Friday, May 28th, 2010

What To Drink When The Weather Gets Warm

WHERE TO DRINK ITSummer: it turns me upside down. Summer, summer, summer: it's like a merry-go-round. It was true for Ric Ocasek many years ago and it's true for the rest of us today, because Monday is Memorial Day, so here comes summer!

"Summering. Drinking. Summering and drinking. For the prep, the two words are synonymous from Memorial Day to Labor Day." -Tipsy in Madras

Summer drinking is a fantastically elaborate endeavor among the set that uses "summer" as a verb-there are drinks you drink at the club (Southsides), drinks you drink while getting ready for Saturday evening charity balls (known as "dressers," they can be whatever you fancy, usually a beer for men and for ladies something made with soda water), drinks you drink in the wee hours after the black tie is over, when the bar you went to afterwards has played "God Bless America" to signal last call, and you've all congregated at the home of whoever volunteered to host late-night (Jack & Ginger, and then later, when you've run out of ginger ale, Jack rocks). And then there's the drink you drink on a boat.

This is the cocktail that screams summer more loudly than any other, howling through its lockjaw, "Jolie! Summertime is upon us! Throw on a Lilly and grab your Boat and Tote, we're going out on the Seas the Day!"

I speak, of course, of the Dark and Stormy.

Or, as it's more fondly known, the Stark and Dormy.

Have one or two and then try to ask for a third coherently. Go on, I'll wait.

Right, so! Stark and Dormy it is: this incredibly delicious and for whatever reason incredibly intoxicating mix of dark rum, ginger beer and lime.

Purists will tell you that you must use Gosling's rum. And actually, the sort who gets tetchy about the specific type of rum one must use in any given drink will more than tell you-they'll insist in a horribly superior way, sniffing in your general direction, "Everyone knows the only rum that's acceptable in a Dark and Stormy is Gosling's. Only a rube would use a lesser brand."

Purists have no particular place in our world, now do they?

I say go on and use that Meyers! Get wild with some Whaler's! But whatever you do you must promise me-PROMISE ME. I WANT TO HEAR YOU SAY IT.-that you will NOT use Captain Morgan's in your Stark and Dormy.

Look, we all love a jaunty captain. Particularly one with those fresh buckled boots and swishy cape. Still: his product is abhorrent. Ick, spiced rum *makes face* And also? We're not making Stark and Spormies.

As for the ginger beer, those insufferable purists have an opinion about that too! And just to annoy them I'm not going to tell you what it is! I will, however, tell you that Trader Joe's carries Reed's ginger beer and if it's good enough for Trader Joe it's good enough for me. (I do need to take a moment to speak directly to the fine folks at the Reed's: Your recipe for Dark and Stormies calls for light rum. Light rum. LIGHT rum. Ah yes, we're clear on the problem now? Can we get that fixed?)

Now that we've discussed our primary ingredients, let's turn our attention to most important topic: Ice.

I have a conflicted heart on the subject of ice and summertime cocktail assemblage. I'm predisposed to prefer a crushed ice to a cubed ice for mixed drinks (and can we pause here to engage in a bit of collective EXCITED CLAPPING!!! in celebration of the glory that is crushed ice? Good God damn, I do love crushed ice.) but crushed ice, with its delicate constitution, suffers terribly in the hotter months. After giving the matter more thought than I care to admit, I've decided to prescribe two approaches and let you decide which is best for you, based on the speed at which you drink and your relative level of alcoholism:

1. Use crushed ice and serve in a lowball glass
2. Use cubed ice and serve in a highball glass

Speaking of glassware: If you're enjoying this cocktail on a boat (and my God, you really, really should be) please remember that safety comes first-use plastic glassware. Hush up, yes, I call it plastic glassware. Oh goodness and?! You should know that you can get personalized plastic glassware (and my God, you really, really should) which will allay concerns about those terribly common red SOLO cups clashing with your pastels.

