The warmth and friendliness of the local Bermudians is legendary and visitors to the islands are offered a level of hospitality that's hard to beat. As with anywhere new, the way to discover the authentic heart and soul of this wonderful place is to eat, drink, dance, talk, listen and experience as much as you possibly can. |
With that in mind, in the spirit of adventure and good manners, what better way can you think of to gain a tasty dose of local culture than by sampling the unofficial 'national drinks'? As is to be expected with their long heritage of rum production, two of the favourite tipples are rum-based: the evocatively named Dark 'N Stormy, and the lively sounding Rum Swizzle.
A Dark 'N Stormy Night
Never mind the eternal sunshine, it's always a good time for a Dark 'N Stormy. Firstly, be warned though: it's not the genuine drink unless it’s made with the local Gosling's Black Seal Rum (or so they claim!) and, in fact, the company has trademarked the name of this simple mixed drink.
The Dark 'N Stormy comprises a tall glass of ginger beer over lots of ice, then 2 oz. (aka a good slug!) of dark rum floated on top, stirred until the storm brews (it goes cloudy), then garnished with a wedge of fresh lime. Depending on who tells the story, the name comes from the 'dark' rum and the 'stormy' ginger beer, or, in a more whimsical version, from a salty old seaman who declared the drink was “the colour of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under”. Either way, it's like gathering up the invigorating spirit of Bermuda and distilling it into a refreshing ice-cold drink – delicious!
Sizzle With a Rum Swizzle
The Bermuda Rum Swizzle is so good they invented its own stick to stir it with! While you may have tried a Rum Swizzle before, you've been short-changed until you try the genuine one, invented right here back in 1932. It may seem like a simple blend of rum and fruit juice, but it's all in the way it's 'swizzled' – apparently!
The drink consists of equal parts dark and light rum (officially 1 oz. of each); 2 oz. each of pineapple and orange juice; a dash each of Grenadine and Angostura Bitters; and orange, pineapple and a maraschino cherry to garnish.
Then, it's swizzle time! All the ingredients need to be mixed together in the way that only a swizzle stick can. Originally, this stick was made from a twig of an allspice bush and fashioned into an implement with three prongs – today it will more likely be made from caterers' stainless steel.
Discover the Best Cocktails
Discovering the best Rum Swizzle and Dark 'N Stormy on the islands is a personal quest nobody should have taken away. Your Bermuda accommodation may have its own onsite cocktail bar, but here are a few other names we can drop that might give you a head start.
Sea Breeze Terrace at Elbow Beach Resort: Elbow Beach is one of the most prestigious names in Bermuda accommodation, and its fabulous Sea Breeze Terrace epitomises what the islands are all about. Sipping a cocktail overlooking the panorama of the Atlantic Ocean as the sun slips below the horizon could well be one of the most memorable experiences you'll ever have. Top it off with tapas under the stars and it definitely will be…
Cocktail bar at The Reefs: Dress up and go thirsty to the cocktail bar at The Reefs to experience the sublime hospitality and views of this famous beachfront resort – another contender for the ultimate in luxury Bermuda accommodation. Set into limestone cliffs overlooking a delicate pink sand private beach, the Aqua Terra Bar serves up creative cuisine and expertly made cocktails with breath-taking ocean views.
Swizzle Inn: No prizes for guessing the signature drink of the Swizzle Inn, and if you want to sample one in the place it was actually invented, you've come to the right place. The bar still lays claims to serving up the best in the business, and past celebrity patrons include Bob Hope and Michael Douglas.
The decision is yours…
John Dixon is Managing Director of Prestige Holidays and visits Bermuda at least twice a year. He has been providing luxury Bermuda accommodation as well as luxury holidays to many other destinations worldwide for over 30 years.
Related Articles -