You’ve always heard the phrase, “It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere”, but as we all know, it’s always 5 O’clock on the water. Whether you’re celebrating the catch of a lifetime or drowning your sorrows about losing one, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as kicking your feet up and enjoying a refreshing cocktail after a long day on the water.
For this series, we’ve teamed up with YETI to sit down with some of our mutual fishing friends and get the lowdown on their go-to celebratory beverage. In this installment, we met up with legendary Florida Keys guide: Brandon Cyr to see how he makes his signature, incredibly simple and delicious, “Dark and Stormy” cocktail.
Who is Brandon Cyr?
Brandon Cyr is the name that’s echoed across the bludgeoned lips of the permit and tarpon that have dared to swim near the southern tip of Florida. Mr. Cyr, a 4th generation Floridian, was born in the shadow of a charter captain, and since the age of 6 has had a rod in his hands and big fish on his mind. Nowadays, Brandon is best known for his uncanny ability to seek out, and place a fly in the mouths of some of the most challenging fish on the planet to target with a fly rod.
If you’ve been lucky enough to be an angler or client on the bow of his skiff, you can attest to the raw passion that he brings to his pursuits. Pushing the envelope with a level of tenacity similar to that of an athlete in the NBA or the NFL, Brandon permanently altered the state of the game in the Florida Keys fishery.
While you’ll most commonly find Brandon in the gym, on the water, or teaching his newborn daughter the ways of the sport of fly-fishing; after a long day, he enjoys kicking back and tying some flies for the days ahead, all while enjoying an ice-cold “Dark and Stormy” cocktail.
How to make your own, “Dark and Stormy” – Brandon’s style:
Rum of your choice (Here, we’ll be using Frigate Reserve: A popular choice by another legendary saltwater angler, and YETI ambassador: Flip Pallot).
(Bonus): A chilled mug to beat the Florida Heat.
Fill your mug up 3 quarters full with ice. Remember to not fill it too high so that you don’t have room for your other ingredients. Also remember, your ice is going to melt, and depending on how strong you want your final product, this will dilute the second half of the drink (for some this may be a positive, for some, less so).
Pour in your rum. However much rum you wish to apply to the drink itself is up to you. For a nice clean taste, we recommend around a shot to a shot and a half, but it’s all going to depend on which kind of rum you’re using and what kind of day you’ve had. Always remember to pour responsibly.
Add your ginger beer. We recommend pouring enough so that it’s just pushing above the ice with the rum. In terms of which brand to use, that’s of course up to you. Just pick something you’d enjoy without the rum first. This is your carbonator.
Squeeze in your limes. Being in the Keys, we felt it only appropriate to use Key Limes for Brandon’s Dark and Stormy. However, you can of course use whatever you have easiest accessible. Just make sure they’re ripe and juicy.
After you’ve squeezed around 2-3 limes, feel free to just drop them into the drink. They’ll add a little dash of extra flavor and aroma that ties the drink together. Once you’ve done that, give your concoction a little stir. A traditional cocktail stirring spoon is recommended, but feel free to use any household item you have laying around (make sure to wash your hands if you’re stirring with your fingers – especially when serving guests 😉
Add your garnish of mint. Depending on how aromatic you want your beverage, drop 2-3 mint leaves on top of the ice. Once done this, give it one last swirl to mix all those flavors together.
Pour into your favorite cup and enjoy. Whether you’re drinking alone or with friends, remember to savor the fruits of your labors and take a second to reflect on the day. A great activity that compliments a “Dark and Stormy” is a session behind the vice, serving as a reminder of what’s ahead…
Symbolic of Brandon’s place of birth and a keystone to his lineage: future and past, the Dark and Stormy is an excellent representation of Fishing in the Florida keys in both a literal and figurative sense. While sometimes dark and stormy skies will command the water below your bow, there’s something sweet to the bitter nature of the place. Whether you’re an avid saltwater angler, or you’ve never stepped a foot in the sand, this cocktail recipe is a great concoction to relax with after a long day of doing what we love. To make sure you can keep doing just that, always remember to drink responsibly.
Thank you to Brandon Cyr for dedicating a day with us on the water, and showing us around his beautiful home waters. Also, thank you to YETI for keeping our cups full and our cocktails cold. If you enjoyed this piece, be on the lookout for more just like it down the line. Cheers!