Drink like Rihanna: Why rum is your new favourite tipple

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Rihanna isn't the only good thing to come out of Barbados...

Rihanna in Barbados

© Instagram/Rihanna

Need another reason to pack your teeny-weeny bikini and head over to the Caribbean? We've got one word for you: Rum.

More than 80 per cent of the world's total output comes from here, with every island here producing its own distinct style. Inhabitants are brought up on the stuff, with rum even being sprinkled on the forehead of newborn babies for good luck.

Rum is pretty wonderful. In addition to tasting excellent in a mojito, it's also thought to have medicinal properties. The British Army used to give sailors a 'tot o' rum' ration to combat the risk of scurvy while away at sea (though it was probably the lime juice it was mixed with that kept the men healthy...) Meanwhile, in Colonial Massachusetts, it was suggested that the way to revive a drowning victim was to blow tobbaco smoke up his rectum and bathe his chest with hot rum. Science!

On a side note, do you know the difference between white and dark rum? The former is meant for mixing, not for drinking straight, while the latter can be enjoyed on its own, or with a squeeze of fresh lime. Go on, impress your friends with that one.

For an authentic taste of Barbados, we rate Mount Gay Rum - the brand's roots dating back as far as 1703. We spoke to their ambassador and Bajan mixologist Miguel Smith who has created some summery rum cocktails. He used to be a mixologist at VIP hotspot, Mahiki, so you know they're good.

Extra Old Fashioned

Ingredients:
50ml Mount Gay Extra Old Rum
Dash of Angostura Bitters
Dash of Orange Bitters
Spoonful of Golden Sugar
Orange Twist for garnish

Method:
Take the glass and mix the golden sugar with Angostura Bitters and Orange Bitters. Muddle together, pour in the rum, fill the glass three quarters full with ice cubes and continue to stir.

Summer Bliss

Ingredients:
50ml Mount Gay Extra Old Rum
15ml Dubonnet
25ml Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
30ml Blood Orange Juice
Soda Top
To garnish:
Summer Berries
Orange Slices
Lemon Slice
Mint Sprig

Method:
Fill a large wine glass with ice and add in the orange slices. Next pour in the rum, Dubonnet, ruby red grapefruit juice and blood orange juice. Finally top the glass with soda water and mix well together. To garnish, add in the summer berries, lemon zest, and a sprig of mint. Ginger slices on the rim are optional.

Lazy Daiquiri

Ingredients:
50ml Mount Gay Rum Eclipse
Cloudy Lemonade or San Pellegrino Limonata
Lemon Wedge to garnish

Method:
First, pour the Mount Gay Rum over ice into a highball glass. Fill with cloudy lemonade, stir and serve with a slice of lemon.

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