Welcome back to “Cruisin’ with Dr. Boozin'”! Last week we talked about Sparkling Mojitos and Caipirinhas. However this week is where all the action is, this week we dive into Rum Swizzle versus Dark and Stormy and at last reveal why these articles have been titled “Cruisin’ with Dr. Boozin'”! Let’s get to it, shall we?
First let me talk about the Rum Swizzle. It’s a sweet and tangy fruit punch with rum, essentially. Wikipedia lists the ingredients as dark rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, and Falernum. Remember Falernum from “Making Zombies“? I used Wikipedia’s listing because it’s as good as any. When dealing with fruit juice rum cocktails you’ll find dozens of different ratios using a variety of different ingredients and they will all be called Rum Swizzles. What you need to know is that they are darn tasty. It’s also worth mentioning that speaking with people in Bermuda about Rum Swizzles is a great way to get in good with the locals. The woman who sold me my box of Rum Swizzle mix and other assorted tourist sundries eyes lit up when discussing Rum Swizzles with me and my husband. To the point where a line formed behind us and she just didn’t care. Bermudans are a Rum Swizzle loving people my friend. God bless them all.
However, if you’re looking to be viewed as a certified bad ass, a 100% non-annoying tourist, by bartenders and locals alike, you’ve got to order yourself up a Dark and Stormy. You may recall that on this year’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day I shared with everyone my favorite Dark and Stormy recipe. The Dark and Stormy got a lot of love that day from readers. The comment that I truly love came from Katherine, who pointed out that technically you need to use Gosling’s Black Seal rum to make a legitimate Dark and Stormy. I loved that one of my readers knew that! Well I am here to tell you that the recipe I provided makes one tasty, tasty cocktail, but having had a chance to reacquaint myself with the drink as made by Caribbean bartenders I can tell you, I got it wrong.
How was it wrong? It is really about ratios. The bartenders I dealt with used Gosling’s Black Seal rum and Gosling’s Ginger beer to make Dark and Stormies. Upon returning home from Bermuda I experimented and yes, Gosling’s Black Seal rum and Gosling’s Ginger beer or Barritts Bermuda Stone Ginger beer make the “truest” Dark and Stormy, but I still got solid results using my original pairing of Reed’s Ginger beer and Castillo Spiced Puerto Rican rum. The difference is, get rid of the pint glass and get yourself a 10 ounce-ish “juice” glass or tumbler. Fill said tumbler with ice, fill with ginger beer until near the top, then slowly pour a shot of your favorite rum on top to make it pretty. Although pretty you’ll want to stir it before drinking. If you care less about pretty, pour the shot in first and top it off with ginger beer, then it mixes itself for you.
Here’s the deal though folks, according to many (like Wikipedia) there is a debate about what drink is the “official” drink of Bermuda. Is it the Rum Swizzle or the Dark and Stormy? I’m not an expert, but pound for pound, or more appropriately, glass for glass, the amount of respect bestowed upon yours truly for ordering up a Dark and Stormy far out weighed the affection I was shown for a Rum Swizzle. The first night that we all went to the jazz bar on the ship I sat down and ordered a Dark and Stormy. The bartender gave me an impressed nod. When my parents joined us I ordered another Dark and Stormy my father did as well. My second Dark and Stormy showed up two degrees darker than my father’s. The down side perhaps of getting a bartender’s respect. After they left and I ordered a third one when some friends of ours joined us, the bartender said we were “cruisin’ with doctor boozin'” now. Oddly enough, on a different night there, with a different bartender, we were told we were “cruisin’ with doctor boozin'”. I guess a lot of bartenders have PhDs. Who knew?
As far as I’m concerned, the Dark and Stormy will always be the big winner. Look at it here. That’s a sexy looking drink. No sissy looking umbrellas or fruit skewers. The Dark and Stormy, if not the “official” drink of Bermuda, it’s certainly the official drink of Rebecca.