If you want to show respect to an Italian lady, call her Donna. It's the feminine equivalent of Don, e.g. Don Corleone in The Godfather (my favorite movie) or Don Giovanni (one of the two operas I like). I did not discover the Donna Maria in Italy, but in Ireland. It is one of many original creations from Ilario Alberto Capraro, the 2017 Irish National Cocktail Champion who plies his craft at Waterford Castle. Ilario himself made me a Donna Maria. This is my home adaptation.
2 ounces dark rum
.75 ounces Benedictine DOM
.25 ounces allspice dram
2 dashes aromatic or Angostura bitters
Combine in a shaker with ice, stir as if you're a lady con forza e grazia, and strain into a chilled glass. Serving options include putting sugar on the rim of the glass and/or orange peel garnish.
The Donna Maria has a rich taste and is deceptively powerful (sort of like a real lady). While I'm not as discerning about which dark rum to use as Ilario is, I agree the Benedictine DOM (a herbal liqueur in cocktails such as the Royalist) and allspice dram (a rum based liqueur) are indispensable. You can find both in many liquor stores and/or online. Allspice dram is also known as pimento dram, as the allspice berry comes from the pimento tree. Think of it as autumn in a glass.
Are you a donna? Do you want to impress a donna? Then make a Donna Maria.