Where you find sugar, you will find rum and the Negros Occidental has long been the sugar capital of the Philippines. Its combination of climate, geography and the rich volcanic soil on the island, makes Negros ideally suited for sugar cane production.
“Welcome to the Don,
that is Don Papa small batch rum,
a premium rum, distilled in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon,
One of the suggested cocktail recipes on the Don Papa Rum website uses the juice of a Calamansi or Kalamansi. These are small round citrus fruit apparently a cross between a lime and a kumquat and ubiquitous in the Philippines. Sadly they areunknown in the UK. Thought I would do something with blood oranges not that they are similar to Calamansi but simply as they are in season at the moment. So in addition to the Papa Apple Cocktail I’ve also ‘invented’ a Papa Orange Cocktail too…
Don Papa Rum or as those in the know refer to it, The Don, was inspired by the story of one of the unsung heroes of the Philippine revolution: Dionisio Magbuelas, better known locally as “Papa” Isio. Initially a foreman at a sugar plantation, Papa Isio — healer, shaman, seer, rebel, and leader of a group of babaylanes — played a key role during the late 19th-century Philippine Revolution. Papa Isio’s spirit and leadership played a critical part in freeing Negros from Spanish rule, ultimately leading to independence for his country.
Don Papa Rum Cocktail Recipes
- 60 ml Don Papa Rum
- 25 ml Spiced Apple Syrup
- 15 ml Lime Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled, cinnamon powder-rimmed glass.
Apple syrup is made the same way as a normal sugar syrup but using apple juice instead of water. A clove, a little cinnamon and a Tonka bean were also added during the simmering and strained out once cooled.
- 60 ml Don Papa Rum
- 30 ml Blood Orange Juice
- 25 ml Fresh Lime Juice
- 15 ml Ginger Syrup
- 7 ml Sugar Syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice. Shake some more and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Decorate with a slice of lime.
Don Papa Rum and Cocktails
“Papa Isio was known to be a leader in Negros and organized a group in Isabela fighting for freedom from the Spanish colonizers in 1896. He became the military chief of the municipality of La Castellana under the Cantonal Government of Negros in November 1898. He also fought the American colonizers in 1899-1907, surrendered on August 6, 1907, and died at the Manila Bilibid Prison in 1911.”
Don Papa Rum is widely available in the UK – from Amazon, Master of Malt, Whisky Exchange and so on. Price is around £30 a bottle.