Remix: Dark and Stormy

We made a Dark and Stormy for a recent party and rather than make the usual recipe (it's becoming rather ubiquitous in Chicago lately) we decided to deviate a bit. The result? A definite crowd-pleaser.

Rhubarb Dark and Stormy
2 oz rum (dark is traditional, but we used a spiced and it was fine)
1/2 oz rhubarb syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
3-4 oz ginger beer
grated ginger

Add all to an ice-filled collins glass and roll to a shaker tin and back to the collins glass. Garnish with a dash of rhubarb bitters.

Make the rhubarb syrup: use one cup sugar, one cup water and 2 stalks chopped rhubarb. Bring to a simmer, let steep, cool and strain.

Batching for a party:
2 cups rum
1/2 cup rhubarb syrup
1/2 cup lime juice
2.5 bottles of 12oz bottles of ginger beer
1 tsp grated ginger
Several dashes of rhubarb bitters

Add all to a pitcher and stir. Pour into ice-filled glasses.

Notes: We made the rhubarb syrup because of the accompanying bitters. The bitters gives the drink a nice depth. You can experiment with other combinations like candied grapefruit peel syrup and grapefruit bitters or a blackberry syrup with Peychaud's bitters. Just pay attention to your citrus/sweetness balance.

We used grated ginger to up the spiciness, but not the sweetness. You can also make a ginger syrup or juice the ginger to get an even spicier taste. Our tasters like the subtleness of the grated ginger.

We also made a sugar-free version! Of course the rum still has sugar, but you can replace the sugar in the syrup with truvia (or any other sugar-substitute, following the directions on the packet for amount to sugar ratio) and use diet ginger beer to get a lower-calorie version. I'm not advocating this (you could taste the dietiness), but for all those ladies riding the "skinny girl" wave, you might want to give it a try. The ladies at the party really love it.

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