Food & Drink

How to Make a Dark and Stormy + Cigar Pairing Recommendation

How to Make a Dark and Stormy Cocktail – Plus Recommended Cigar Pairing

By John Pullo

It’s the start of a million mystery novels: “It was a dark and stormy night.” And now, it’s the start of your next Advisor-approved cigar pairing.

Books weren’t the inspiration for this Bermuda-born cocktail; it was a bunch of British sailors who, about a century ago, thought it would be interesting to see what happened when they mixed rum with their home-brewed ginger beer.

The Dark and Stormy drink is typically thought of as a warm-weather drink; it’s also a great substitute for a Bloody Mary as a Hair of the Dog, as the ginger beer serves to soothe an upset stomach just as well.

If you’re ready to whip up a stiff and sea-worthy drink that’ll make you feel warm on the inside, and enjoy our Oliva cigar pick to go with it – this Dark and Stormy recipe is an easy-to-follow guide to satisfaction.

The Dark and Stormy Cocktail Controversy

The Dark and Stormy drink is the stuff of lawsuits…depending on how you spell it. If you see Dark’n Stormy®, it will have been made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum; Gosling Brothers registered that spelling of the name in 1991, and have been known to file lawsuits to protect their turf. But it’s hard to keep a good thing under wraps – evidenced by the International Bartenders Association thumbing their noses at the Establishment, and using two apostrophes (“Dark ‘N’ Stormy”) in their interpretation of the drink. Other variations avoid the name altogether, calling the drink a “Safe Harbor” or something equally as cautious and discreet. For our purposes, we’re calling what we make – and what we’re pairing our cigar with – a Dark and Stormy.

Interesting Dark and Stormy Cocktail fact: if you use vodka instead of rum, you’ve made a Moscow Mule.

Balance is the key to success, when learning how to make a Dark and Stormy: namely, the ginger beer’s spice versus the richness of the rum. Don’t be afraid to play with the ingredients a little. But be aware that the ginger beer adds a much-desired kick – so don’t think you can get away with using ginger ale in this Dark and Stormy recipe.

Ready to get your sea legs?

Leaf’s Best Dark and Stormy Recipe:

  • 1 scoop of ice
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • 4 ounces of Ginger Beer
  • 2 ounces of Myers’s Dark Rum
  • wedge of lime

Here’s how Chad does it here at Leaf Restaurant and Cigar Bar:


How to make a Dark and Stormy, the Leaf way: start by adding a scoop of ice to a highball (aka Collins) glass. Add the ingredients, in order as above – lime juice, ginger beer (go slow to save the carbonation) and Myers’s rum. Add the rum slowly, so it sits as a dark layer on top of the ginger beer’s stormy bite. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Dark and Stormy Drink and Cigar Pairing: Oliva Baptiste

Oliva has some of the top Nicaraguan tobaccos in their arsenal – and they’re not at all afraid to use it, as evidenced by our review of the Baptiste. The filler and binder tobaccos provide a kick that’s pretty dark and stormy by itself, and have rolled them under a cover of Ecuador Habano wrapper that gleams with natural oils. Then, this cigar is treated to a soft oval press for extra flavor and feel.

The tasting notes lean to the intense side: pepper, earth, espresso. And all of them lip-smackingly good, with a sweet aroma.

Oliva Baptiste how to make a dark and stormy cocktail

Flavors: earth, spice, aged cedar, sweet tobacco, black coffee, white pepper.

How It Smokes

The cold draw – or pre-light – is a spot-on preview of things to come: a full, well-balanced combo of the notes we’ve listed above, tinged with a slight citrus note (think orange peel) that is a nice complement to the lime juice called for in the Dark and Stormy recipe. The Baptiste is not the most complex of all of Oliva’s cigars; but being rich with those darker flavors and offering up a creamy smoke, it’s an excellent candidate for a pairing with the rum in here.

So while it may not be summer yet, it’s not too soon to learn how to make a Dark and Stormy – the unofficial drink of Bermuda – and ready yourself with an Oliva cigar that boasts full flavor in spades. And with the step-by-step instructions above to help make it all happen, the rest is up to you. Cheers!

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Steven S. Pitruzzello
Steven S. Pitruzzello

Only Bermuda Black Seal Rum will do! Nothing against Meyer’s, but it ain’t genuine!

John Pullo

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does he even have a beard. A solid 'B' student and occasional low-fi musician, John is a medley of cynicism and sarcasm crammed into a wrinkled Oxford shirt who makes it nearly intolerable to watch reality television with him in the same room. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones.

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