Don Papa and Run Rabbit Run hold an online cocktail tasting session

A MYSTERIOUS package arrived earlier this month, along with an invitation to attend a Zoom session. The package, sent by Don Papa Rum, was filled with bottles of booze — part of their partnership with boho-chic watering hole Run Rabbit Run in Makati’s Poblacion.

Due to the community quarantines imposed around the metro (the longest in the world), Run Rabbit Run opened a Cocktail to Go service (available through Highlighted in the Zoom session were three of their cocktails made in partnership with Don Papa: a Banana Rum Daiquiri, a Masskara Old Fashioned, and a Don Papa Chocoroni. The package from Don Papa contained three bottles sealed in wax filled with those cocktails, along with three amber bottles of vermouth, Campari, and cacao-infused Don Papa.

Run Rabbit Run head bartender Enzo Luna, and bartender Christina Soudji headed the Zoom press conference cum tasting session, along with Bleeding Heart Rum Co.’s (Don Papa’s parent) Program Development Manager Aaron Goodall.

Luckily, Mr. Luna said during the session, they had already been looking into cocktail delivery prior to the lockdown so they were able to transition relatively smoothly.

Customers are instructed to place their order between Sunday to Thursday, for orders to be delivered once a week, on its best day: Friday (some will argue it’s Saturday).

“This ECQ has also been an opportunity for us to hone our craft and share our knowledge with fellow bartenders,” said Ms. Soudji added.

The Banana Rum Daiquiri was made with rum, sugar, and lime with a touch of banana liqueur. It had a scent of tutti frutti bubblegum, a cheery citrusy note and an aftertaste of the aforementioned gum flavor. It’s a great opener for a conversation, and the bananas are only hinted at in the sweet soft buttery endnote, with a certain tropicality to it. I could almost hear the birds cawing.

Next came the Masskara Old Fashioned, made with the spicy Don Papa Masskara variety with a touch of aromatic bitters. It smells like an old gentleman’s club with smoky wood and leather, an effect probably lent by the bitters. The bitters also give it a strong medicinal opening note that lingers on the tongue, while the body provides subtle citrus notes, hints of honey, and siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili). It had a strangely refreshing tonic note at the end.

Mr. Luna and Ms. Soudji instructed the Zoom guests how to mix the Chocoroni. The Don Papa cacao infusion was achieved through the use of cacao husk. In a glass with ice cubes, we poured the Don Papa rum in, then the Campari, then the vermouth (one has to forgive this reporter if he made a mistake in the order — the two previous cocktails were quite strong). It was like drinking the scent and taste of an indulgent dark chocolate praline. A strong scent of chocolate highlighted those notes already present in Don Papa.

As mentioned above, you can order these cocktails and more through Run Rabbit Run’s website (there are about 16 cocktails in the menu). We must warn you though: they’re quite strong. A 500 ml bottle serves about three people, but a single serving of the Don Papa Chocoroni got me my required eight hours of sleep — beginning a mere hour after the afternoon tasting session ended. — Joseph L. Garcia