In case you’re wondering which base spirit you should be ordering at the bar or adding to your supermarket trolley this weekend, let’s help you out: Friday 16th August is National Rum Day.

Gun Powder Punch

You could take your time wondering who comes up with these ideas or simply get into the spirit of things. We suggest the latter. Here are a few recipes to try at home:

The simple one: Backyard Lemonade

2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced
4 parts fresh (still) lemonade

Build in a rocks-filled highball glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

The unusual one: Frozen Beetroot Daiquiri

50ml Havana Club 3 Year Old rum
2 tsp white sugar
20ml beetroot juice
20ml fresh lime juice
1 cup of crushed ice

Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend for 30 seconds then pour into a daiquiri or martini glass.

The contemplative one: Angostura New Fashioned

50ml Angostura 7 Year-old rum
Dash of Angostura aromatic bitters
Dash of Angostura orange bitters
4g granulated sugar
15ml sparkling water

Add a healthy dash each of Angostura aromatic bitters and Angostura orange bitters, the sugar along with 15ml of water into a rocks glass. Grind and stir. Add two cubes of ice and 2/3 of the rum and stir rapidly until the mixture starts to dilute. Add more ice and the rest of the rum. Stir until ingredients are fully mixed. Serve with an optional orange twist to garnish.

The fruity one: Gun Powder Punch

50ml Bacardi 8 Year Old rum
2 tsp gunpowder tea
50mls pineapple juice
12.5ml sugar syrup

Shake all ingredients together over ice and strain into a clear mug.

The posh one: Luxury Mojito

50ml Appleton Estate V/X rum
12 fresh mint leaves
6ml gomme syrup
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Top with Champagne

Muddle mint in a highball glass with gomme and lime juice. Fill glass with crushed ice then add rum and bitters. Top with Champagne and stir. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

The party one: The Golden Summer Punch

50ml El Dorado 5 Year Old rum
25ml mango juice
15ml freshly squeezed lime juice
Dash of Angostura aromatic bitters
100ml ginger beer

Mix the ingredients together over cubed ice, either in a jug or punch bowl, and garnish with fresh lime wedges. For a jug multiply recipe contents by 4, for a punch bowl by 6.

The sipping one: Zapaca XO

Pour and enjoy.

The Cocktail Lovers say:

For an equally exotic but non-alcoholic alternative to rum, why not try coconut water? Everyone’s going crazy for the stuff and having tasted it we can understand why. Try Jax Coco, it’s packed with nutrients, contains no sugars and works perfectly as a mixer or on its own.

This week we’re loving:

Virgin Atlantic’s first pop-up restaurant at Heathrow Airport. If you’re lucky enough to be travelling Virgin Upper Class, call into the Clubhouse for tasty Peruvian dishes and cocktails from critically acclaimed Ceviche restaurant. Available until 18th August.

Written for The Independent Dish of the Day blog 18/8/2013

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