Two Christmas cocktails with Don Papa rum

Inject something new into your festive drinking with these two beautiful cocktail recipes that bring the sunshine straight from The Phillipines

Don Papa Sugarlandia

In the Philippines, Christmas Celebrations start on the 1st of September and run all the way until the big day, so it’s safe to say the team at Don Papa rum know a thing or two about festive fun. And, while rum might be best associated with languid beach days and tropical climes, the Filipino rum brand taking the world by storm is on a mission to show that a delicately sweet glass of the good stuff can be just as good at getting the yuletide vibes flowing.

Swap out the classic bottle of malt for a bottle of Don Papa and give your loved ones the gift of Sugarlandia. A little cheaper than tickets to the island of Negros Occidental and a whole lot easier, the rum is a distillation of the beating sun and sweeping coastlines that define the brand’s home.

Home to the largest amount of sugar production in the Philippines, the sweet liquid that serves as the base of Don Papa Rum is literally woven into the fabric of the island. Coming into land it’s sugarcane that first catches your attention; miles of it, as far as the eye can see. As you drive around the island, you dodge trucks loaded with the stuff being sent to processing plants where, through intense heat, hardy stalks are turned into powdered sugar, the by-product of which is distilled and aged and, eventually, becomes Don Papa Rum.

Here, the Don Papa team share their pick of how best to work this distillation of the tropics into your Christmas mixology.

Cacao-Infused Old Fashioned

Shake up a classic cocktail with this cacao-infused rum Old Fashioned which brings the South Pacific live and direct to your taste buds

Serves 4

Preparation time 12 hours

Cooking time 0 minutes

Looking to enjoy an Old Fashioned with a sensational South Pacific twist? Why not supercharge Don Papa rum with cacao and then mix it up into a fabulous postprandial drink that's guaranteed to wow your friends and family. 


  • 60ml Cacao-infused Don Papa Rum
  • 10ml simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters


For the infusion:

  1. Combine 700ml Don Papa Rum with 10g of cacao nibs in a saucepan.
  2. Cover and allow to infuse for 12 hours.
  3. Double strain to remove any bits, and re-bottle.

For the cocktail:

  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice.
  2. Stir for 10 seconds to chill down the cocktail.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist and serve.

The Don’s Festive Manhattan

Inject a bit of sunshine into this classic Italian cocktail with Don Papa

The Don's Festive Manhattan

Serves 4

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 0 minutes

A Manhattan is one of the best drinks for whetting your appetite before a meal. This recipe puts a sunny slant on the cocktail with Don Papa Rum, and some Christmas cheer from spiced sweet vermouth and bitters. 


  • 30ml Don Papa Rum
  • 15ml spiced sweet vermouth
  • 5ml cherry liqueur
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of orange bitters


For the cocktail:

  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice.
  2. Stir for 15 seconds to chill down the cocktail.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and, and zest with orange oils.
  4. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and serve.

For the spiced sweet vermouth:

  • Combine 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 3 cloves, and a pinch of nutmeg with 300ml of sweet vermouth, allow to mix together overnight.
  • Strain off spices and store in the fridge.