Summer days are here and summer this year heralded the launch into Australia of delicious, decadent rum brand Don Papa.

A small-batch rum distillery out of the Fillipino island of Negros Occidental, known locally as Sugarlandia, this rum is aged in barrels of American Oak for seven years. Our delivery came complete in a luxe leather suitcase, the Don Papa team inviting us on a tour of our senses, and Sugarlandia, with a bottle of Don Papa, a leather-bound travel journal, fragrant dried spices, and to get things started – a leather flask complete with “The Mariano” cocktail whipped up by Sydney mixologist Pasan Wijesena of Earl’s Juke Joint and Jacoby Tiki Bar.

This is a rum that is rich with notes of vanilla, honey and candied fruits and it’s just the ticket for a tall icy mojito. Let it be said, that a mojito is one of my summer favourites. To bring out those deep notes of the Don Papa Rum, we switched out the traditional white sugar syrup, for the dark and butterscotch depth of brown sugar. And paying homage to the brand’s South-East Asian heritage? We added lemongrass. The flavour adds a fragrant depth to the sourness of the lime.

This mojito? It is fresh, it is sour, it is tall and icy and it’s just the ticket for a hot day, and a hot summer wedding. Serve these ones up to guests upon arrival to really get the party started.


  • Fresh mint (about 4-5 leaves per serve)
  • One lime
  • 20ml brown sugar syrup
  • Two sticks of fresh lemongrass (one finely chopped, one whole, but trimmed)
  • 60ml Don Papa rum
  • Sparkling or soda water
  • Ice


Brown Sugar Syrup

  1. In a small saucepan, combine equal parts brown sugar and water
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved
  3. Leave to cool
  4. Store in a glass jar or bottle in the fridge until ready to use.

Lemongrass Mojito

  1. In a highball glass, add mint leaves, finely chopped lemongrass, brown sugar syrup and rum
  2. Muddle until well combined, the mint crushed and the lime squashed so all the juices come out
  3. Add ice
  4. Top with soda water
  5. Stir well
  6. Garnish with a fresh stick of lemongrass and fresh mint leaves.