The Dark ’n Stormy is a beloved highball for its zesty, peppery and rich profile. A mixture of Gosling’s blackstrap rum and ginger beer with a splash of lime, it’s an easy drink to throw together, and an easy to drink to tweak, with bartenders across the world creating their own variations on the classic.
One such variation is the Jacq La Ginger. Adapted from The Bluffton Room at Hilton Head Island in Bluffton, South Carolina, the drink is named for the famed female pirate of the Caribbean, Jacquotte Delahaye. Thought to have been born in Saint-Domingue in 1630 to a French father and Haitian mother, she was known for her fiery red hair, for which the drink is partially a pun on—the “Ginger” in Jacq La Ginger refers to both it and the ginger beer in the drink. The most popular legend attached to her name is that she faked her own death at one point, and when she returned she was known as Back From the Dead Red; there are even a few wines and beers named for that moniker.
Originally, Delahaye also gave her name and image to the rum used in the Jacq La Ginger: Redlock spiced rum from Hilton Head Distillery, also on Hilton Head Island. That particular rum has since been rebranded as simply Hilton Head Distillery Spiced Rum, so the connection isn’t quite a robust as before. Nevertheless, like the Dark ’n Stormy’s requirement of being made with Gosling’s blackstrap rum, it’s not really a Jacq La Ginger if it’s not made with spiced rum from Hilton Head. However, if that’s unavailable, another high quality spiced rum can do the trick, especially one heavy with vanilla, allspice and nutmeg like Hilton Head.
Normally a Dark ’n Stormy calls for just a splash of lime juice to add some tart acid, but the Jacq La Ginger calls for two full ounces of grapefruit juice. Though sweeter than lime juice, it still brings a lot of acid to the party, which means some sugar is needed to balance it. In this case, a brown sugar syrup, rather than simply syrup, adds in some of the familiar Dark ’n Stormy richness that blackstrap rum normally does.
Finally, like any Dark ’n Stormy, this recipe calls for ginger beer. It’s worth noting that ginger ale, which is a flavored soda, is distinct from ginger beer, which is naturally fermented with real ginger.
- 1 1/2 ounces Hilton Head Distillery spiced rum
- 2 ounces grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce brown sugar syrup
- Ginger beer, chilled, to top
- Garnish: dill sprig
Add the rum, juice and syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
Top with the ginger beer and stir gently and briefly to combine.
Garnish with a dill sprig.