Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hello, Hurricane Irene

Image courtesy of Reuters.
Today, Massachusetts is expecting the arrival of "greatly weakened" Hurricane Irene - most likely reduced to a tropical storm by the time it reaches us. Nonetheless, today there is no public transportation. Torrential, sideways rain. Violent wind. Since I have no desire to leave the house and possibly get my head staved in by a falling tree, I have decided that the approach of Irene warrants a couple of recipes appropriate for the day. Just for shits and giggles.

That means, of course, the Dark 'n' Stormy and the Hurricane.

The Dark 'n' Stormy was created in Bermuda sometime after WWI, and its recipe i
s actually protected by trademark. According to Jonathan Miles's article in the New York Times, "The Right Stuff (By Law)," a Dark 'n' Stormy has to be made with Gosling's Black Seal Rum. That's right. Current Gosling's owner E. Malcolm Gosling Jr. cautions that “People will try one with some other rum, and then say, what’s the big deal with this drink?”

That said, it is best with Gosling's rum, due to the rum's unique characteristics and dark hue. When I visited Bermuda, briefly in 2009, I had the opportunity (many,
 actually) to try these "on location." Though Gosling's was the only rum ever used, and Barritt's tended to be the ginger beer of choice, the actual ratios must have varied wildly because the cocktails would range from potent, strongly flavored concoctions to weak, watered-down affairs in cheap, plastic cups (see image below).

This sticks to the original ingredients, but with a slightly higher ration of rum than the Gosling's trademark "Dark 'n' Stormy®" calls for. I have been known to add a dash or two of Angostura Bitters to this drink, to pleasing effect. Don't sue me though.

The Dark & Stormy Cocktail
  • 2 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum 
  • Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer or Barritt’s ginger beer (both from Bermuda); or, any ginger beer with a snap. 
  • Lime wedge (I use about a quarter of a lime) 
Take your lime wedge and squeeze into a highball glass filled with ice. Add the rum, top-off with the ginger beer, and stir gently.

Okay, on to The Hurricane. Allegedly created in the 1940s by New Orleans tavern owner Pat O'Brien. Now, way down yonder in New Orleans, tourists drink these like water, in giant, 32-ounce to-go cups. "To go." Only in New Orleans. Of course, it is guaranteed that aforementioned tourists get soused and obnoxious and then do embarrassing things on Bourbon Street. I had a Hurricane in New Orleans. It was like Kool-Aid. It came in a giant cup. I refrained from having a second.

That said, I don't actually make this drink, so I can't recommend it or steer you away. It is here today because it is called the Hurricane. It is sweet. It has many ingredients. This particular recipe is taken from Dale DeGroff's fine book, Craft of the Cocktail. DeGroff enlightens us that:
According to Brian Rea, there were two versions. The first was a drink of the early twentieth century that contained Cognac, absinthe, and Polish vodka. The rum-juice combination appears to have surfaced at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, at the Hurricane Bar. I suspect that Rea is right - neither the drink nor Pat O'Brien's appear in the 1937 Famous Drinks of New Orleans, by Stanley Clisby Arthur.

The Hurricane

1 oz dark rum
1 oz light rum
1/2 oz Galliano
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz passion fruit nectar, or in a pinch, passion fruit syrup
2 oz fresh orange juice
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz simple syrup
Dash Angostura Bitters
Fresh tropical fruit for garnish

Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice. Add the garnish. Bottoms up! If Hurricane Irene doesn't blow us away, a couple of these sure will. 

1 comment:

  1. AAAAhhhh YES! You read our minds.
    I look forward to this evening's cocktail hour.

    Dark and Stormy's aside, the Hurricane sounds most revolting :)

    Cheers to you then!


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