There is no doubt that Bermuda’s national drink, or most celebrated drink, is rum. And Gosling’s – the company that blends and distributes rum – is a household name. To cut a longer story short, Gosling’s rum dates back more than 200 years ago when James Gosling, the oldest son of wine and spirit merchant William Gosling, set out on a sea charter from England to America. Aboard the ship Mercury was ten thousand Stirling worth of merchandise – a lot in those days! But they ran out of time and the charter expired after three months, forcing them to stop in Bermuda. They never continued on to America and several years after arriving in Bermuda, James and his brother set up shop. Later, after years of experimenting with different blends, Black Seal – Gosling’s flagship 80 proof Bermuda Black Rum – was available to purchase.
Today, Gosling Brothers holds the trademark for the popular Dark ‘n stormy cocktail – a concoction of Gosling’s Black Seal dark rum and ginger beer. It’s a must try for any visitor to the island, as is the rum swizzle (the main ingredients being rum, fruit punch and bitters – though there are different combinations available).
But in Bermuda, of course rum wasn’t just made for drinking… why just drink it when you can cook and bake with it too??? Rum cake is a popular sweet treat. While I’m not the world’s biggest rum fan, rum cake is quite moist and sweet and there are loads of flavours to choose from (all with rum). I tried a coconuty lemon one which was pretty tasty.
Rum flavoured ice cream is also popular with ice cream being handmade on the island. There is no shortage of rum inspired flavours to try from ice cream producers here – from dark ‘n stormy and black rum and raisin to rum swizzle and black rum and ginger. If it goes with rum, you can be sure there is a flavour available.
Rum isn’t just used for sweet things though. The local version of a fish chowder – considered to be a national dish – has rum in it! Why not?! It’s more tomatoey in colour (and I assume flavour) than the traditional white sauce fish chowders back home. I’m yet to try the local version (it’s been too hot to order soups), but I will give it a go over the cooler months.
Last week I forgot to mention that Tropical Storm Karl didn’t turn into too much – just a lot of wind (but nothing damaging). This week we have Tropical Storm Nicole acting in a rather drunk fashion (maybe she’s had too much rum) and taking and erratic path in Bermuda’s direction. She is forecast to come close to Bermuda on Thursday and increase to a category 1 or 2 hurricane. With this in mind, I better make sure we have enough rum in the cupboard!
Kiwi in Bermuda