With our safety warning out of the way, let's make some drinks, shall we!?! Gather 'round and listen closely, because you'll be tested on this: Put some ice in a glass. Pour rum over ice. Top with ginger beer. Squeeze a lime wedge and drop it into the glass.

(Officially, the drink should be 1 part rum to 4 parts ginger beer but I can't even type that with a straight face.)

To help you get into the spirit of preppy drinking, and to heighten your enjoyment of the summeriest drink in summertown, I've made you a playlist of sweet songs to slur along to.

A Stark and Dormy Summer Playlist: Songs for Drunken Boating

"Southern Cross," Crosby, Stills & Nash
"Your Love," The Outfield
"Stir It Up," Bob Marley & The Wailers
"Sugar Magnolia," Grateful Dead
"Glad Tidings," Van Morrison
"Bad Moon Rising," Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Caught Up In You," .38 Special
"Take It on the Run," REO Speedwagon
"Second Hand News," Fleetwood Mac
"Don't Do Me Like That," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
"I'm Goin' Down," Bruce Springsteen
"Since You're Gone," The Cars
"So Far Away," Dire Straits
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)," John Parr
"Already Gone," The Eagles
"Burning for You," Blue Oyster Cult
"Abracadabra," The Steve Miller Band
"I Can Dream About You," Dan Hartman
"Sussudio," Phil Collins
"Friends in Low Places," Garth Brooks

Jolie Kerr is very pro-"summer"-as-a-verb.

Photo by Camilla Bradley.

139 Comments / Post A Comment

HiredGoons (#603)

Captain Morgan's is for NASCAR fans and 'Girls Gone Wild' I WILL NOT HEAR OTHERWISE.

Matt (#26)

And people who use the term 'bro' WITHOUT IRONY.

HiredGoons (#603)

Hemp necklaces ksssssssss!!!

Art Yucko (#1,321)


Grant G Brown (#3,366)

Why the hate all over 'bro', MattJokerFace?

I kid. Let's not get into that again.

Matt (#26)

I just prefer 'brah' is all.

Jolie, may I recommend to you "Drunk in Madrid" by Joyce Elbert as an alternative to "Tipsy in Madras"?

jolie (#16)

You may! I will def look into it ( I have a Barnes & Noble coupon burning a hole in my wallet even!)

BadUncle (#153)

Right! On! The Dark and Storym is my drink of choice whenever the temperature goes above 65 degrees.

And while a Gosslings partisan, I think you can use just about any black rum (and there are some great ones from Hawaii).

Just. NEVER. Spiced.

saythatscool (#101)

What's your recommended drink for someone who uses "choad" as a verb?

roboloki (#1,724)

captain morgan. neat.

BadUncle (#153)

@STC: It depends on whether you're "choading" abroad.

saythatscool (#101)

Well she told me her name was "Susan" and she has the most beautiful Adams Apple I have ever seen on a woman. So yeah! I'm gonna choad her tonight.

In my book, the greatest summer song will always be "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club. But only because I spent probably the happiest summer of my life listening to it.

gumplr (#66)

I am similarly partial to some Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass, though this is best saved for terra firma lest WHOOPS man overboard during the madcap dancing above deck.

HiredGoons (#603)

@gumplr: possibly one of the best albums ever – I found a mint condition vinyl at a garage sale for $3 and clutched it to my bosom like the Holy Grail.

gumplr (#66)

Weird Al's Food album + Butch Cassidy + Dolores Erickson = Perfection

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

gumplr knows his shit!

pbr (#4,890)

Any particular album for listening-while-summering? I am a huge fan of his Christmas Album, but that seems inappropriate.

Chuck Lovett (#5,233)

If you like that song you should check out its misogynistic rap remix featuring Mac Dre

Not to get all 90's and all but gumplr=hero

Folks who summer listen to Garth Brooks? And CCR? I find this extremely surprising!

