Known for its unique flavors and cultural spirit, Don Papa Rum has a long history deeply rooted in the Filipino heritage
It is a known tidbit in the Philippines that Christmas in the country starts on the first day of September. Filipinos anticipate the arrival of the holiday season, eagerly decorating their homes and immediate surroundings with an array of festive displays and shimmering lights that come alive after sunset. This cultural facet served as inspiration for Don Papa Rum, taking this to heart with the launch of its two speciality holiday cocktails inspired by its fertile plains and legendary figure, Papa Isio.
Stepping into Baked Studios in Makati was a journey into the whimsical world of the Negros-based distillery. The objective was simple yet ambitious: weave the tales of Sugarlandia, a term locals fondly call its sugarcane fields, into the walls of the venue with lush flora and fauna native to the island, enveloping the space with exotic foliage and mythical creatures that frolic the mountains of Mount Kanlaon.
The mysterious motif of the event also brings to life the elaborately woven narratives intertwined with Papa Isio’s legend through the aptly named Sugarmill Bar. It lures guests into a vivid recreation of a bygone era and the liberating figure of Negros, blending the past with the present. Much like the rum itself, Don Papa Rum tells the story of the island’s captivating history through its holiday cocktails—the Sugarlandia Sour and the Merienda Colada.
The Sugarlandia Sour is a fresh take on the familiar Old Cuban, blending a 7-year-old Don Papa Rum, fresh kamias (bilimbi) juice, and tamarind cordial. Poured into a smoky glass brimming with dry ice and garnished with tangy Yogurt Popping Caviar. It unites holiday cheer and the vibrant greeneries of the foot of Mount Kanlaon.
Meanwhile, the Merienda Colada is a delightful blend of a 7-year-old Don Papa Rum mixed with pineapple juice, ube cordial, coconut, and rice milk—a tribute to the classic Piña Colada and traditional Filipino snack of turon (banana spring rolls) and ube ice cream. Clarified with toasted soy milk, the drink is topped with white chocolate and kesong puti (white cheese) foam accompanied by banana puree and jello, resulting in a delectable cocktail that embodies Filipino fondness for Christmas.
These ingenious creations are the result of a collaboration between Audrey Gustilo, Don Papa Rum’s brand ambassador and resident mixologist, and The Black Box Mobile Cocktail Bar, a mobile beverage bar serving bespoke cocktails that are curated by top-rated bartenders. The festive atmosphere in Baked Studios was further elevated by live music performed by DJs Emel Rowe, Some Guy, and Amigo.
To share the magic of Sugarlandia and its holiday cheers far and wide, the Don Papa Rum holiday cocktails are available at The Spirits Library in Makati City. Starting November 24, the Sugarlandia Sour and Merienda Colada will be stirring merriment for three consecutive Fridays.
The initiative, much like the event itself, is an invitation to experience a taste of Filipino cocktail culture for the holidays. The multi-awarded spirits brand fruitfully melds a dash of history, a sprinkle of heritage, and a drizzle of native flavors, dishing out muses to the Filipinos’ festive early yuletide joy.
Experience a taste of Sugarlandia and celebrate the holidays with uniquely Filipino flavors, courtesy of Don Papa Rum. For more information, visit Don Papa Rum’s official website. Follow them on Instagram.