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Bring a bit of sweetness to the classic dark and stormy with a touch of vanilla. Infused with spicy ginger, this makes for a cocktail that's worth giving as a gift. See method
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Put the sugar, chopped ginger, ginger syrup, ground ginger and 150ml water in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla seeds and pod, and stir to infuse. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Strain the sugar syrup into a jug and discard the chopped ginger and vanilla pod. Add the rum and lime juice. Strain into a sterilised* bottle. Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To serve, put 65-80ml of the dark and stormy mixture into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 secs, then strain into a highball glass with more ice and a slice of lime. Top up with ginger ale.
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*To sterilise the bottles, wash with hot, soapy water and rinse. Dry in the oven for 25 mins at gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C. Boil screw caps or rubber seals for 10 mins, then leave to dry.
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