Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Don Quixote

Don Quixote cocktail

 Mack / Imbibe Photography

Jo-Jo Valenzuela, the managing partner at Tiki on 18th and The Game in Washington, D.C., has been using pandan in cocktails for almost 25 years and says his customers get excited when they see it on the drinks menu. In this Daiquiri riff, it accentuates the tropical vibes from Puerto Rican and Jamaican rum, lime, and mango. 

“Pandan adds a fragrant green aroma and makes the mango extra smooth on the palate,” says Valenzuela, who adds that it lends a roundness to cocktails in general. He points out that in the Philippines, pandan, also referred to as screwpine leaves, are typically mixed into steamed rice. “It creates a highly aromatic rice and gives the flavorless starch a mild savory taste.” 


  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Q Cristal rum
  • 1 ounce mango-pandan syrup*
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce Appleton Estate 12 Year rum
  • Garnish: dehydrated lime wheel


  1. Add the Don Q rum, mango-pandan syrup and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice.

  3. Float the Appleton Estate rum on top.

  4. Garnish with the dehydrated lime wheel.

*Mango-pandan syrup: Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups water and 3 pandan leaves to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add 2 cups fresh or thawed mango puree. Transfer to an airtight container. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to one week.