Monday, May 23, 2011

Cupboard Cleanout: homemade dark & stormy

This is one of a series of Cupboard Cleanout posts dedicated to using up those odds and ends we all have laying about the pantry. It's a pantry liquidation sale— everything must go!

I'm sure many of you can relate to this when I travel, I bring home food instead of souvenirs. That's how this homemade Dark & Stormy came to be. Behold:

An unopened bottle of Brugal's aged, dark rum, which my husband won in a chess tournament on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.

Yup, you read that right. A chess tournament. On our honeymoon, people. While this awaited him:

And this:

And this:

I digress. When I found this lovely little bottle in the back of our shelves the other day, two thoughts crossed my mind: a) what better way to celebrate our anniversary than with this reminder of our honeymoon! and, b) if we drink this now, it'll be one less thing to carry down two flights of narrow stairs when we move out. (I'm a romantic and a pragmatist.)

This homemade Dark & Stormy isn't made with ginger beer, as most areinstead, I made a brown sugar-ginger syrup, whose molasses-y richness blends perfectly with the dark rum. A hint of lime takes me back to those crystal-clear beaches.

Happy anniversary, sweetie.

Homemade Dark & Stormy

2 ounces dark rum
4-6 ounces soda water
2 ounces brown sugar-ginger syrup (see below)
½ -1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice

Blend the ingredients together over ice in a highball glass, adjusting for sweetness and tartness. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Brown Sugar-Ginger Syrup
Makes about 1 cup

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup water
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3-ounce piece ginger, peeled if you like, and chopped into large chunks

Toss everything into a medium saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over medium hear, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your preference for the strength of the ginger. Taste the syrup every 5 minutes or so, as the strength of the ginger flavor will strengthen over time. Strain and let cool before using; store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.


  1. In my defense, the chess "tournament" consisted of me playing one staff member in a single game (no one else showed up...this isn't really helping my cause is it). But after losing my queen and having the staff member up to two queens, I still won! So I deserved that rum! Besides, look at how great a gift it made for our anniversary!

  2. Great choice of rum! I make a delicious punch out of the Brugal Anejo

  3. I love this! Such a good idea to have a series of 'Cupboard Cleanout' posts! I love this kind of thing. And your blog in general is just beautiful.