Also, you should know that the Gosling's folks are a very litigious sort, as they claim to have actually invented the Dark & Stormy. (Don't think they have any claim on the Stark & Dormy, though, so you're totes in the clear!)

Annie K. (#3,563)

I just know more recipes are going to be on offer, so I'll start:
1 orange, juiced
1/2 grapefruit, juiced
Campari until the juices turn a soft sunset color
vodka if you want to get serious

I don't know what this is called, but it's a thing of joy and its loveliness increases.

SquarePeg (#1,098)

**Call me.

#56 (#56)

I love Campari in the summer. Add a bit of soda and a lime wedge. mmmm

@Annie K.: In my New England enclave, the unwritten rule is "when in the sun, no juice-based drinks." It's a good rule.

oudemia (#177)

@56: Me too. And you can just keep drinking them!

On the other hand, those pre- or post-boating drinks? Fruit juice all the way, particularly if you're dealing with a vicious hangover incompatible with sun-and-yachting.

A bartender on the Cape introduced me to a thing called a Corpse Reviver #2, which is just the ticket. Equal parts gin, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau, and lemon juice over ice, strained, with a drop or two (at most) of Pernod and a cherry. It inspires confidence.

It's wonderful! Like the most potent lemonade you've ever had. It's actually a brunch staple for me at Clover Club (where they claim to actually use real absinthe) — so I've never associated it with the summering crowd.

BTW, there's also a #1. Though the fact that I don't remember what's in it means that it didn't really make too much of an impression.

@DorothyMantooth: When you wake up in a hot, stuffy beach house with the sun already starting to bake through the blinds, the Corpse Reviver #2 will perform as advertised.

Warning: it may overperform. You will be so filled with the spirit of life that you may be inspired to drink another one — at which point you will only be fit for going back to bed, angry at everyone else for MAKING SO MUCH NOISE GETTING READY FOR THE BEACH.

Annie K. (#3,563)

@Gef: whyever not drink juice drinks in the sun? I never heard of such a thing.

@Annie K.: I asked that same question and got something about "the juice ferments in your stomach and makes you sick," which seems biologically improbable at best but does have a grain of hard-won truth.

Annie K. (#3,563)

@Gef: well ok then. To be honest, I mostly drink this drink on my porch. It's a summer porch-sitting drink.

@Gef: It is truly incredible for a hangover! The first one'll get you through the rough part. And the second will ensure the smoothest ride ever through the afternoon. It's really day drinking at its finest!

As for the juice thing, I personally just find most juice-based drinks to be so sweet as to be cloying when it's hot out, so.

Grant G Brown (#3,366)

I'm a food scientist. The problem with juice is that it dilutes the alcohol, thus reducing the effective intoxication per unit consumed. However, it also is high in fructose and other synthetic sugars, which can increase the effectiveness of alcohol (see: ciders). The effect is one of perfect nutritional balance.
(I'm not really a food scientist)

Annie K. (#3,563)

@Dorothy: This one isn't sweet because of the grapefruit juice.

@Annie: It sounds lovely, actually. But I could see where it might be sweet? I have just about zero sweet tooth, though…

Annie K. (#3,563)

Double the grapefruit juice. Whoooo, zing!

kneetoe (#1,881)

Not to mention "What Do We Do With a Drunken Sailor" but feel free to come up with your own version.

HiredGoons (#603)

I have a few ideas.

kneetoe (#1,881)

Few ^ ideas?

RickVigorous (#214)

It is Fleet Week, have at em!

oudemia (#177)

I dated a drunken sailor for a while — as in a naval officer who was always, always drunk. I did lots of stuff with him, but you had to drag him away by his epaulets before he got too drunk to do anything with (not "to," because I'm a feminist.)

