Review: Don Papa Rum Evokes New Beginnings With These Spring Cocktails

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.

RELATED READ: Steve Tirona Mixes Spring With Don Papa Rum In A Shoot At One Of The Most Photographed Homes In The US

“A Sweet Sugarlandia Spring” unveils at Dawnridge House, the legendary Beverly Hills home used as location for Netflix’s Ratched.
Avalon Awakens: To create the drink, add Don Papa Rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, velvet falernum, and ube syrup in a cocktail shaker, and fill with ice. Shake and strain into highball glass over ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and straw

Avalon Awakens

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.

(From left) Botanica Obscura: To create the drink, add Don Papa Rum, lemon juice, hibiscus syrup and mole bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an edible flower; Lampara’s Pineapple Financier

Botanica Obscura

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.

(From left) Descansco Bloom: To create the drink, add Don Papa Rum, sake, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass with half a cup of ice. Spear and garnish with the remaining melon sphere; Jungle Nectar: To create the drink, add Don Papa Rum, guava nectar, pandan simple syrup, lime juice, Peychaud’s bitters, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a lime wheel

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.

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