South Africa

Greenside or Blouberg, where in SA was the Don Pedro invented?

THE QUESTION

What are the origins of a Dom or is it a Don Pedro? — Daisy, Uvongo

HILLS SAYS:

The references to this South African original vary between calling it a Don and a Dom Pedro.

Don is the Spanish word for mister whereas Dom is a reference to a rank or title. Pedro is a common Spanish boys’ name, Peter.

Whether it is a Don or a Dom, the cocktail, as some call it, is traditionally an adult liquid dessert made by blending vanilla ice cream and a tot of whisky together; some also add cream to the mix.

Served in a tall glass with a straw, it’s sweet, and even sweeter but no less boozy, when made with liqueurs like Amarula, Kahlua, Amaretto, Frangelico and Malibu for different flavours.

The origins of this drink are a little blurry, but it’s agreed that it dates back to the 1970s — and yes I’m old enough to remember it being the new big thing and celebrating the end of matric exams with the concoction.

The answer to where exactly it was invented, however, seems rely on where one is geographically situated in the country.

Many, well those down south, accredit an eatery in Blouberg, Cape Town, for its creation.

Danny Ferris, owner of the then Bellinzona restaurant, is said to have enjoyed something similar on a trip to Scotland’s distilleries: whisky poured over ice cream. It was memorable, he loved it and refined it into what we know as the Don Pedro today.

Another version attributes it to the original Mike’s Kitchen, the famous steak house first started by the visionary Mike Illion in Greenside, Johannesburg, in 1972. The popular eatery well known for its delicious steaks, salads and other creative ideas, is where those on the highveld like to say the Don Pedro originated.

Be it a Cape or Gauteng creation, it’s another one to add to our culinary heritage and right now it’s summer, there’s a festive feeling in the air and it’s time to enjoy a South African original.

Creamy Don Pedro recipe

Makes: 4

Ingredients:

375ml (1½ cups) fresh cream

1 litre vanilla ice cream, softened

100ml whisky or liqueur of your choice

Method:

  1. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream till it is just starting to thicken.
  2. Place the softened ice cream and whisky in a blender and mix until combined.
  3. Fold in the cream and mix for a minute, then divide between 4 tall glasses.
  4. Serve with straws, sprinkled with grated chocolate if desired.

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