Collaborations are special. Do it right and you’ll produce something memorable for your market all while ensuring dual success. Even fields that are seemingly poles apart like cars and food can come together to transcend their limitations and exceed expectations. But in exceptional cases, collaborations can just as yield a vital milestone in a brand’s story. Here are three that caught our eye this week, and they all have something satisfying to show for their collaborations, too. 

A 10-year-old rum, longevity, and a sampinit cocktail

Can you predict where your brand will take you in a decade? 

Probably not even the people behind Don Papa Rum imagined that their premium single island rum launched 10 years ago would find itself lodged in the shelves of more than 30 countries and be acquired by British multinational alcoholic beverage company Diageo.

Don Papa recently transformed lifestyle shop and gallery XCEPTION into the world of Sugarlandia
Don Papa recently transformed lifestyle shop and gallery Xception into Sugarlandia

Don Papa Rum broke into the mainstream Manila market with a cranked up concoction derived from the sugar canes of Negros Occidental (also known as Sugarlandia for its vast sugar plantations) that are distilled and aged for over seven years in American oak barrels. Over time, its richly textured finish and flavors of vanilla, honey, and candied fruits cut through palates and personal consciousness to put another premium Philippine product on the global beverage map.

A household name by now, there’s plenty to glean from Don Papa Rum significant scaling up in the last decade—sustaining your values, ensuring product consistency, tapping untapped markets, and of course, celebrating what makes you truly unique. 

Sugarlandia Surf and Turf pairs well with the sampinit sour
The Sugarlandia Surf and Turf is a product of a collaboration between Your Local’s Patrick Go and British chef Cyrus Todiwala
Sampinit sour
Sampinit sour

Over a sumptuous four-hands dinner collaboration with Your Local’s Patrick Go and British chef Cyrus Todiwala that featured tasty excursions into Visayas (tuna loin kilawin), the American west coast (Sugarlandia surf and turf, red masala and inasal beef striploin with cafreal and batwan salmon, and atsuete Adlai), and back in the tropics (coconut and banana pancake), the brand commemorated its 10th anniversary in the market with a Hedcut-style animation video that invites you to rediscover the fantasy universe of Sugarlandia.

And then there’s the new cocktail called Sampinit Sour crafted by beverage expert and program development manager Aaron Goodall. The drink features the local yet seasonal wild raspberry commonly harvested in Quezon. It’s unapologetically refreshing, nuanced, and has a wicked summer night energy. Try it out anytime:

Add 25ml lemon juice, 10ml simple syrup, 10ml crème de framboise or sampinit syrup, 2 sprigs of mint, and 2 raspberries or sampinit berries in a cocktail shaker. Gently muddle to combine flavors. Add 50ml Don Papa 7 Year Old and 3 to 4 ice cubes. Gently shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Pour into banana leaf-wrapped rocks glass, and top with crushed ice. Garnish with an orchid, mint sprig, fresh raspberry, and paper straw.

Shake Shack, Tilde Bakery and Kitchen stand for something good (and something delicious)

The Apple Pie Oh My Concrete features vanilla frozen custard blended with Tilde Bakery and Kitchen’s French apple pie
The Apple Pie Oh My Concrete features vanilla frozen custard blended with Tilde Bakery and Kitchen’s French apple pie

Shake Shack has finally teamed up with Tilde Bakery and Kitchen to deliver a fresh take on dessert. Available only until Feb. 5th, the limited-edition Apple Pie Oh My Concrete features Shake Shack’s vanilla frozen custard blended with the Kapitolyo bakery’s handcrafted French apple pie. 

It’s a collaboration that exposes the power of brands in doing social good, too. Social responsibility is a key ingredient of the dessert as five percent of sales from the Apple Pie Oh My Concrete supports CENTEX, Ayala Foundation’s holistic education program that promotes student, parent, and teacher development from underserved Filipino communities.

The scoop on Sunae’s and Carmen’s best new ice cream flavors

When you read about the success of Christina Sunae (and her eponymous restaurant in Bonifacio Global City) and Paco Magsaysay of Carmen’s Best, it’s not farfetched to think that a collaboration between the two brands would bring about a burst of flavors. 

Thanks to flavor profiles that value Filipino attitudes and Japanese sensibilities, this line of artisanal ice cream collaboration keeps the inherent joy of ice cream and just tweaks it a little to up the ante for city foodies.

The way we ate!!!—And didn’t take vids of the ice cream flavor we loved the most 🤡 #nolisoliph #tiktokph #bgceats #bgc

♬ Restaurant chef introduces pasta recipe(1137064) – zomap

It still follows the scientific process and formulation to retain that stable and dense quality that Carmen’s Best ice cream is known for, says Jaime Magsaysay, eldest son of Paco who now handles the family business’ marketing. “I also get to learn a lot from him and being with him.”

To be accurate, there are two new exclusive flavors available at Sunae Asian Cantina in Bonifacio Global City: The first is the Real Macapuno, a coconut-based ice cream made with coconut cream and real macapuno bits, and the crowd favorite Kakigori, a masterpiece of modern and traditional Japanese flavors through green tea, azuki beans, and condensed milk. There’s a slight bitterness in the mix but it’s met with some beany texture at the bottom of the cup. The signature Vietnamese Coffee variant rounds out the collaboration. 

Fried pork wontons
Fried pork won
Pork adobo pao
Pork adobo pao

Sunae also seems happy to reciprocate and feed off the flavors. Pair these piercing pleasures with powerhouse items such as the fried pork wontons (served with homemade Thai sweet chili sauce), pork adobo pao (plenty of cucumber, kimchi, aioli, and cilantro with each bite), and deep-fried salt and pepper calamari and you’ll reach a metaphorical point where you realize that collaborations aren’t just a compromise, they are necessary too for a terrific and tasty time.