Puerto rico rum: Visit the Rum Distilleries of Puerto Rico

Visit the Rum Distilleries of Puerto Rico

Experience immersive rum tastings and mixology classes at Casa BACARDÍ.

If you love rum, visiting a distillery will give you the opportunity to discover this spirit’s enticing history, learn how it’s made, and, of course, sample a drink or two.

Rum is the Caribbean’s most popular and versatile spirit, so if you want to appreciate rum’s true craftsmanship and rich history, the best option is to visit one of the Island’s three main distilleries. Casa BACARDÍ will wow you with its modern visitor center, premium selection, and views of Old San Juan from across the bay. Hacienda Santa Ana will take you back in time to the late 1800s and walk you through the production process of Ron del Barrilito, the craft cocktail scene’s favorite small production rum. Or take a daytrip to the town of Jayuya for some flavorful moonshine called pitorro at the Craft Spirit Distillery.

Refresh and recharge in the Rum Capital of the World at Casa BACARDÍ.

Casa BACARDÍ

Carr. 165, Km. 6.2, Cataño

Just across the bay from Old San Juan, in the town of Cataño, is the “Cathedral of Rum.” The Casa BACARDÍ distillery produces most of the BACARDÍ rum consumed worldwide (which is A LOT considering it’s the number one rum in the world). Visitors are greeted with a welcome cocktail at the bat-winged Pavillion and you can choose between three tour options: Historic Tour, Rum Tasting, or Mixology Class. In the gift shop, you can even bottle your own premium rum directly from the barrel.

Hacienda Santa Ana, where Ron del Barrilito rum is made.

Hacienda Santa Ana

Edmundo B. Fernández, Inc., Carretera 5, Km. 5.5, Bayamón

Just 15 minutes outside San Juan, the town of Bayamón boasts the oldest distillery in Puerto Rico, where Ron del Barrilito has been manufactured since 1880. This rum is produced in small batches, with a flavor profile similar to bourbon, which makes it a darling of the craft cocktail movement. A visitor center was recently opened, where you can learn its history and taste what Barrilito is all about. 

Castillo Serrallés: former home of the Serrallés family, owners of the Don Q distillery. 

Don Q 

Museo Castillo Serrallés

17 Cll. El Vigia, Ponce

Don Q, manufactured by the Serrallés family in the town of Ponce, is the most popular rum in Puerto Rico, but it doesn’t have a distillery open to the public. You can, however, visit the Serrallés Castle Museum. This imposing Spanish Revival mansion was the home of the Serrallés family since the 1930s and visitors can learn about the history of sugarcane and rum during a guided tour. Stroll around the grounds which also include a Japanese garden, a butterfly sanctuary, and the emblematic Cruceta del Vigía, a giant cross overlooking the town of Ponce.

PitoRico

PR-5141, Km 0.7, Jayuya

Up in the mountains of Puerto Rico, moonshiners would bury handles of 95-proof pitorro, pure or mixed with fruit, to “cure” underground until they were smooth enough to drink. A modern and legal version of this spirit, which is a much stronger version of rum, is now available thanks to PitoRico. Manufactured at the Destilería Craft Spirits in the town of Jayuya, Visitors can drop by the distillery from Tuesday through Saturday, and get a brief tour of the factory and a tasting of the different flavors of PitoRico, including coconut, passion fruit, tamarind, orange, and original.

Be sure to try Ron del Barrilito while on the Island. 

Puerto Rican Rum Journey

Get your rum-soaked passport and follow your own path in the Rum Capital of the World. Download the Puerto Rican Rum Journey App and use it as your guide through different distilleries across the Island. Create a route, book your walking and tasting tour, and even make a mixology class reservation. You can even enroll in their rewards program, buy rum and other gifts to bring home, and receive special notifications of promotions directly.

Begin Your Journey

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Guide to Rum Tasting in Puerto Rico

Casa Bacardí offers mixology classes where you can learn to make a variety of rum-based cocktails.  

Next time you’re sipping on a mojito, a sangria, or piña colada, ask yourself this: where did the rum in my drink come from? More often than not, the answer is Puerto Rico.

With several big distilleries, this beautiful Caribbean island is responsible for over 70% of the rum sold in the U.S., making it the chief export. When combined, those distilleries bring up a cart of over 80 types of rum. From silver to golden and amber, spiced and dark, the versatility of the spirits offered on the island makes it easy to find one that is perfect for you.

Whether you like cognac, whiskey, or anything in between, all you have to do is look for the seal of approval: the Rum Standard of Rums of Puerto Rico.

