, the cocktail got its recognizable name when an old fisherman claimed the drink had the “color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.” On June 9, 1980, the Gosling family trademarked the cocktail, protecting the integrity of the drink’s recipe the world over, and forever ensuring that a cocktail can only be advertised as an authentic Dark ‘n Stormy® if it contains the key ingredient – Goslings Black Seal Rum®.

International Dark 'n Stormy® Day timeline

1806
James Gosling Arrives in Bermuda

En route to America, James Gosling instead makes a home on Bermuda, and a rum-making legacy is born.

1824
Bermuda's Wine and Spirit Merchants

Ambrose Gosling arrives to Bermuda and he and his brother set up shop on King's Parade Street in St. George's, Bermuda.

1920s
A Storm is Brewing

British Royal Naval Officers tried adding Goslings Black Seal Rum to their ginger beer — an old sailor claimed the drink looked just like storm clouds.

1950s
Tall, Dark, and Handsome

Francis “Goose” Gosling (6th generation) designs signature Black Seal logo. The name is officially changed from “Old Rum” to Goslings Black Seal Rum.

1980
A Proper Cocktail

The Gosling family trademarked the Dark 'n Stormy cocktail, mandating that the only way to list it is with the use of ginger beer and Goslings Black Seal Rum®.

2009
Goslings Introduces Stormy Ginger Beer®

With the addition of Goslings own brand of ginger beer, the Dark 'n Stormy is completely in the family.

2012
Dark 'n Stormy In a Can

Gosling releases a ready-to-drink Dark 'n Stormy in a can in the U.S. making this beloved cocktail even more enticing.

International Dark 'n Stormy® Day FAQs

Are you supposed to mix a Dark 'n Stormy®, or should the rum float on top?

Traditionalists will insist on floating the rum on top of the ginger beer, but depending on your bartender, a Dark ‘n Stormy is presented either layered or mixed. Don’t be afraid to gently stir it upon consumption so that each sip gives you the perfect amount of rum and ginger beer every time. Or, you can purchase Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail pre-made in a convenient 8.4oz can — no mixing required.

What's in a Dark 'n Stormy?

The correct way to make a Dark ‘n Stormy is also technically the only way. In a tall, ice filled glass, pour 6 oz of Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer and top with 1.5 oz of Goslings Black Seal Rum®. Use any other brand of rum, and you no longer have a Dark ‘n Stormy. Lastly, and optionally, garnish your refreshing drink with a lime wedge.

Why is it called a Dark 'n Stormy?

Legend has it that the classic cocktail got its name after an older fisherman compared its murky hue to the color of dangerous storm clouds that no one would dare sail under.

Does ginger beer have alcohol in it?

No, ginger beer, like its milder sister beverage, ginger ale, is non-alcoholic. But they make great mixers for alcoholic cocktails. 

International Dark 'n Stormy® Day Activities

  1. Enjoy a glass (or can) of the refreshing cocktail

    If you're celebrating International Dark 'n Stormy® Day, then it's only a given that you indulge in the deep and sparkling flavors of a Dark 'n Stormy. Whether you like it layered in a glass or in Goslings quick and convenient can, the only way you can go wrong is by not drinking it at all!

  2. Dress up as a sailor

    The Dark 'n Stormy is the sailor's drink of choice, so it's only right that you take on the part of a sailor after drinking one...or two. However, please drink responsibly, just because you're dressed as a sailor doesn't mean you have the alcohol tolerance of one. Trust us, we know.

  3. Create Dark 'n Stormy Cuisine

    Ginger, rum, lime, these are all wonderful flavor profiles for a myriad of culinary concoctions. Try your hand at baking Dark 'n Stormy cupcakes, or blending some Dark 'n Stormy ice cream.

Take The Are You Dark Or Are You Stormy? Quiz

The Best Bars In The World To Try A Dark 'n Stormy®

Why We Love International Dark 'n Stormy® Day

  1. We get to drink our favorite cocktail

    When there's a full day dedicated to the creation of our favorite cocktail, it's only right that we take the time to indulge. It's called being festive. Whether you're a professional mixologist or just play one at home, nothing could be simpler than mixing up a Dark 'n Stormy®.

  2. A drink with history

    This cocktail comes with a story — the more we learn about it, the more we love it. How many other cocktails can say they're the sailor's drink of choice? Probably not many, because they can't talk, but you know what we mean.

  3. It stems from a family business

    There's something about a family business that lets us know that everything was created with care, attention to detail, and affection. The Gosling family has been in the rum making business for over 200 years, and as they've grown into the rum company that we all know and love today, they've maintained the integrity of their one-of-a-kind Bermuda rum.

International Dark 'n Stormy® Day dates

YearDateDay
2020June 23Tuesday
2021June 9Wednesday
2022June 9Thursday
2023June 9Friday
2024June 9Sunday