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SAM Wylie-Harris mixes rum and summer cocktails to celebrate National Pina Colada Day today and National Mojito Day tomorrow WITH its sweet charm and tropical roots, most of us enjoy rum in the sun. Whether it's blended with pineapple juice or muddled with mint and lime, National Pina Colada Day today and National Mojito Day tomorrow are a great excuse to imbibe island life and toast the spirit of summer...

| | THERE are plenty of variations on Puerto Rico's official drink, but if you're looking for an easy pina colada recipe then Koko Kanu (PS19, 70cl, Sainsbury's), pictured, is a full strength Jamaican rum (as opposed to other flavoured white rums) blended with coconut flavour, so you don't need the coconut cream or milk.

Here's a Koko Kalada recipe created by rum legend Ian Burrell (known as the global ambassador for rum) that's made with equal parts Koku Kanu and fresh pineapple juice - a cream-free version that's crying out to be served in a hollowed-out pineapple.

Take 50ml Koko Kanu, 50ml pineapple juice, shake ingredients over ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

| ALTERNATIVELY, a nice touch is to bring some golden rum to the party and a measure of white and dark will add an extra kick to your simple mix of coconut cream and pineapple juice. Try Matugga Gold Rum (PS39.95, 70cl, Rich with notes of toffee, caramel, spice and vanilla, lent by time spent in wood, it's made using sugar cane molasses from East Africa and matured in English oak casks.

| A CUBAN classic, the mojito combines sweet and sour notes and the refreshing citrus, mint and rum can't help but put you in a carnival mood. To capture the balmy, tropical beaches of Venezuela, try Ron Pampero Blanco (PS19, 70cl, which is a versatile cocktail rum with a variety of vanilla, cocoa and spicy notes that's big on flavour and won't drown under crushed ice...

Take 60ml Ron Pampero, 8 mint leaves (torn in half ), half a lime freshly squeezed, 15ml sugar syrup and some soda water. Muddle the mint and lime with sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add a scoop of ice, then the rum. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled tumbler and top with soda water.

| | IF YOU'RE planning to quench the thirst of several friends, Morrisons Caribbean White Rum, left, (PS15, 1 litre, Morrisons), a Trinidadian rum that will work in a pina colada or a mojito. Remember you'll need loads of ice to build the drinks and rub mint leaves around the rim of the glasses for mojitos.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jul 10, 2016
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