Last month my husband and I dropped the kids off at Grandma’s house and headed east for a much needed mini-holiday sans babies. We landed in Halifax early Saturday morning and were met by my brother, Christopher, who drove us another hour and a half west, to his new home town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. He and his lovely lady recently decided to leave the hustle and bustle of Toronto and migrate to this quaint fishing community. And although I am all for adventure, I was extremely curious to see how this drastic lifestyle change was going to work for the two of them.
After just three days of visiting, I see the appeal.
Over the course of our visit, we packed in as many laughs as we could, loaded up on as much fresh lobster as physically possible and engaged in plenty of smile-rich local conversation. From the pub, to the restaurants, to the small businesses, everyone was so kind and eager to share their personal stories of life on the coast. I found myself quickly falling in love with the pleasantness and pace of it all. My husband recognized that twinkle in my eye and was keen to remind me that work in our technical fields is hard to come by in these parts, but if I were willing to trade my love of fine wine and rich cheese for a life on the open water he’d consider moving. He clearly won that battle – he just knows me (and my addiction to expensive cheese) too well. Uprooting my gang to the east coast may not be happening tomorrow but I’m so glad my brother has found a home within it, a home with a pull-out couch.
Quite a few times over the weekend we heard the slogan, “Lunenburg: a drinking town with a fishing habit”. Yar har har. I personally didn’t witness any abuse, if anything there seems to be a more sophisticated appreciation for alcohol with the vast selection of eateries, bars and the local distillery, IRONWORKS. One thing was certain, residents loved this drink called a Dark ‘N Stormy, as it was featured as THE house drink in nearly every establishment we visited. The curiosity of this thirsty traveler was struck.
A Dark ‘N Stormy is a highball cocktail traditionally made of dark rum and ginger beer, served on the rocks. Originating in Bermuda, this is the signature drink of Gosling’s Bermuda Black Rum. The Dark ‘N Stormy gained popularity through the sailing community up and down North America’s east coast, having been brought home by various sailors who frequented Bermuda. For the past several years, Gosling’s has been a sponsor of the annual yachting regatta Chester Race Week in Chester, Nova Scotia. The Dark ‘N Stormy is the special drink of the night each year, made with ginger beer brewed by local Halifax, NS brewery Propeller Brewery.
I brought an appreciation for this cocktail home with me. With the abundance of severe weather patterns we’ve seen these past few weeks, it’s a great bevvy to sip, watch the rain and nurture all of the safety that dry land offers. Try it for yourself, taste the history, and discover how a simple 2-ingredient cocktail can be the star feature of nearly every bar and restaurant across the east coast.
Note: Don’t confuse ginger beer with its timid cousin, Ginger Ale. Ginger beer packs a punch that requires the tenacity of a true sea man. Only the power of a rich, sweet rum can tame this taste bud tantalizer, and it does – well.
Dark ‘N Stormy
Time to make: 2 minutes
Makes: 1 Cocktail
- 1 oz rum (Gosling’s Black Seal is most traditional but you can replace for the rum or spiced rum of your choice)
- 3 oz ginger beer
- Lime wedge for garnish (optional)
1. Build the ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice cubes.
2. Garnish with the lime wedge .
Many thanks to Chris and Kari for being such gracious hosts, and to everyone we met in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for making us feel so at home. Looking forward to seeing you again soon! Dane xoAdd to favorites