dark and stormy
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
September 25, 2006

Kids, there are moments that define me as a geniune food psycho. By my own personal definitions, I'm now way beyond "foodie," "gourmand, "meglo-eater," and all those other titles.

I had this favorite drink, see, this perfectly, wonderful, refreshing drink that I teetotaled for the past three years. THREE YEARS! And why? Because I didn't have the perfect ingredients. The first Dark and Stormy ever to pass my lips was at this killer bar/restaurant on Mass Ave in Cambridge, MA. West Side Lounge opened up my mouth to the spicy, sweet wonders that defines this East Coast cocktail.

Soon my husband and I were whipping up Dark and Stormy's at home. Friends, relatives, cats, dogs, all delighted in this drink. We specifically used Black Gosling Rum, just as West Side did, and we searched around for the perfect ginger beer to use as the mixer. It couldn't be ginger ale (too sweet by half) and to that end, most ginger beers we sampled didn't have the kick of what was used at West Side. To whip up a brilliant Dark and Stormy, the ginger beer has to sting, burn, and fire up the back of your throat. You have to feel it in your nose and down your gullet. After going through several cases of weak stuff, pure and simple Goya brand ginger beer was our answer. It's opaque, nearly white in color, and perfectly stupendous.

Life was good for awhile. And then we moved to California.

Search we high and low, we could not find any Goya products anywhere. Despondent at the loss of Goya's nearly solid guava nectar, we were even more shattered at the loss of our Dark and Stormy's. I fell off the wagon a few times and sampled the cocktail at various restaurants and bars, but none had that quiet power. Dark and Stormy, BAH! They were more like Dim and Slightly Overcast.

A few months ago, I was brooding my way through the ridiculously brief international foods aisle at Andronico's and I noticed Belvoir Elderflower Pressť. (Elderflower water and syrup had become a summer obsession of mine, but that's another story.) After grabbing a few bottles of the floral drink, I checked out the other Belvoir offerings. Ginger beer? It's white, it's nearly opaque, and it's British, which, in my anglophile books, is always a good sign. I tentatively brought a single bottle home and gave it a taste. Oh, how it BURNED! My, how it STUNG! The tears flowed.

Without telling him anything, I sat my husband down and poured him out a glass of this miraculous stuff. "What's going on? What is this? Why aren't you saying anything? What's with the weird smile -- ooooh!"

People, there's no compromising on taste. Or food psychoticness.

Dark and Stormy
2 oz Black Gosling rum
6 oz ginger beer (the spiciest ginger beer you can find and stand)
1 lime quarter

The Shake: Pour the rum into the bottom of a highball or Collins glass. Add the ginger beer and squeeze in the lime. If you want to layer it, pour the ginger beer in first, then carefully add the rum. Be careful, though, because this way, the rum will all be sitting on top, but it does look cool -- like a dark and stormy New England horizon.

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