A Kleenex, a Band-Aid, and a Dark 'n' Stormy

by Conor Friedersdorf

Greetings, old friends -- care to catch up over a drink?

My summer beer recommendation is Negra Modelo, the best Mexican brew by a wide margin. Peel back the gold foil, insert a lime wedge and enjoy. Or if you'd rather a summer cocktail, might I recommend the Dark 'n' Stormy? I've long served the dark rum and ginger beer concoction at parties, though I hadn't any idea that it is a registered trademark.

Mixologist Jacob Grier, a talented cocktail blogger, set me straight, noting that the precise ingredients of the drink are dictated by the company that owns Gosling's Black Seal Rum, and why that matters:

Of the few cocktails that are trademarked, most are the gimmicky concoctions found in chain restaurants and tourist spots. The Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a rare trademarked cocktail that craft bartenders care about.

This would all be of merely intellectual interest if not for the fact that a competing rum company, Zaya, ran an ad in the most recent issue of Imbibe recommending its 12 Year Estate Rum in a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. According to the New York Times... Gosling’s plans to take action protecting their trademark.

Mr. Grier's mixed emotions about the case are worth your while.