The elaboration of rum is seeded in Puerto Rican history. Its production dates to the 15th century as a byproduct of the sugar cane industry – leading the economy way back in the day – when laborers discovered that mixing molasses with water and fermenting it produced a distilled spirit. Now, there are a few characteristics that Puerto Rican rums must have to be granted that approving seal of quality. Those signature distinctions are high quality molasses, a continuous distillation process, aged for a minimum of one year in a white-oak barrel, and it must be produced in Puerto Rico, the Rum Capital of the World.  

Here are the top award-winning brands that have been sprucing up your drinks for generations:

Bottle your own Bacardí during a Rum Tasting Tour.

Bacardí

The most popular rum in the world is made in Cataño, at Casa Bacardí, the world’s largest premium rum distillery. Created in 1862, Bacardí Superior was presented to the world, a refined white rum perfect for mixing popular cocktails. Its classic vanilla and almond details are developed through a secret blend of charcoal in a white oak barrel. The secret of Bacardí is that it is smooth and does not dominate or overpowers your drink.

Be sure to arrange a tour through its distillery and live the experience of filling up your bottle with the Legacy line, a double-aged rum in barrels previously used for bourbon and finished off in sherry barrels.  

Don Q (Serrallés)

Around since 1965, the most prestigious brand from the Serrallés distillery has been smoothing its way into your drinks. Don Q uses a distillation system that produces a delicate flavor profile for a cleaner and more refined rum. Aged from one and a half to five years in a white oak barrel, this spirit is so smooth you won’t be able to tell the difference from vodka. The Don Q rums – that have won multiple five-diamond awards – can be best enjoyed in cocktails or on the rocks.

Take a walking tour of the Castillo de Serrallés in Ponce, known as the house that built rum and learn about the family that has been spicing up your drink for centuries.

Sample Ron del Barrilito rum at Hacienda Santa Ana in Bayamón.

Ron del Barrilito

The oldest rum in Puerto Rico is praised for its deep and intricate whiskey-like profile. It has been aged in the same place – Hacienda Santa Ana – for the past 100 years. Story says that this rum’s formula was developed back in the 17th century and it is the same formula that the family uses today, which lends the spirit’s character. The profile is developed in Spanish Sherry barrels from two to over 10 years, creating layers and layers of complexity. Tasting it is a discovery on its own, given that it aims to wake up all the senses in a spectacular manner.

So, stroll down the old Santa Ana estate and sip the rum from “the little barrel”.

Club Caribe Rum

A distillery set in the mountains of Puerto Rico carries the seal of quality for decades. This family of white and flavored splashes are fun and refreshing and make a great cocktail anytime. It is the first brand of rum to be distilled with waters from the inner mountains of Puerto Rico, which elevates the quality of the product to another level.

Trigo Reserva Gran Añejo

One of the finest rums in the market, Trigo Reserva Gran Añejo is aged in oak barrels for at least 12 years in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Its profile delivers a unique woodsy flavor, full of character and body. This masterpiece is bottled in a limited-edition hand-blown decanter bottle suited for collectors. Its creation dates to the 1980s, but the timelessness it evokes make this ultra-premium rum a masterpiece on its own.

These are two newer brands have earned the seal of approval granted by the Rums of Puerto Rico group. These artisanal spirits aim to modernize the flavor profile of Puerto Rican jíbaros of yesteryear and are making progress as recognized brands.

From their creation to mixology, the cultural and historical significance of distilleries on the island are a great part of the Puerto Rican experience. So, be sure to take a tour, drink a sip and taste the profiles of what makes this Caribbean gem the Rum Capital of the world.

The Puerto Rico Rum Journey

Get your rum-soaked passport and follow your own path in the rum capital of the world.

Download the Puerto Rico Rum Journey App and use it as your guide through different distilleries across the Island. Create a route, book your walking and tasting tour, and even make a mixology class reservation (among other experiences) at: 

  • Casa Bacardi
  • Castillo Serrallés
  • Ron del Barrilito
  • Destilería Coquí
  • San Juan Artisan Distillers
  • The Crab Island
  • Craft Spirit Distillery

You can even enroll in their rewards program, buy items, and receive special notifications of promotions directly.

Learn more

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Bacardi Factory in Puerto Rico

If you are already in Puerto Rico, then you should definitely visit the famous Bacardi factory, see the rum production process and try different types of this drink. Eh, sometimes it’s not a sin to miss a glass of rum — it’s not in vain that they say: “If a person doesn’t drink, it’s either a sickness, or a bastard.”

To my great regret, it is forbidden to photograph the process of making rum. Therefore, I will show you only the territory of the plant, the museum and the tasting room.

The best way to visit the factory from the Old Town is to take the ferry and admire the cruise ships in the port.

The entrance to the plant is carefully guarded.

