We love easy cocktails. Maybe two, three ingredients max, stirred in a glass or shaken over ice.
The easiest cocktail you can make combines ginger ale or ginger beer and a spirit of your choice. Traditionally, this includes citrus juice and is called a “Buck” though lately, bars like to serve it in a copper mug and call it a “Mule.” This is due to the popularity of the Moscow Mule which is basically a buck made with vodka.
In college, I enjoyed a take on the Horse’s Neck. Traditionally a nonalcoholic combination of ginger ale and orange or lemon. I would add a healthy brace of whiskey, usually Wild Turkey, in an Oby’s cup and hit the tailgate.
But enough about me. This is about Bucks, the cocktail.
A rum buck has many names. A Singapore Buck uses white rum where as other variations generally sub in the origin of the rum, i.e. a Bermuda Buck. If you use Gosling’s Black Seal, the drink is called a Dark ’N Stormy. That is by law as Gosling Brothers Ltd. has trademarked the name and has been known to get litigious about it. It is one of a handful of trademarked cocktails joining the Painkiller and Sazerac. Kind of demanding for such a simple drink. The bottle even suggests that enjoyment is “mandatory.”
The drink was invented in Bermuda sometime after World War I. The original recipe even specified the ginger beer, Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Barritt’s is still available but there was reportedly a falling out and now Gosling’s claims you can use any ginger beer and even sells their own.
According to Gosling’s website, the drink got its name when an old sailor was served the drink and remarked on the drink's ominous look.
He said it was the “color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.”
The drink is well balanced with ginger beer cutting the candy sweetness of the dark rum. While the recipe does not call for lime juice we really recommend you give that lime garnish a squeeze.
Despite the tropical ingredients list, it is a drink that is both up to the task of refreshment for hot months and fortification for the cooler months coming up. A few ounces of apple cider can even be added to give it a fall flair.
We hope you enjoy this rum classic; after all, enjoyment is mandatory.
These directions have been taken verbatim from the Goisling’s webstie: “Into a tall glass filled with ice, pour the ginger beer and float the rum on top. Stir (until it looks like a storm cloud). Optional garnish: Lime wedge.”