2124 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis
Sometimes a simple rum drink can make a summer evening sublime. The Hot Dish has always had a soft spot for The Sample Room, so we headed to Nordeast. The patio is admittedly adorable, but our preferred place is a seat at the bar. Ordering the Dark-N-Stormy, a Bermudan staple, we hoped our sweaty blues would soon melt away.
[jump] The Dark 'n' Stormy is an oddity in the drink world, as it is trademarked by the Gosling company and has specifically dictated ingredients (best explained in this NYT article). However, The Sample Room serves their own version of the classic with Nicaraguan Flor de Cana rum (and dashes, not apostrophes in the name) mixed with the very proper Gosling's Ginger Beer. The only other additions to the combination are ice and a piece of lime.
Their rum upgrade improves on an already well-balanced drink. The ginger beer smooths out the rum and the bubbles gently lighten the entire mixture. It brings to mind the sea, which is appropriate as sailing networks likely popularized the drink style, bringing it up the eastern seaboard from the Caribbean.
For this hot summer, The Sample Room's Dark-N-Stormy is a good way to quench and cool off. Sure, sit on the patio if you choose, but The Hot Dish will be inside by the bartender, sipping this rum cooler and hogging the A/C.