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Cocktails and Food Pairings

Appreciating John Paul Jones artisanal rum: a flavourful voyage.

Our most recent blog explored what being a producer of ‘artisanal rum’ means to us on the good ship John Paul Jones. Now we’ve explained why making craft rum that deserves to carry the name of a revolutionary hero isn’t easy, we thought the time was right to guide rum afficionados in how best to enjoy the fruits of our labours.

Youre allowed to keep it simple.

Of course, enjoying our seaweed infused artisanal rum needn’t be complicated. You could simply buy a beautiful miniature rum gift set, adorn your bespoke JPJ tumbler with delightful clinking ice cubes and settle down to a rum on the rocks. But for those of you looking for a more lavish experience, we thought we’d share some ideas for showstopping rum cocktails—and some fabulous food pairings—to take your appreciation of our craft rums to the next level. Also, as a tribute to the birthplace of our brand (and that of the intrepid sailor himself), we thought it’d be nice to introduce a distinctly Scottish theme. 

Navigating artisanal rum inspiration.

Our exquisite botanical white rum, Ranger, lends itself to all sorts of wonderful foods and exciting cocktails. As with all of our range, we warmly encourage everyone to try it neat. If you’re happy simply sipping Scottish craft rum from your favourite glass, so are we!

Ranger Rum – neat recipe idea.

If you’re looking for canapes to take your experience up a notch, you’ve come to the right place! We’re talking saline notes from our spiral wrack seaweed, hints of apple and lime, and (of course), Scotland. So what could be better than oysters? You don’t really need to do anything with oysters, just shuck them and eat them raw while sipping your Ranger Rum from the empty shell. If you’re really looking to impress, however, then this recipe from the legendary seafood chef Nathan Outlaw should do the trick.

Crispy Focaccia Oysters with Oyster Mayonnaise.


  • 14 oysters (shucked with juices retained)

For the oyster mayonnaise:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 300ml rapeseed oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the fried oysters:

  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 100g focaccia breadcrumb
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For garnish

  • Wedges of lemon


Using a food processor, make the oyster mayonnaise by blending two oysters, the egg yolks and lemon juice for a few seconds. Then, with the motor running, slowly add the oil. Once made, combine the mayonnaise with the reserved juices from the oysters and set aside in the fridge.

For the oysters, put the flour on one plate, the beaten egg on another and the breadcrumbs on a third. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, bring the oil or deep fryer up to 180˚. Next, roll the oysters in flour, dip them in egg and coat well in the breadcrumbs. Once they’re all coated, drop them straight into the oil and fry for 1 minute. Drain well and serve in the shells with lemon wedges and Ranger botanical white rum.

Light rum cocktail:

We really recommend trying a rum & tonic. Simply replace the gin in a G&T with our botanical Ranger Rum and make as you prefer. Add a slice of apple for a different and delicious garnish.

Light rum and tonic food pairing:

Rum & tonic goes wonderfully with smoked salmon (especially if you can find some top-quality artisanal Scottish produce). We love serving smoked salmon on shop-bought blinis, with a dollop of crème fraiche and a squeeze of lemon. The perfect way to start the party with a Ranger craft rum & tonic.

Making the most of our Lowland craft rum.

Not that we’ve dealt with the light, it’s time to explore Lowland, the darker expression of John Paul Jones rum.

Food pairing:

Lowland pairs brilliantly with chocolate. Now, while chocolate doesn’t originate in Scotland (nothing wrong with that), that’s not to say that people here aren’t making some of the very best. Coco Chocolatier are based in Edinburgh, and their bars begin in the country of origin before coming to Scotland, where the real magic starts. We’re sure you can see the parallels, so why wait to try us together?

Not so Stormydark rum cocktail:

Once again, our flagship, seaweed infused botanical dark rum is perfectly enjoyed simply by sipping. But it’s also true to say that a dark rum cocktail that uses John Paul Jones Lowland Rum will always be better than a dark rum cocktail that doesn’t. We’re all for great cocktails, and we’re proud to call the ‘Not so Stormy’ one of our signature serves. You can discover this and many more of our rum cocktail recipes here. We’ve also made some demo videos of this and other great rum cocktail recipes that might inspire you to expand your rum horizons.

Dark rum cocktail food pairing:

It might sound wildly adventurous, but consider replacing a bottle of red wine with a jug of rum cocktail for a special Sunday lunch. Remember to channel the spirit of our revolutionary hero as you acknowledge the rapturous reception your guests give you. Also, instead of chicken, roast a haunch of Scottish venison. It’ll be the best meal you ever have.

If you try any ideas above, especially if you take on the Crispy Oysters, we’d love to hear about it. We might even reward those who excel.

Team JPJ