As any sailor knows it’s good to avoid stormy seas. Except when it comes to the Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail, of course.
Created in storm-heavy Bermuda in the 1800s, this drink has a connection to the sea and the men and women who work and play on it. For the ginger beer to use, Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew makes for smooth sailing because it’s REALLY good.
A small batch ginger beer, Uncle Waithley’s is made with fresh, flavorful, all-natural ingredients (not extracts) that are balanced in the way only a true mixologist could do it. That’s because it was devised by a mixologist, Karl Franz Williams, restaurateur and owner of Harlem’s 67 Orange Street and New Haven’s Anchor Spa.
Mixed with excellent rum – having no Gosling’s Black Seal on hand I instead used Ron Zacapa No. 23 – it makes for an outstanding drink that was noticeable with the first taste. The quality of both ingredients was obvious and I particularly enjoyed the peppery, spicy flavor to the ginger beer, which was the perfect compliment to the dark Zacapa.
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You see, Uncle Waithley’s is uniquely enhanced with Scotch Bonnet, a pepper prized throughout the Caribbean and Africa for its heat and flavor, which produces the spicy flavor. Uncle Waithley’s is the only authentic Caribbean ginger beer with Scotch Bonnet on the market today.
“After years of looking for the right ginger beer for my bars: one that tasted fresh and natural but with a nuance that I had only tasted in the Caribbean, I decided to make my own,”Williams said. “My team and I spent real time iterating and developing until I felt we had a ginger beer that would truly honor its namesake and my inspiration: my grandfather, Uncle Waithley.”
Uncle Waithley was a ginger farmer who was passionate about health and made his own ginger beer. He lived to be 100 years old, by the way.
Uncle Waithley’s launched in Whole Foods Market Harlem in January, and quickly became a top seller, outselling other ginger beers 10 to 1. Uncle Waithley’s was recently added an Amazon store. Williams also signed a deal with Vintages Bequia to bring Uncle Waithley’s home to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The MSRP is $8.99. It is also available at Boisson and on-premise at 40+ bars and restaurants in the New York tri-state area.
Ginger beer, if you did not know it already, is extremely good for you. It is a powerful anti-cancer agent, is an anti-inflammatory and is even good for the liver.
The history of the Dark ‘n Stormy is that it was created in Bermuda, where stormy seas have claimed more than 300 ships. In fact, it is known as the shipwreck capital of the world. In the early 1800s, James Gosling managed to steer a chartered boat through the rough conditions, eventually established Gosling’s rum there and since ginger beer was already being produced on the island, it did not take long for the two beverages to merge into a cocktail.
Legend has it that the name came from a sailor who compared its color to the stormy clouds of the seas. Today, it is the unofficial drink of the Bahamas and the most ordered cocktail at Harry’s, a very popular bar and restaurant.