HiredGoons (#603)

I enjoy both doing things 'with' and 'to' people, as the situation warrants.

cherrispryte (#444)

I know at least 4 verses to this song.

oudemia (#177)

@CS: Ha! Me too — although at some point I always end up segueing into "47 Ginger-Headed Sailors."

Matt (#26)

Steely Dan is CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT on that playlist.

hman (#53)


Rectified at the end with Reelin' in the Years:

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

Perhaps Jolie is subtly suggesting that there will be no terrible cocaine addictions to ruin her drunken boating.

Bad sneakers and a Pina Colada, my friend.

Bittersweet (#765)

Can one wear a fez with one's Lilly?

hman (#53)
johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Guilty pleasure!

C_Webb (#855)

I would add "Pressure Drop" by Toots and the Maytals, and a dulcet shout-out for the shivery pleasure of a well-limed G & T.

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

Seconded on the G & T. I once went to the post-wedding fête of a high school friend in the height of summer, sauntered up to the bar and asked for a G & T, only to be met by a blank stare. Clarified, "Uh, gin & tonic?" and heard the unimaginable words "WE DON'T HAVE ANY GIN". No gin! At a party! in the SUMMER! Terrifying.

hazmathilda (#839)


hazmathilda (#839)

(and seconded on Pressure Drop!)

iantenna (#5,160)

all i need for summer drinking is a good michelada.

cinetrix (#47)


DainCurst (#3,377)

Truth! Summer is all about calling people from a cold bath, drinking Lillet and lemon with Steely Dan on, until you can find someone to drive you to a beach. Steely Dan is the best for summer bathtub drinking!

DainCurst (#3,377)

No, Matt, I meant to engage in Steely Dan dialogue with you. Drats.

Annie K. (#3,563)

I don't know from Steely Dan. I know, but never mind. BUT Lillet and lemon! So friendly and insouciant.

Matt (#26)

Steely Dan would also work on the drive to the beach and during joints on the beach and on the drive back from the beach and drinking 'til you pass out in a sunburnt haze on your stoop/patio/deck/fire escape after the beach. Steely Dan is pretty versatile.

cherrispryte (#444)

1) This post should be about Gin and Tonics. Shame, Jolie. Shaaaame.

2) Forealz, my boat and tote is all packed and sitting next to me! (Red straps, name on the side.) I also have an appropriately large hat.

3) The only music allowed on the sailboat, unfortunately, is one Jimmy Buffett CD. I think I could sneak some Grateful Dead or CCR on there, though.

4) Could we all please take a moment to acknowledge the superiority of sailboats over motorboats.

5) My god I need to get out of the office and on my way!

roboloki (#1,724)

sailboats are far superior to stinkboats

riotnrrd (#840)

Re: #1, I know, rite? The classic getting tipsy on your boat (or at the lake property) drink is the G&T, easy on the tonic and extra lime. Not only is it classic, delicious, and refreshing, but the ingredients can be bought anywhere, even at the little store where you buy your bag of ice before getting on board the Seaward for the afternoon.

The Moscow Mule has become my recent favorite summertime drink — vodka instead of dark rum, but otherwise make just like a dark and stormy as above. If you're a lady, you can make it a bit more floral with a splash of St. Germaine.

Baboleen (#1,430)

If I still drank the gin I would agree. I LOVED them in the summer. I don't anymore so I drink the tonic with lime.

Baboleen (#1,430)

Alcohol, that is.

@riotnrrd: Don't call your mother the c-word.

Grant G Brown (#3,366)

@dorothy mantooth, extra points for both spotting the opportunity, then slamdunking the reference.

@cherrispryte: Yes to sailboats > motorboats, though there is something to be said for the endearing WASPiness of the Chris-Craft Launch 22.

jolie (#16)

@Cherri: gin makes me mean :(

riotnrrd (#840)

Everybody booze up and riot!

roboloki (#1,724)

jolie's recipes never disappoint. i must venture out for ginger beer.
i promise not to use spiced rum. if i discovered spiced rum in my home i burn it to the ground and not look back.