A small open bus will take us around the territory.

Bacardi Limited is the largest privately owned family owned spirits company in the world. Originally known for its eponymous Bacardi white rum, the company now has a portfolio of over 200 brands and brands. Founded in 1862, the company has been built on the experience of seven generations of owners. Bacardi employs 6,000 people, produces alcohol in 27 factories in 16 countries on four continents and is sold in more than 150 countries. The company sells more than 200 million bottles a year, and the company’s sales are about $ 6 billion. Bacardi Limited is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda and is managed by 16 members of the board of directors, headed by the great-great-grandson of the company’s founder Facundo L. Bacardi.

The company owns well-known brands: Bacardi rum, Martini vermouth, Gray Goose and Eristoff vodkas, Dewar’s and William Lawson’s Scotch whiskey, Otard cognac, Bombay Sapphire gin, Cazadores tequila, etc.

We were shown the whole process of rum distillation.

Prohibition signs for workers.

Open cafeteria and bar building. A mosaic of the company’s trademark — a bat — is laid out on the square. Moving from the experimental stage to commercial activity, Facundo and his brother José bought a distillery in the port city of Santiago de Cuba in 1862. Bats lived in the rafters of this building, which served as inspiration for the creation of the Bacardi logo. The wife of the founder of the company, Amalia, suggested using the drawing of a bat. According to Catalan belief, the bat brought health, wealth, good luck and family happiness. Being a superstitious person, Doña Amalia persuaded her husband to make the bat the symbol of the company.

Part of the electricity consumed at the plant is generated by windmills.

Interestingly, the Puerto Rico distillery is bottled in Jacksonville, Florida. All bottles are rinsed with rum before bottling, not water, because water can affect the quality of the product.

The Bacardi Factory in Puerto Rico produces 152,000 liters of rum per day. Rum is aged in wooden barrels that were previously used to age whiskey. New wooden barrels are not used because they can add an undesirable flavor to the rum.

There is a small museum with rum barrels at the distillery. We were also shown a short documentary about the history of the company.

Settlers, sailors and pirates always carried casks of rum with them to mix with water to disinfect it. By the way, rum was also used to treat scurvy, mixed with fruit juices, they disinfected wounds.

Barrel stands and a picture of one of the first rum factories.

Our guide told and showed cocktails with such taste that it was impossible not to try.

There are at least three versions of the origin of the word «rum». Perhaps this is an abbreviation for the English «rumbullion» (rum) — noise, excitement, fight — since the consumption of rum was often accompanied by this. Or perhaps «rum» comes from «saccarum» — the name of the sugar cane, from which the inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands received rum. According to other sources, Dutch sailors drank rum from large glasses called rummers, hence the word «rum».

To date, Bacardi rum has over 300 top awards, making it the title of «the most titled rum in the world.»

Part of the excursion was a «mixology» class — what, with what and how to mix rum to get delicious cocktails.

Bacardi Cuba Libre (Bacardi & Coke®) is the number one cocktail in the world with over 6 million orders every day worldwide. The original Cuba Libre cocktail was created to celebrate the end of the Spanish-American War, when American soldiers fought for the freedom of Cuba. They asked to mix their Coca-Cola with Bacardi Rum and drank to free Cuba, calling the cocktail «Cuba Libre».0083 I will share the recipe of the legendary CUBA LIBRE cocktail:
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Squeeze two lime quarters over ice and toss them into a glass. Pour in 50 ml of BACARDÍ Gold rum, then 100 ml of chilled Coke and shake gently.

And the Hemingway Special/Papa ​​Doble cocktail was created especially for Hemingway by bartender Constantino Ribalaigua in Havana.
Ingredients:
2 parts BACARDÍ Superior rum
1/3 part Maraschino liqueur
1/4 part fresh lime juice
1/2 part freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Maraschino cocktail cherry.
Pour the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice cubes and crushed ice. Shake very vigorously and for a long time until the outside of the shaker is frozen. Carefully pour the mixture into a chilled glass with a cherry on the bottom.

The company produces many varieties of rum: Bacardi Solera, Anejo, Mango Fusion, Limon, Orange, Big Apple, Coconut, Rock Coconut, Dragon Berry, Razz (rasberry), Black Razz, Torched Cherry, Wolf Berry, Pineapple Fusion, Arctic Grape, Grand Melon, Peach Red, Pina Colada, Mojito, Strawberry Daiquiri, etc.

Bacardi Oakheart is a collector’s variety.

Reserva Limitada is also a rare and expensive variety.

Traditional souvenir shop. Rum prices here are high compared to other stores, so it is better to buy a bottle of souvenir in Duty-Free shops in ports (1 liter for $20).

