Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: The Purple Prose of Cocktails

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, August 19th, 2015, by Tim Driscoll

Ginger beer has two versions: one, that contains alcohol, originated in England in the early 1700s and is still popular today, as evidenced by two excellent area businesses that make the brew: New City Brewery in Easthampton and Ginger Libations in Greenfield.

The other is non-alcoholic and is great in cocktails. Two famous beverages come to mind — the Moscow Mule, which helped introduce vodka to the United States and consists of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice — and the one I prefer: the Dark ‘n Stormy, considered the national cocktail of Bermuda, that’s a blend of Gosling’s Dark Rum and its ginger beer.

Gosling’s began distilling its dark rum in the early 1860s in Bermuda, but it wasn’t until 2009, in partnership with Poland Springs of Massachusetts, that the company produced a ginger beer.

On a recent day, feeling both parched and hungry, I called my friend Mike and we met at Roberto’s Restaurant in Northampton, where we ordered a large “house special” pizza and drinks. Mike had a vodka tonic and I ordered the Dark ‘n Stormy. The pizza (topped with enough pepperoni to shingle a roof) was delicious and my cocktail was the perfect accompaniment.

Tim Driscoll is a bartender, a former bar owner and a perpetual student of mixology.
How to make a Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail

Serves 1

2 ounces Gosling’s Black Seal Rum

4 ounces Gosling’s Ginger Beer

Pour into a large snifter glass with ice and garnish with a lime wedge

How to make ginger beer

You can make ginger beer at home, using a 16-ounce flip-top bottle

1 ounce ginger juice
2 ounces fresh lemon juice finely strained

3 ounces simple syrup

10 ounces warm water

Champagne yeast

Put the liquid ingredients into the bottle and add approximately 25 granules of yeast. Flip the cap closed and set aside in a warm, dark place for 48 hours. Refrigerate after 48 hours to stop the process.