Dark and Stormy-ish

dark and stormy with Q ginger, cane & abe rum, and lime juice

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.

cane & abe small barrel rum for a dark and stormy

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?

guava mojito recipe

Guava Mojito Recipe

The mojito might be the most polarizing drink on the Internet. Stirred, shaken, or just plain poured? Simple syrup or sugar? And then, what kind of sugar—coarse or confectioners’? Is it okay to add a flavor?

So. Many. Questions.

Maybe one day I’ll subscribe to the whole “there’s a right and a wrong way to make a cocktail” mantra, but for now, I’m going with what tastes good. And if there’s one tasty cocktail that I’ve been jonesing for to remind me that summer still exists, it’s the mojito. More specifically, the delicious fresh guava mojito at Paladar Cuban Restaurant and Rum Bar in Logan Square. It was really love at first sip with that cocktail, and I’ve been unable to order anything else with my cuban sandwich ever since.

guava mojito recipe

To make my own version, I had every intention of buying a whole guava and trying to puree it in my blender. Unfortunately, Mariano’s produce department forsook me and I was forced to buy bottled guava nectar. The brand I bought, Hero, turned out to be pretty delicious, plus it doesn’t have any pesky high-fructose corn syrup.

guava mojito ingredients

I used Cruzan white rum, because apparently white rum is the one absolutely necessary component to a mojito—the brown stuff just won’t do. Feel free to play around with the proportions of this recipe or swap out the guava nectar for another juice.

Guava Mojito

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cane sugar (to taste)
  • 3 oz. guava nectar
  • 1.5 oz. light rum
  • Crushed ice
  • Soda water

In a tall glass, gently muddle together the mint, lime juice, and sugar until very fragrant. If you’re like me and don’t have a muddler handy, the back of a wooden spoon works just fine. Add a generous amount of crushed ice, then top with the rum and guava nectar. You can adjust the amount of sugar or guava nectar depending on your desired sweetness. Fill the glass to the top with soda water, and give it a quick stir. It might not be traditional or “right,” but hopefully it’ll be tasty and refreshing!

guava mojito recipe

Have you made mojitos at home before? Any tried-and-true tips or tricks?