Cocktail and Food Pairing with Don Papa Rum

Food and drink pairings has been an established culinary practice since the 1930s when the International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) demonstrated to the dining public that wines could heighten the taste of food. The practice has been so popular that even in the Philippines, most people believe that only wine can be paired with meals. Food and wine pairing has paved the way for more innovations in consumer’s dining experiences such as enjoying full bodied spirits through cocktail and food pairings. 

Don Papa Rum is now introducing a unique serve inspired by the Aperitivo culture with cocktail and food pairing. Instead of imbibing the usual wine for meals, top food and drink establishments have adopted the Italian concept of aperitivo by pairing rum-based cocktails with delectable dishes. 
An aperitivo entails having a pre-dinner drink with snacks to stimulate the palate. The practice of having an aperitivo took off in the 1920s. This novel gastronomic concept is embraced and even modified by some of the most popular establishments worldwide. 

Don Papa Rum invited the winners of the Don Papa Cocktail Competition in the Netherlands to demonstrate the basics of food and cocktail pairings. The winning duo, Chef Marcus Shockley and award winning bartender Andrei Talapanescu, prepared a set of cocktail drinks and dishes that displayed the perfect marriage of food and rum-based cocktails. 

Unlike straightforward cocktail competitions, the “Chef and Shakers” adapted a Master Chef style mechanics wherein the competitors were briefed on the spot with a mystery box challenge. The contestants were required to create a perfect pairing of food and cocktail. Each pairing extends the flavor of the drink or food to one’s palate while improving the mouth feel, creating a harmonized flavor of the cocktails and dishes. 

International chef Marcus Shockley is currently refining his cuisine at The Duchess restaurant in the W Hotel, Amsterdam. He previously worked in some of the best restaurants in the USA and even trained as a bartender at Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point, California. Award winning bartender Andrei Talapanescu is the head bartender at the Pulitzer’s Bar, the flagship bar of the five star Pulitzer Hotel in Amsterdam. This former professional water polo player decided to delve into bartending at the age of 20, working for the House of Bols and Bols Bartending Academy, Little Buddha, Rose's Cantina, Club Abe and Feijoa Cocktail Bar. 
These flavor innovators will showcase their winning dish and cocktail pairings at a series of Don Papa events in Manila as part of their winnings with the Don Papa Cocktail Competition. Through Don Papa’s groundbreaking food and cocktail pairings, more rum aficionados will now have a chance to break out of their usual food and drink comfort zone and discover new tastes and spirits.

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