Dark & Stormy Orchard | Spice Up The Holidays Announcement

It was a Dark & Stormy night in the orchard…

No, let’s start again.

“You poured your apple cider in my Dark & Stormy.” “No, you poured your Dark & Stormy in my apple cider!”

Hmmm. Closer, but not quite right. Let me start at the beginning.

I’m in a contest. (Ah, that’s better.) In the Spice Up the Holidays contest, nine of my fellow bloggers and I will be duking it out (virtually, ’cause I’m a lover not a fighter, man…) over the next couple of weeks to throw a party spiced up with the aid of Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum and Black Spiced Rum. We’ll all be developing recipes for an appetizer, a cocktail and a dessert that are oomphed up with rum.

This whole shebang will be judged by Spike Mendelsohn: the former Top Cheftestant and current Next Iron Chef contestant. Chef Spike. When I was watching him on Top Chef admiring his creativity I never expected to have him inspecting my food. Eep.

I feel obliged to tell you your left shoelace is untied, Spike. If you fell and got hurt, I’d feel guilty. What can I say? I’m a mother.

“Why are you doing this?” you might ask. Here’s why I’m all in; they will donate $1,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice. The generous prize package they’re offering the winner doesn’t hurt, but that donation to charity? That’s SWEET! That’s worth all the jitters and visions of abject humiliation. (Totally healthy self-image, I assure you. So long as I’m not in a swimsuit. Ahem.) Also? I love a challenge.

This week and next, I’ll share the recipes I’m making for this big par-tay of mine. I’ll share the plans and then photos of the party and then finally the name of the winner.  Judging by the competition, we are in for some spectacular food and cocktails.

Now that you know what I’m doing, let me tell you where you all come in to the picture because I need you.  I love having people over to share dinner with us, but I don’t do a lot of “entertaining”. As in get-out-the-nice-plates soirées. I need help. Big time. What do you do to make your parties fun/exciting/fancier-than-Chinet? I mean beyond getting the Legos off of the couch and the science experiments off of the table. Do you see how much assistance I need here?

Oh dear.

I think we’d better start with the drinks.

Ah, the Dark & Stormy. What’s not to love about that? Spiced or dark rum with burny ginger beer. That’s my kind of adult beverage. I couldn’t very well do a plain old Dark & Stormy for a competition, though, so I ran it through the orchard. Not literally, mind you. I don’t run unless something is chasing me with a big knife.

I added just the right amount of boiled cider syrup (a.k.a. apple molasses) to my gingery rummy concoction to make it seem like Captain Morgan got himself marooned on the Maine coast and made the best of it.

The tart, concentrated apple molasses add both flavour and perfume to the party. It’s a natural match for the cinnamon, clove, and nutmegy goodness of the Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced Rum.

My husband -who is most assuredly NOT a cocktail kind of guy- declared it delicious and drank the whole thing. He even SIPPED it. His pinky, however, was not up. That’s okay, there’s only so far a guy can deviate from the path before he has to rethink his life.

So please, whip up a Dark & Stormy Orchard for yourself and contemplate your best entertaining tips while you sip away. Pinkies are optional, but do share your ideas with me, please!

Dark & Stormy Orchard | Spice Up The Holidays Announcement
Ginger, spiced rum and apples are a match made in the orchard. The classic Dark & Stormy takes Captain Morgan's Black Spiced Rum on a tour of the Maine coast with the addition of boiled cider syrup (a.k.a. apple molasses) and a cinnamon swizzle stick.
  • Per Drink:
  • a highball or double old fashioned glass full of ice
  • 1 tablespoon Boiled Cider Syrup (a.k.a. Apple Molasses)
  • 2 ounces Captain Morgan's Black Spiced Rum (Dark Rum or Original Spiced Rum may be substituted if desired.)
  • 11 ounces Ginger Beer (Use Q Ginger, Barr's, Reed's, or Papa's Hooch for best results.)
  • Optional: A cinnamon stick for stirring.
  1. Pour the boiled cider syrup over the ice. Follow this by adding the Black Spiced Rum and then the ginger beer. Use a cinnamon stick or spoon to stir lightly. Serve immediately.

Once you have your drink in hand, stop on by and say hi to my fellow competitors. They’re good people, people!

 Disclosure: I am a participant in the Spice Up the Holidays contest sponsored by Captain Morgan USA. I received products to use in my recipe development and compensation for additional ingredients but all opinions are my own.


  1. says

    Good luck on the contest! Because of meds, I can’t drink – and I SURE miss my mixed-with-rum beverages. 😀 It sounds fantastic – and I always love your writing style. You’re a hoot! 😀

  2. Anne Weber-Falk says

    I like to keep it comfortable. Using my everyday dishes and cloth napkins, I decorate for the time of year. Natural beauty is where it’s at. Winter can be tough so I use paper and raffia and jute twine as well as store bought faux berries and sprinkles of some sort for a bit of pizzaz. Simple and unscented candles in various sizes are a mood maker. Keep it easy and relaxed so you and your guests will be able to take it easy and relaxed too. Have fun.

  3. Michelle W says

    For me, keeping things simple and streamlined equals elegance. Don’t overdo the color scheme… green and silver or red and gold… and lots and lots of sparkly lighting. Weave some white lights into the greenery or around the serving dishes on a buffet. Candles make everything look better too.

  4. Yasmin says

    I like to create a warm, welcoming environment. Small touches make feel special. I use candles to create a warm atmosphere. I’ll use my everyday dishes but will add cloth napkins with pretty napkin rings and will intersperse nice, crystal glasses with everyday juice tumblers


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