Paired with creative and tasteful treats, these Don Papa Rum cocktails bring a sense of renewal in these times.
Evoking a fresh start while drawing from its Negros roots, Don Papa Rum introduces four refreshing cocktails for spring. Created by LA-based ambassador Tomas Delos Reyes, the drinks of “A Sweet Sugarlandia Spring” all take the base of Don Papa. The resulting blends are creative twists to the premium-aged, single-island rum that call forth new beginnings.
Inspired by the travels in the cool pacific coast, this drink opens with a sweet fragrance reminiscent of fresh berries. Yet the taste is quite refreshing, highlighting the tangy taste from the pineapple and lime juices. While it is generally light, it mingles well with the rich heat of the rum.
To complement the drink, Poblacion-based Lampara crafted a luscious Champorado Truffle. Made with 64 percent dark chocolate, the coarse bulgur rice creates a sinewy contrast against the velvet texture of the cocktail. The slightly bitter taste of the pastry from the rich bulgur wheat, white chocolate, and cacao nibs also accompanies the invigorating profile of Avalon Awakens.
Fierceness comes in this cocktail mixed with hibiscus syrup. Together with the rich rum, the drink produces a heavily appealing scent similar to fresh cranberry or pomegranate. There is lemon juice for a tart balance and mole bitters for depth and nuance.
Lampara’s Pineapple Financier lightens the spicy-sweet character of the cocktail. The almond cake topped with shredded pineapple jam and pandan jam creates a highly saccharine taste. This neutralizes the ferocity of Botanica Obscura—an overall good pairing.
Other new cocktails are Jungle Nectar, a fiery punch with jalapeno disc, dash Peychaud bitters, pandan syrup, lime juice, guava nectar. For a succulent sake-imbued concoction, there’s Descanso Bloom. With unfiltered sake, lime juice, simple syrup, and honeydew spheres, the cocktail can be thought of as the last warm welcome to spring.
Though I have yet to try Jungle Nectar nor Descanso Bloom, the names and intermingling of ingredients are as alluring as the first two. I can only assume these taste equally light and refreshing—an inventive take on the rich, warm, and flavorful signatures of Don Papa Rum’s portfolio.