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Dark and Stormy Cocktail ~ an Extraordinary Rum and Ginger Beer Drink

This is a classic dark and stormy cocktail with a delicious Cooks with Cocktails twist.  This gorgeous cocktail from Bermuda is made extra special with a spiced simple syrup that creates layers of flavor that will have your taste buds dancing.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail - an impressive three layered cocktail

Imagine serving this beauty to friends and family as they arrive at your house for a party.   It’s pretty impressive with three layers and doesn’t it just look so good with all those bubbles in there?!   You know just by looking at it that this one is going to taste good!  Refreshing, fizzy, and slightly sweet and spicy.  SO GOOD

The Cocktail Layers

The secret is that its really easy to make and the layers are even easier to create.  Stick with us and we will show you how.

  • bottom layer:  our spiced simple syrup
  • middle layer:  fizzy ginger beer
  • top layer:  dark rum

spiced simple syrup

History of the Dark and Stormy Cocktail

The dark and stormy cocktail has a long history that dates back to the late 1800’s!  It is one of the true old classic cocktails and its making a come back for a good reason.  Its dang good!

The dark and stormy originated in Bermuda where the Goslings family made a special rum and the British sailors made ginger beer.  Apparently they started brewing ginger beer to combat sea sickness and to try to keep the sailors off the grog.  Eventually the rum and the ginger beer was combined in one glass and because it was so delicious, the flavor combination stuck around.

According to a legend, the cocktail got its famous name from a WWI soldier who said that it was the “color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under.”  Hence, the Dark and Stormy.

The Classic Recipe

A classic dark and story cocktail is made with 2 oz of Goslings Black Seal Rum and 3 – 4 oz of fizzy ginger beer.  This is a recipe that the Goslings family is fiercely protective of and have gone so far as to trademark the recipe so that to have a true dark and stormy cocktail, it MUST be made with the proper rum.

pouring the simple syrup into the ginger beer two layers of the dark and stormy - the ginger beer and the spiced syrup

Our Version of this Cocktail

We have followed the rules in our cocktail in that we have used the Goslings rum and ginger beer, however we veered off the straight and narrow and added a spiced syrup that just enhances the flavors of both the rum and the ginger beer and it makes this cocktail all the more special.

The Spiced Syrup

Our syrup is full of spice!  Vanilla, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and lime to brighten it all up.   Its simmered together in a pot with water and sugar until it becomes all syrupy and fragrant.  Then its strained and set aside to cool.

stirring a dark and stormy cocktail

How to Make the Layers

The rest is easy!  To make the three layers of the dark and stormy cocktail:

  1.  pour the ginger beer into a glass first
  2. add the spiced syrup which will sink to the bottom of the glass
  3. hold a spoon upside down at the top of the glass just above where the ginger beer layer starts.  Pour the rum slowly over the spoon and watch the rum float on top.

This is where the magic happens!  You end up with a three layer cocktail that looks so impressive, it will knock the socks off of whoever you make it for!

Best Ginger Beer

There is a bunch of different kinds of ginger beer out there.  Some are really spicy, some are really sweet.  We like one that’s a little bit spicy and not too sweet.

We usually use Fentimans ginger beer and it was really great in this cocktail.  You can find it at more specialty grocery stores, like Whole Foods, or you can get it here on Amazon.  It’s pretty damn good on its own too!

Fever Tree Ginger Beer is another really wonderful ginger beer with a good spicy ginger kick that’s not too sweet.  You can find it at Whole Foods or on Amazon too.

Make these for a Party

To make these for a party, make the syrup ahead of time and store it in the fridge.  You might want to double the recipe…  Stock up on rum, ginger beer, lime and, of course, ice.  Can’t forget the ice!  I did once, and we all suffered…

Give it a stir before you drink it!

dark and stormy with all the layers stirred together

Tools You Need:

Other Rum Drinks  You Might Like

If you’ve tried this dark and stormy recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We LOVE hearing from you!

We love to see your creations!  Tag @Cookswithcocktails if you post a picture of this recipe on INSTAGRAM

Dark and Stormy Cocktail

This is a classic dark and stormy cocktail with a delicious Cooks with Cocktails twist.  This gorgeous cocktail from Bermuda is made extra special with a spiced simple syrup that creates layers of flavor that will have your taste buds dancing. 
4.50 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 245kcal
Author: Julie & Debbie



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 sticks cinnamon grate 1/4 of one stick into the mix
  • 30 whole cloves
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 1/4 tsp ground all spice
  • 1 vanilla bean cut in half and seeds scraped out
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger sliced
  • 3 oz lime juice


  • 2 oz Goslings Black Seal Rum
  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • 1 oz spiced simply syrup
  • lime for garnish



  • Add the sugar, water, and spices to a pot and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.  When it starts to simmer, turn the heat down to low and keep simmering for 10 - 15 mins or until the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.  Take it off the heat and let it cool. 
  • When it has cooled a little, strain the syrup and discard the spices.  Store the syrup in a jar or container until you are ready to use it.  Store it in the fridge if it will be longer than a day.  


  • Add some ice to a tall cocktail glass.  First add the ginger beer, then pour in the spiced syrup.  It should sink to the bottom. 
  • Hold a spoon upside down at the top of the glass, just touching the top of the ginger beer.  Pour the rum over the spoon slowly and the rum will stay at the top and create a rum layer.  
  • Serve in layers, but stir before drinking. 


Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Sodium: 24mg | Sugar: 30g | Iron: 1.2mg

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  1. This is the best dark and stormy I have ever had!!! this spiced simple syrup recipe is Da bomb!! it totally elevates this drink to another level! I use Fever tree ginger beer because it’s really spicy and Ive only used Myers Rum so far, which I love , but tonight i bought some kraken black spiced rum to try since I’m out of the spiced syrup. It’s good but I prefer it with the Myers and then I’m going to try gosling’s next 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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