The Dark ’n Stormy is a classic highball, a spicy-sweet mixture of ginger beer, lime and dark rum. That simple base means it has plenty of versatility to work with for adaptations and variations while its retaining the core identity. A simple change can be to swap the rum for another spirit, or add an additional ingredient to change the flavor profile, but other variations can be more dramatic.
One such take on the consummate gingery rum highball is the Isaiah Rynders. The drink is named for Captain Isaiah Rynders, who lived in New York City through the 19th century. A political heavyweight and member of the Tammany Hall group, Rynders regularly engaged in voter intimidation, election fraud and political violence, even helping figures like former presidents Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan rise to power.
Like its namesake, the Isaiah Rynders packs quite a punch. Rather than rum, the drink calls for two kinds of Irish whiskey, an homage to Rynders’ heritage and the political groups he ran with. In particular it calls for Jameson Black Barrel, a version of the famed Irish whiskey that’s aged in twice-charred bourbon barrels. It also gets half an ounce of Connemara cask-strength peated Irish whiskey, a smokey, high proof spirit that adds some extra oomph to the drink.
While the recipe doesn’t call for ginger beer, it still gets some spice and herbs by way of Cardamaro, an amaro made with cardoon and blessed thistle, along with other botanicals. A number of dashes of Orinoco bitters from the famed New York City Irish bar Dead Rabbit (whose name comes from a 19th century criminal organization that Rynders was aligned with), some ginger syrup and tamarind chutney, which can be found in grocery stores, round out the spices and botanicals in the drink. Lime juice brings some much-needed acidity, and for carbonation the drink is topped with vanilla soda.
- 1 1/2 ounce Jameson Black Barrel Irish whiskey
- 1 ounce Cardamaro
- 1/2 ounce Connemara cask-strength peated Irish whiskey
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 3/4 ounce ginger syrup
- 3 dashes The Dead Rabbit Orinoco bitters
- 1/2 tsp tamarind chutney
- 1 splash vanilla soda
- Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg
Add the Irish whiskeys, Cardamaro, lime juice, ginger syrup, bitters and taramind chutney into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
Top with the vanilla soda.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.