Rum is an important part of daily life on Bermuda, and locals have incorporated it all aspects of their culture. As a visitor though this locally made liquor is best served in the national drinks of Bermuda, the Rum Swizzle and the Dark ‘N’ Stormy.
Bermuda has a long history of rum, it started back in 1850 with Gosling’s Rum. One of the earliest purveyors of alcoholic beverages, the very first one actually, Gosling’s has come to define rum in Bermuda and is part of just about every local tradition, especially the cocktails.
The Dark ‘N’ Stormy is actually trademarked by Gosling’s and consists of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer over ice. The name is said to have originated when an old salt observed that the drink was the “color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.”
The antecedents of the Swizzle are as old as cocktail making itself and while several islands lay claim to a form of the drink, the original Rum Swizzle can only be found on Bermuda. The drink that gave name to the swizzle stick, the beverage is a simple mix of rum and fruit juice. On my last day on the island I had lunch at the Swizzle Inn, the self-proclaimed purveyor of the best Swizzles on the island where they mixed their first drink in 1932. I love the combination of the fruit flavors and rum, a tropical kick in the pants. Sitting on the balcony of the restaurant, sipping the Swizzle while chatting with friends was one of my favorite moments on the island.