I don’t remember when I first tasted a Dark N Stormy, but I do remember when I fell in love with them. It was over a long, sticky Memorial Day weekend five years ago. We were visiting Bermuda for the wedding of some dear friends and the national drink was prominently featured at their reception. The number of cocktails consumed is lost to the winds of time, probably better that way, but my devotion to the Dark N’ Stormy lives on.
Fast forward to a long plane ride earlier this summer with lots of cooking magazines in my carry on and this article in Bon Appétit on boozy floats. That’s when it came to me – my favorite summertime drink was just a scoop of vanilla ice cream away from being an amazing float. When the lightbulb went on I immediately felt silly that I hadn't thought of it sooner - it's so obviously a match made in heaven!
Personally, I’m devoted to the deeply spicy sweetness of Gosling’s ginger beer paired with the sharp sweetness of the company’s Black Seal Rum. Proportions below assume that you’re in it more for the float than for the booze, although you’ll notice from my photos that I used old-fashioned glasses and half the amount of ginger beer. The rum and the ice cream stayed the same, so you can see where my priorities are…
Dark N Stormy Float (serves 4)
Chill both the rum and the ginger beer; overnight in the refrigerator if you can. Assuming a hot day, take the ice cream out of the freezer 4-5 minutes in advance and allow to soften slightly, longer if it’s cold outside. If it’s a very hot day, chill the glasses too.
Fill the glasses with ginger beer leaving 2-3 inches of space at the top; 1 can will just barely fit in a pint glass but you'll need the extra space. Measure out 1 ounce of Goslings Black Seal Rum into a shot glass or jigger and gently pour onto the ginger beer so that the rum stays afloat at the top of the glass and there are two distinct layers. Using the back of a spoon will help.
Scoop a generous portion of ice cream (1/4 – 1/3 cup) into a roundish ball and place into the glass. Softened ice cream and an ice cream scoop will make this easier, but the results will be the same regardless of how perfect your technique is. Your preference here on whether your glass and appetite warrant a second scoop.
Repeat the process until each glass is full of foamy, fizzy ginger beer and ice cream. Garnish with a wedge of lime. Drink immediately!
Small Kitchen Friendly?
As easy as they come. To make the full recipe you’ll need four large glasses, a jigger or shot glass, ice cream scoop, spoon, paring knife and small cutting board.
So simple and so epically good I can’t believe I didn’t think of this combination sooner. I made a batch of these at cocktail hour on a sticky hot July night and they were just what the doctor ordered. Perfect for when it’s too oven-ish to eat, but a drink sounds juuust right. In my book the vanilla and ginger are perfect against the edge of the rum and acid of a small squeeze of lime. On a semi-topical note - I think that the foamy ice cream resembles those briny clouds that form along the shore. So, further nautical authenticity reasons to make this.