Good Playlist. Come early July I would add John Prine's silent night, all day long.

oudemia (#177)

To me, the sound of preppie summer is at least 50% those quasi big bands that travel around the northeast from swank beach club to swank beach club playing dinner dances so fabulously retrograde, you can almost smell the date rape.

dham (#4,652)

I once bought Gosling's Ginger Beer, thinking, "This is the official ginger beer of the Dark & Stormy, how can I go wrong?" Only to find out at home, that it is one of those dreaded ginger ales/beers that contains NO ginger! Just spices configured to approximate ginger. That is unacceptable. Reeds/Virgils/jamaican-cat-guy-soda, all of those are fine.

oudemia (#177)


riotnrrd (#840)

For my money, the best ginger beer for cocktails is Bundaberg. It's Australian and thus a little hard to find, but it has real ginger bite to it and just enough sweetness for a good cocktail. Damn, I need a drink

oudemia (#177)

There's also Blenheim Hot Ginger Ale.

cinetrix (#47)

Yes, Blenheim! But distribution would seen to limit this option to southeastern preppies. There is also another regional treat called a Red Blazer, which involves Cheerwine, rye, and bitters. The more you know!

cinetrix (#47)


Matt (#26)

@cinetrix: Oh my God that sounds AMAZING.

cinetrix (#47)

Oh, it is. Perhaps we'll interstate commerce some Cheerwine to the Commenters' Bawl.

HiredGoons (#603)

I said it before and I'll say it again: LL Bean bags are the Louis Vuitton luggage of New England.

oudemia (#177)

But with your own (or your mom's!) initials on!

gumplr (#66)

how does LeSportsac figure into this scheme?

HiredGoons (#603)

Uh… jolie will have to handle that one.

Le Sport Sac is definitely on the LP side of things. There's even a Lily Pulitzer line of Sport Sacs, which is one of those two-great-tastes kind of things, I guess.

I used a LeSportsac duffle during my summer spent living on a boat in Montuak.

oudemia (#177)

Well, the yachtie duffle extraordinaire is definitely anything branded with sail boat company shit or races — Hood Sails, Newport-Bermuda, etc.

C_Webb (#855)

@oudemia: poorer Preppies (not a contradiction in terms, these days) can get mis-monogrammed ones at the outlet in Freeport for a third of the price. No one needs to know!

HiredGoons (#603)

Don't tell others about the outlet!

cinetrix (#47)

My southern friend, so amused by the sample pictured, got hers monogrammed "BAG." Win!

Enjoyable piece.

Stewart's ginger beer is the best, but I heard they don't make it anymore (as of a year ago maybe?)

But as far as Southsides go, Eric Felten in the Wall St. Journal had a piece, maybe 5 years ago (when he had a great column called How's Your Drink) about the origin of the drink that compellingly assigned its origin to the Southside Hunting and Sportsmen's Club on Long Island (a club that dated from the mid-19th century and became Connetquot State Park in the 1960s or 70s). Having said all that, I think it's an over-hyped drink.

kneetoe (#1,881)

How so over-hyped (I've never had one, even though usually when Jolie says to do something, I do it STAT)? Taste, intoxicating powers, or both?

The Black and Stormy has been surprisingly widely adopted by "serious" cocktail bars, which is absurd. Seriously, people, I am not paying $10 for one, no matter how many swizzle-stick-spears of candied ginger you stuff in the glass.

Annie K. (#3,563)

They do make Stewart's ginger beer. They do. I was just going to ask the ginger-beer (hyphen)experts where Stewart's ranked. I think, high. But maybe you have to come to Baltimore, Larson, to find it.

I was trying to find some and a few beverage distributors don't make it any more. It was made in Westchester county.

*said, that is, *told me, it was no longer being made. Sorry for confusion.

