for me, one of the best things about summer is outdoor drinking. normally, my tastes are simple. i prefer bourbon over ice, gin and tonics, or good beer. once the weather gets warmer, however, i get a little more adventurous.
i make myself wait each year until after memorial day to mix up my first dark & stormy. it is, by far, my favorite cocktail – deep, spicy, complex and really simple to make.
i don’t like to suggest using a specific brand when it comes to food and drink, but in the case of a dark & stormy, i think it’s necessary. first, the rum: absolutely use goslings black seal bermuda rum. you can find it at most liquor stores. for the ginger beer, it is a matter of taste. my favorite is stewart’s brand ginger beer because it is darker and has a real bite to it. (my dad, who must get credit for introducing this drink to me, only uses stewart’s ginger beer). the traditional choice is barritts ginger beer. you can use others if you can’t find these – reed’s is a little too light for my taste and i don’t think it works. or you can make stephanie’s homemade ginger syrup, and pour this over the rum with seltzer. add lime if you have it. sip outside, preferably sitting on a porch on a warm summer’s night.
also, i made micheladas for the first time this past weekend. i’ve been thinking about making this drink ever since i enjoyed them at the hotel san jose in austin. this version is ‘cubana style’, without tomato juice. i found their recipe online here, and i am certainly going to mix them up for friends on my roofdeck this summer. in a glass, you combine fresh lime juice, ice, tabasco, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and ground black pepper. salt the rim of the glass with kosher salt, and pour over a mexican beer (i think modelo is good). stir and enjoy. (you’ll know that it is spicy enough if your lips burn a little after the first few sips).