Lately, Q Ginger is hands down my go-to mixer. Have you tried it? It’s the ginger-lover’s ginger ale, delivering an earthy bite without the coughing fit that comes with some of the bolder ginger sodas out there.
I almost always have a bottle in my fridge to mix with gin and a little lemon or lime, or vodka and lime if I want a makeshift Moscow Mule. (Note to self: BUY COPPER MUGS). I know, I know: Q Ginger is ginger ale, not ginger beer, the latter of which is required to make a proper mule. But apparently the lines between the two have become blurred over the years, so it’s more a matter of personal taste than what’s on the label.
I’ll take Q Ginger in my mule over most of the ginger beers out there, partially because it’s got nearly half the sugar of a ginger beer like Gosling’s. It also probably costs three times more than Gosling’s. Us cocktail fiends have to choose our battles, I guess.
If Q Ginger is my go-to mixer, then the below version of a Dark and Stormy is my go-to cocktail of choice lately. Some friends from Madison, Wisconsin, gifted me a bottle of Cane & Abe Small-Barrel Rum from Madison’s own Old Sugar Distillery. It’s smooth, oaky, and delicious on its own, as I’ve come to learn while enjoying the signature drink in the distillery’s onsite bar: the Standard. The cocktail is simply a glass of this rum served on ice and garnished with a wedge of lime, “Just like the Pirates used to drink.” It’s delicious, but absolutely deadly when you and your friends have hopes to hike later in the day. Three rounds of that will derail any proactive plans.
The Dark and Stormy-ish, which pairs Cane & Abe with a hefty dose of fresh lime juice and ginger ale (or beer), is a lighter option when you want an effervescent rum drink that won’t send you into a stupor.
Dark and Stormy-ish
- 2 oz. dark rum
- Juice from half of a juicy lime
- Q Ginger
- Lime wedge
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the rum and lime juice and give it a quick stir. Top with Q Ginger. Garnish with a lime wedge. Simple simple!
Obviously this is a Dark and Stormy-ish since we’re technically using ginger ale instead of ginger beer, but it’s also a bit off the wall with its liberal inclusion of lime juice. I think it really brightens up the drink, but you can always use less or omit it.
What’s your go-to cocktail of late?