Over-hyped by people who like it. It's good, but just another sugary drink.

omitofo (#4,921)

If you are into vodka, I love a good Moscow Mule: vodka, ginger beer, lime wedge…and if you want to get fancy about it, find some candied ginger.

My post yachting summer drink is Mt. Gay and OJ with some Bobby Daren in the background.

brent_cox (#40)

What is the drink for wishing you were on a boat?

kneetoe (#1,881)

Cutty Sark, on the rocks?

Matt (#26)

@kneetoe: Yes.

brent_cox (#40)

Well then curse you, Makers Mark.

HiredGoons (#603)

What are peoples' feelings on the Long Island Iced Tea?

brent_cox (#40)


oudemia (#177)

Kein Freud, mehr Schaden

kneetoe (#1,881)

I worked on this issue earlier in my career, but at this point I'd have to update my research.

riotnrrd (#840)

Made right, they will put you under (the nearest willing partner). Made wrong, they taste like cheap bars in broad daylight, second-rate summer vacations and sadness.

oudemia (#177)

Oops. Keine Freude. Ich weiss nicht mehr.

Too much work.

cherrispryte (#444)

Easy on the rum and I'm only allowed 3 of them.

NB: I am on the bus! wooohoooo!

(oh i'm sorry, you all didn't want me to liveblog my trip north in the comments? TOO BAD.)

HiredGoons (#603)

I have issues with an alcoholic drink trying to taste like a non-alcoholic drink; like it's in the closet or something.

But yes, cherri: 3 of those will treat you pretty good. I know of bars that refuse to make them.

garge (#736)

From my experience, if it is called "top shelf" and the menu has more than two fonts, it is probably a mistake.

C_Webb (#855)

@HiredGoons: a long-last bar near my small liberal arts college used to have Long Island Iced Tea Night. It was Maine; they were brave. I used to write them checks, and I still have some them, since they (somehow) came back with my bank statement. Let's just say that by the end of those evenings I wrote like the adults on Charlie Brown talked.

brent_cox (#40)

Or that other thing.

So, here's the Stark & Dormy Summer Playlist… I love Jolie Kerr, and was feeling Service-y today:

Couldn't find the Van Morrison song on YouTube, so added Reelin' in the Years by Steely Dan.

jolie (#16)

Awwwwwww!!! Thank you so much!!

KeithTalent (#2,014)

Let's put Jackson Brown Running on Empty on the list.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

………………..I'm sorry, what was this thread about again? I passed out and woke up on a life raft with an empty bottle of Jameson. Took me 3 hours to get back to shore.

cherrispryte (#444)

*call me

katiebakes (#32)


She has many pictures:

They are all full of white people!!

jolie (#16)

@bakes: I google imaged "preppy woman on a boat" and a shot of Millers was returned. When I emailed her to tell her she reminded me of the White Wings series and gave us permish to use. Right???
@Hippity: I'm probably in a bunch of those

shostakobitch (#1,692)

The song by The Outfield is actually called "Josie" not "Your Love".

olegonzo (#3,922)

If that playlist were any whiter it would be accepted to a members-only yacht club.

JustMe (#5,093)

Tanqueray and tonic with a twist of Lime – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. OK I'm old school I admit it.

SourCapote (#4,872)


Crantastical (#4,127)

I regularly sail on the Potomac near DC & Dyke Marsh (yes, mock me) but only allow beer since a tragic gin and tonic fueled man over board. A friend slid off the bow into the stinky snake head infested waters and we had to hoist him back in by his boxer shorts, which resulted in an atomic wedgie. Entirely preventable.

Suzi Lea (#5,187)

Jolie, I contest this playlist. It's not near WASP-y enough. Also, I REALLY LIKE salty dogs on a boat. And I am currently purchasing some personalized plastic glassware.

Barritts Ginger Beer for the purist.

jolie (#16)


It's my own fault for being, like, 5 days late to this post.

I'll pay you back on the 17th.

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