We’re lucky folk here at Manchester Social 101 and we get invited to some pretty amazing events, venues and launches, we’re not bragging here, just reinforcing that we know how lucky we are. It is so exciting when a cool invite pops into your inbox that leaves you intrigued to find out more. This was certainly the case recently when we got a teaser invite that asks us to join them for the ‘Meeting of the Dons’ with Don Papa Rum.
Dark rum is one of my favourite tipples, with a cold coke and a lot of fresh lime. My usual tipple of choice is Mount Gay Rum, so this had a lot to live up to. Billed as a ‘sipping rum’ hailing from the Phillippines, on the island of Negros Occidental, known locally as Sugarlandia and considered once to be one of the richest and craziest places on earth. Don Papa is regarded for its sweet, mellow, and idyllic taste, post-aging in American oak barrels for over seven years – we had high hopes!
Two days before the event on 5th October we received another note that revealed the venue as Red Bank in Manchester, we couldn’t wait.
When we arrived at Red Bank we were greeted by an intimate bar setting which was immediately inviting, I could imagine returning to the venue beyond this event for sure! The bar tender welcomed us with a measure of Don Papa Rum on ice. I’ not normally a straight liquor drinker, so didn’t know what to expect…
It was just incredible! So smooth and surprisingly sweet, I was surprised how easy it was to drink!
We were introduced to the background of the rum and the design of its branding – The rum’s label stars a gentleman who, at first glance, is wearing a monocle, which turns out to be a gecko, while 50 animals are hidden in the label, including the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier (endemic to the southern Philippine islands of the Visayas).
After a few welcoming drinks to warm our souls we we descended to the pop up restaurant downstairs which would play host to an intimate six course dinner for just 20 guests consisting of media (that’s us) and industry.
Each individual place setting outlined the menu for the evening, along with the empty glasses just waiting to be filled.
The evening certainly was an education and a culinary delight, the dishes were all inspired by the rum and my taste buds were more than thankful.
The mini Mai Tai might have been mini is stature, but certainly not in flavour. One for you guys to try at home for sure. The pork belly and banana ketchup might sound strange, but it was anything but! It was a party in my mouth and Don Papa Rum was invited!
We had such an amazing time being hosted by Don Papa Rum for the ‘meeting of the Dons’ and I can safely say that I’m a convert when it comes to my dark rum of choice.
The venue, Red Bank, a small bar and photography studio, was also a hit in our eyes. The perfect escape this winter if you’re looking for a bar that doesn’t try too hard, is welcoming and the drinks hit the spot!
Don Papa is available in the UK on www.31dover.com, at Majestic, Harvey Nichols and other fine stores, bars and restaurants.
RRP: £29.95 for 70cl ABV: 40%