In the summertime, the classic, refreshing Dark and Stormy cocktail-a combination of dark rum and ginger beer-sells well at Metropolitan in Federal Hill, according to manager Sylvere Tucker. And when the drink stayed popular through the fall, the Metropolitan staff began puzzling a way to warm up the drink. They settled on substituting cider (or, more precisely, spiced cider concentrate) for the ginger beer to make the Winter Dark and Stormy ($7). Tucker pours a shot of Gosling's Black Seal Rum into a mug, adds a squirt of cider syrup, and tops it off with hot water, serving the beverage plain, no garnish. It's nothing fancy, says Tucker, but it's very popular. And for good reason: The hot cider is the perfect complement to the spicy dark rum. It's a warm cocktail that you won't have to worry about getting cold before you've consumed it all. For making it at home, one could use a spiced apple cider powder, but the simplest way to prepare it may be to warm up a mug of premade cider from the store and add a shot of rum; if you go with the latter option, it's more than OK to just eyeball the measurements.
1 1/2 ounces dark rum
6 1/2 ounces hot apple cider
Combine ingredients, adding more or less rum and/or cider to achieve the desired flavor and strength.