Hidden amongst the winding cobbles of Covent Garden was an intimate soiree, invite only, hosted by the Don, a taste of Sugarlandia and one of its finest exports – Don Papa rum. Lucky enough to bag an invite, #teamcoco gal Hannah Gregory put on her finest sparkles, got her cocktail-shaking arm limbered up and did what anyone in her position would do: tasted every rum the Don had to offer.

The Don Papa range are dark rums, every edition offers deep, rich flavour with heady notes of vanilla, honey, candied fruits and sugars. It works perfectly mixed or dare I say it, on the rocks – the flavour is that good. It’s complex with no ‘burn’ or harsh alcohol taste, making it incredibly sippable. Also a fantastic base for a wide variety of cocktails – this guy has it all. With its beautiful bottles that would take pride of place on any drinks cabinet (do people still have drinks cabinets?) this would make the perfect gift for any rum lover. Alternatively, it is a fantastic gift to oneself to say “well done for being so bloody fantastic”, which is exactly what I did!

Below are a couple of recipes that really utilise this drink. Enjoy!

Don Papa Rum truffles.

What you need :

  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 100g milk chocolate,
  • 200g dark chocolate (at least 80% – the higher the better)
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 5 tbsp Don Papa rum
  • Cocao powder for dusting
  • Desiccated coconut for dusting

How you do it :

  1. Grate both of your chocolates into a bowl and set aside (you could snap it into pieces but grating will quicken the melting process).
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just before boiling. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to reach boiling point. As soon as it is steaming and the surface is puckering, it’s ready.
  3. Once the cream is to temp, pour over the grated chocolate and whisk until all melted and combined.
  4. Add the butter and rum, stir well until everything is combined. Taste to make sure your rum levels are on point.
  5. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge for at least four hours.
  6. When you are ready to shape, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take two plates, sift the cacao onto one and pour the desiccated coconut onto the other.
  7. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a walnut sized piece of chocolate mixture. Roll gently into a ball in your hands and then roll into the cacao powder. Repeat till half the mixture is used and then do the same process again but using the desiccated coconut.

Don Papa Al-Nog.

What you need :

  • 250ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 shots Don Papa rum
  • 1 shot muscavado simple syrup
  • ice
  • ground cinnamon

How you do it :

  • If you want to make the simple syrup rather than buy use the following method – gently heat 225g dark muscavado sugar, 110g granulated sugar and 225g water in saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool and then refrigerate (this will keep for a few months).
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add the rum, simple syrup & almond milk and shake like your life depends on it.
  • Fill a high ball with ice, strain the cocktail over.
  • Garnish with ground cinnamon.

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