The Only Summer Drink You’ll Ever Need

The Only Summer Drink You’ll Ever Need

Well, you might need Gatorade in some instances.  I guess I should’ve been more specific: “The only summer cocktail you’ll ever need.”  Anyway, it’s great to be back in NYC after a horrific week on the West Coast: incredible weather, an abundance of terrific Mexican food, an unprecedented winning rush in Vegas.  Glad to get back to sweatshirt weather.  Awesome.  Anyway, I am back.  For a bit.  Heading back to Atlantis in mid-June – who’s in???

Side note: you know your blog has reached a level of prominence when the New York Times is duplicating content.  

“A Chili Sauce to Crow About” –

“The Single Greatest Condiment In The World” –

Coincidence?  I think not.   

The presence of summerish weather, albeit largely absent from NYC at the moment (I’m betting we skip the tolerable springlike three weeks and head straight to the hellish inferno weather that sparks riots amongst normally law-abiding subway riders and takes the always-aromatic trash smells to another level of olfactory distress) has caused me to shift to summer drinking mode.  Granted, in Vegas I stuck to my caffeine/urinary tract infection formula, shifting between vodka Red Bulls and vodka cranberries.  But, back at home, I have just made myself the perfect summer beverage.  This cocktail is delightfully simple, yet agonizingly difficult to find the proper ingredients for.  I am speaking, of course, of the Dark and Stormy (technically it’s a “Dark N Stormy” but that looks a little lowbrow in print for such a sophisticated website).

There are only four ingredients, and two of them are commonly found in many households:

  • 1 glass (to put the other ingredients into)
  • Several ice cubes (to cool the ingredients that are kept in the glass)
  • Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • Goya Ginger Beer

Behold, the liquid ingredients as you would (hopefully) find them on store shelves:


Not as easy to accumulate as you'd imagine
Not as easy to locate as you'd imagine



If you are unfamiliar with Ginger Beer, it’s like root beer, but with a spicy kick.  Non-alcoholic.  That may sound a little gross – although a huge fan of spicy food, I generally am not a fan of spicy beverages like Bloody Mary’s or Sweaty Lumberjacks – but trust me on this.  The ginger beer is critical to the deliciousness in play here.  It’s shockingly refreshing by itself, too – just make sure it’s cold as shit.  The problem with ginger beer is that the quality varies wildly from brand to brand – about as wildly as the quality of the chicken vindaloo at your local indian haunt.  That’s why this is a value-added blog: I’ve tried basically every ginger beer already.  Most of them are too sweet, lacking the necessary bite to take the edge off of the rum, or just bland overall.  Not so with Goya brand GB – that shit packs a punch.  It’s a bit hard to find, and, as benevolent as I am, I’m not about to tip off my source in NYC as availability is sketchy as is.  Hint: if your local grocer has a substantial Goya section, take a look on the bottom shelves to see if they have a couple rows of GB pushed back from view a little bit – sometimes sneaky bastards like to obfuscate availability for their own future access.

Now, to the recipe.  Similar to my refusal to conform to accepted socal norms regarding times to wake up, go to sleep, or eat pasta, I believe that proper cocktail ingredient ratios evolve over the course of an evening.  My preferred approach to the DNS preparation is to have the SO make the first round.  This batch is weaker and has the amber color of a fossilized mosquito pendant (translation: a little rum, a little more ginger beer).  I’ll make the next few rounds, ending up with something that looks like a glass of tar with light orange highlights.


The finished product
The finished product



Drink more than 3 Dark and Stormies at your own risk, they offer one of the worst hangover experiences out there.  But it’s worth it.  Recipe for a strong, dark evening: drink Dark and Stormies while watching The Dark Knight and eating dark meat chicken.  Maybe some dark chocolate for dessert.  I suppose you could read some of The Dark Phoenix Saga too.  OK, that’s enough of that.

Sciene alert: when checking out ginger beers, look for the ingredient capsicum.  That’s what makes it hot.  Somehow they get the heat out of a chili pepper without the chili pepper flavor.  I would like to know how many Scoville units the Goya GB puts out.  Hmmm….after reading the Wiki entry, I feel morally obligated to include the sentence below, lest I cause an anal leakage epidemic along the lines of the launch of WOW Doritos.

“The fruit of most species of Capsicum contains capsaicin (methyl vanillyl nonenamide), a lipophilic chemical that can produce a strong burning sensation in the mouth (and, if not properly digested, the anus) of the unaccustomed eater.”

Yikes.  I think that happens only rarely with Dark and Stormies, though.  Totally worth it, though, if it were to happen.



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