HISTORICAL LIBATIONS BECOME A NATIONAL DRINK. Some contend the biggest news of 1805–1806 was Napoleon’s coronation as the King of Italy. Others might point to Lewis and Clark’s victorious return to St. Louis. But ask any Bermudian, and it was James Gosling’s voyage from England to America aboard the Mercury, a ship brimming with wine and spirits. Or, more precisely, the serendipitous becalming of said ship, forcing James to put it ashore in Bermuda, whereupon he promptly opened up a shop and put down roots. Eventually, the distinctive black rum destined to be Black Seal was created and offered for sale — though it wasn’t called Black Seal back then. In fact, up until World War I, it was only sold from barrels; folks brought in their own bottles for a “fill up.” Later, it was sold in champagne bottles reclaimed from the British Officer’s Mess and the corks were re-sealed with black sealing wax. Before long, everyone was asking for that “Black Seal” rum. Fast-forward seven generations. Today much of the world has discovered Bermuda’s pride and joy. Its deep, luscious flavour has even earned Black Seal Rum the coveted Platinum Medal from the renowned Beverage Testing Institute. Bermuda’s national drink, the Dark ’n Stormy®, deserves some of the credit, too. This zesty, refreshing mix of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer has taken the U.S. and Europe by, well, storm. Not to be outdone, the notorious Rum Swizzle blends both Gosling’s Black Seal Rum with Gosling’s Gold Bermuda Rum plus certain juices to capture the taste of Bermuda in a glass. It’s so popular, the island even has its own Swizzle Inn! James Gosling would be proud. His ancestors still produce and purvey the family’s unique Black Seal Rum, as well as an ultra-premium Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum. There’s now Gosling’s Gold Bermuda Rum; a proprietary Stormy Ginger Beer — in regular or diet — to create the perfect Dark ’n Stormy; and even a new Dark ’n Stormy ready-to-drink canned product. And all have been chosen as the official libations of the 35th America’s Cup race!
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