Sailors and cocktail enthusiasts rejoice, this year June 23* 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.
*Goslings has been a family business since 1806 and people have always been at the heart of what we do. We had planned to celebrate International Dark ’n Stormy® Day on June 9, 2020 with our global community. Instead, we will celebrate this year on June 23 so our employees, partners, and customers can take time to reflect and to actively support the movement towards racial equality in the US. While our celebrations may be a couple weeks later than planned, one thing is for certain, our spirit will continue to rise for generations to come.
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
James Gosling Arrives in Bermuda
En route to America, James Gosling instead makes a home on Bermuda, and a rum-making legacy is born.
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.
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.
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.
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®.
Goslings Introduces Stormy Ginger Beer®
With the addition of Goslings own brand of ginger beer, the Dark 'n Stormy is completely in the family.
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
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!
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.
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
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®.
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.
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