Refreshing, clean tasting with oodles of ice, there’s a reason why cocktails are so popular in the soaring temperatures of the tropics.
To tune into this island life a punch bowl, large pitcher, cocktail shaker and a jigger (for measuring alcohol) is all you need. If you want to be pro, add an electric blender – and a Club Tropicana soundtrack – and it will feel like true paradise found.
Sipsmith Summer Cup (£18.50, 50cl, Sainsbury’s) is the gin-based spicy spirit that’s currently on everyone’s lips. It cries out for lemonade and citrusy fruits, and the infusion of Earl Grey tea marries well with plenty of cucumber.
Try one part Sipsmith Summer Cup with three parts lemonade. Combine over ice with seasonal summer fruits for a refreshing long drink bursting with natural flavours. More sophisticated than a pina colada, this creamy infusion requires measuring, shaking and straining, but the purity and softness of Zapaca XO (£49.75, 70cl, www.alexanderandjames.com) dark rum from Guatemala makes up for all the fuss.
Smooth and rich with a warm, fruity palate and vanilla sweetness from the sherry cask, it tastes more like a fine whisky.
If the price is too steep, try Santa Teresa Anejo Rum (£18.50, 70cl, Waitrose), a Venezuelan golden rum with deep sweet citrus fruits.
Rum can be as varied as the islands in the Caribbean. Rum’s good fortune stems from sugarcane juice and molasses distilled into a range of varieties such as Appleton Estate V/X Jamaican rum (£20.95, 70cl, Sainsbury’s). A blend of between 15 and 20 rums of different ages, it is rich with rum-raisin aromas, spice and a pleasing palate of banana and candied fruits.