We propose a versatile optical ring lattice suitable for trapping cold and quantum degenerate atomic samples. We demonstrate the realisation of intensity patterns from pairs of Laguerre-Gauss (exp(il?)) modes with different l indices. These patterns can be rotated by introducing a frequency shift between the modes. We can generate bright ring lattices for trapping atoms in red-detuned light, and dark ring lattices suitable for trapping atoms with minimal heating in the optical vortices of blue-detuned light. The lattice sites can be joined to form a uniform ring trap, making it ideal for studying persistent currents and the Mott insulator transition in a ring geometry. © 2007 Optical Society of America.