The Dark ’n Stormy is a classic drink featuring dark rum, ginger beer and lime that is associated with sunny islands and sailors. The Chinese 5 Spiced Dark ’n Stormy, however, hails from Portland, Oregon. It was created by bar veteran Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and it tastes a lot more complex than its two-ingredient recipe suggests.
Morgenthaler starts with Gosling’s Black Seal rum, sticking true to the original cocktail’s chosen spirit base. But he infuses the rum with Chinese five-spice powder, a flavorful blend that typically includes cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and cloves and is meant to encompass all five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. The powder, which is commonly used in some Chinese cooking, adds a welcome zing to the otherwise straightforward cocktail. It complements both the rum’s sweet spices, stewed fruits and vanilla and the ginger beer’s spicy heat.
The infusion yields a full bottle of doctored rum, so you will have plenty at your disposal. Make a batch the night before you entertain some friends, and you can quickly make everyone drinks by mixing the rum and ginger beer in a tall glass. They will be impressed at the cocktail’s intricate flavor, and you’ll be content knowing that you did the bare minimum—simply adding a teaspoon of spice to a bottle of rum.
2 ounces Chinese-five-spiced rum*
Ginger beer, chilled, to top
Garnish: lime wedge
Chill a Collins glass and fill with ice, then add the Chinese-five-spiced rum.
Top with the ginger beer.
Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with a straw.
*Chinese-five-spiced rum: Using a funnel, add 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder to a 750 mL bottle of Gosling’s Black Seal rum, and shake vigorously. Let sit for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight. Strain the rum through a coffee filter set inside of a large strainer into a bowl, then funnel the strained rum back into the original bottle.