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ERIN SULLEY: A taste of Bermuda - with rum

It’s the name of their signature drink but there’s nothing Dark’n’Stormy about Bermuda. (From left) Ryan Sulley, Angela Sulley, Erin Sulley, Paul Pickett. — Ryan Sulley photo
It’s the name of their signature drink but there’s nothing Dark’n’Stormy about Bermuda. (From left) Ryan Sulley, Angela Sulley, Erin Sulley, Paul Pickett. — Ryan Sulley photo - The Chronicle Herald

No matter where you travel in the world, there’s always a number of tourist attractions to lure you into the taste of a new culture.

A range of “must-do” and “must try”, especially when it comes to food and drink.

“Travel and eat like the locals.” - Unknown

On the island of Newfoundland, we tend to lure people toward a traditional screech-in ceremony, a big feed of fish and chips or a plate of Jiigg’s Dinner.

Man, oh man, how I love a dandy feed of jigg’s!

While visiting family on the island of Bermuda, it’s always a toss-up between ordering their deliciously moist rum cake and a dark’n’stormy drink.

Heck, who am I kidding? It’s both every single time.

The main ingredient that ties these together is the island’s much loved Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.

It’s like I ordered it. Just as I was taking the photo, a storm started to brew. Thanks, Bermuda. – Erin Sulley photo
It’s like I ordered it. Just as I was taking the photo, a storm started to brew. Thanks, Bermuda. – Erin Sulley photo

Admittedly, I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed both the drink and cake because I’m not a rum cake or rum beverage fan. It’s never something I would typically order or make.

“Food is not just eating energy. It’s an experience.” – Guy Fieri

Bermuda’s rum cakes are unlike any other I’ve tried.

They’re absolutely bursting with flavour and super moist. As soon as you take a bite, it melts in your mouth and all the flavour bursts get woven in and around your taste buds. You can taste a hint of the rum, but by no means is it overpowering.

The Bermuda Rum Cake Company has a wide variety of flavours for tourists to drool over - everything from traditional lemon and vanilla rum cake, tea time rum cake, rum fruit cake and classic coffee rum cake.

It’s cake time. The Bermuda Rum Cake Company make the most delicious rum cakes in the world, hands down! – Erin Sulley photo
It’s cake time. The Bermuda Rum Cake Company make the most delicious rum cakes in the world, hands down! – Erin Sulley photo

I normally go for the chocolate rum cake as its decadent, but this time I decided to reach outside my norm.

I chose the small-sized rum swizzle, and rum and ginger cakes as the gentleman serving me said they would deliver a true taste of the island. How could I say no to that? It certainly didn’t take long to sell me after indulging in a couple of samples (OK, a few samples).

Yes, I’ll take them both, please, kind sir.

Note to self: if you plan on making a version of this cake, I should tell you that you must keep one thing in mind. There is actually a sign posted on the cake sampling table that reads, “At 80 proof neat. Preserves our cakes. Not for children!”

You can serve it on its own or with a spoonful of ice cream. So tasty!

Glad I only bought two small cakes. It took every inch of willpower not to eat it all in one sitting. – Erin Sulley photo
Glad I only bought two small cakes. It took every inch of willpower not to eat it all in one sitting. – Erin Sulley photo

“Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum.” – Unknown

Like most rum stories, this one starts at sea. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is no different.

The drink is a fusion of Bermuda’s British history when it comes to their merchant and naval traditions.

The Dark’n’Stormy has a pretty neat history dating back to the early 1800’s, but that story would put me way over my word count.

Search Dark’n’Stormy on thebermudian.com. They have a great tale of how the drink came to be. It says, “The drink earned its rather ominous moniker when a sailor, allegedly, quipped that his drink was ‘the colour of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under.’ And that is how legends are born.” The Dark’n’Stormy ingredients of rum, ginger beer (not root beer), ice and a wedge of lime for garnish is a fine combination.

The rum isn’t overbearing at all. In fact, this mixture is very flavourful, rich, smooth and refreshing.

Cheers! A Dark’n’Stormy isn’t typically served with mint sprigs but you know me and garnish. There’s nothing wrong with making it pretty. – Erin Sulley photo
Cheers! A Dark’n’Stormy isn’t typically served with mint sprigs but you know me and garnish. There’s nothing wrong with making it pretty. – Erin Sulley photo

“I was going to make you a rum cake for your birthday. But now it’s just cake and I’m drunk.” – Unknown

If you’re looking for a pick me up during our cold, snowy winter months, I suggest making a little themed afternoon or evening for yourself and escape to Bermuda.

How? Put on your summer clothes and flip flops, crank the music, mix yourself a Dark’n’Stormy and break out a recipe online for Bermuda’s rum cake because it’s definitely fit to eat.

No, it’s not a ridiculous idea — I dare you to try it! Come on foodie friends, we have to stay together and be creative to get us through the winter months, right? Enjoy life — it’s delicious!

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email erinmsulley@gmail.comTwitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley.


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