Rum Cake is one of the most coveted souvenirs of the Caribbean islands — a rum cake generously soaked in aromatic drink. I always bring 2-3 boxes of this cupcake as a gift. I once bought a bottle of Bacardi rum with a bonus CD of signature recipes that included rum. One of the recipes was rum cake, which is also a traditional American Christmas dessert. Since then, my holiday rum cake has been a feast hit!

Bacardi Factory in Puerto Rico

If you are in Puerto Rico, you should definitely visit the famous Bacardi factory, see the rum production process and try different types of this drink. Eh, sometimes it’s not a sin to miss a glass of rum — it’s not in vain that they say: “If a person doesn’t drink, it’s either a sickness, or a bastard.”

To my great regret, it is forbidden to photograph the process of making rum. Therefore, I will show you only the territory of the plant, the museum and the tasting room.

The best way to visit the factory from the Old Town is to take the ferry and admire the cruise ships in the port.

The entrance to the plant is carefully guarded.

A small open bus will take us around the territory.

Bacardi Limited is the largest privately owned family owned spirits company in the world. Originally known for its eponymous Bacardi white rum, the company now has a portfolio of over 200 brands and brands. Founded in 1862, the company has been built on the experience of seven generations of owners. Bacardi employs 6,000 people, produces alcohol in 27 factories in 16 countries on four continents and is sold in more than 150 countries. The company sells more than 200 million bottles a year, and the company’s sales are about $ 6 billion. Bacardi Limited is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda and is managed by 16 members of the board of directors, headed by the great-great-grandson of the company’s founder Facundo L. Bacardi.

The company owns well-known brands: Bacardi rum, Martini vermouth, Gray Goose and Eristoff vodkas, Dewar’s and William Lawson’s Scotch whiskey, Otard cognac, Bombay Sapphire gin, Cazadores tequila, etc.

We were shown the whole process of rum distillation.

Prohibition signs for workers.

Open cafeteria and bar building. A mosaic of the company’s trademark — a bat — is laid out on the square. Moving from the experimental stage to commercial activity, Facundo and his brother José bought a distillery in the port city of Santiago de Cuba in 1862. Bats lived in the rafters of this building, which served as inspiration for the creation of the Bacardi logo. The wife of the founder of the company, Amalia, suggested using the drawing of a bat. According to Catalan belief, the bat brought health, wealth, good luck and family happiness. Being a superstitious person, Doña Amalia persuaded her husband to make the bat the symbol of the company.

Part of the electricity consumed at the plant is generated by windmills.

Interestingly, the Puerto Rico distillery is bottled in Jacksonville, Florida. All bottles are rinsed with rum before bottling, not water, because water can affect the quality of the product.

The Bacardi Factory in Puerto Rico produces 152,000 liters of rum per day. Rum is aged in wooden barrels that were previously used to age whiskey. New wooden barrels are not used because they can add an undesirable flavor to the rum.

There is a small museum with rum barrels at the distillery. We were also shown a short documentary about the history of the company.

Settlers, sailors and pirates always carried casks of rum with them to mix with water to disinfect it. By the way, rum was also used to treat scurvy, mixed with fruit juices, they disinfected wounds.

Barrel stands and a picture of one of the first rum factories.

Our guide told and showed cocktails with such taste that it was impossible not to try.

There are at least three versions of the origin of the word «rum». Perhaps this is an abbreviation for the English «rumbullion» (rum) — noise, excitement, fight — since the consumption of rum was often accompanied by this. Or perhaps «rum» comes from «saccarum» — the name of the sugar cane, from which the inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands received rum. According to other sources, Dutch sailors drank rum from large glasses called rummers, hence the word «rum».

To date, Bacardi rum has over 300 top awards, making it the title of «the most titled rum in the world.»

Part of the excursion was a «mixology» class — what, with what and how to mix rum to get delicious cocktails.

Bacardi Cuba Libre (Bacardi & Coke®) is the number one cocktail in the world with over 6 million orders every day worldwide. The original Cuba Libre cocktail was created to celebrate the end of the Spanish-American War, when American soldiers fought for the freedom of Cuba. They asked to mix their Coca-Cola with Bacardi Rum and drank to free Cuba, calling the cocktail «Cuba Libre».0083 I will share the recipe of the legendary CUBA LIBRE cocktail:
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Squeeze two lime quarters over ice and toss them into a glass. Pour in 50 ml of BACARDÍ Gold rum, then 100 ml of chilled Coke and shake gently.

And the Hemingway Special/Papa ​​Doble cocktail was created especially for Hemingway by bartender Constantino Ribalaigua in Havana.
Ingredients:
2 parts BACARDÍ Superior rum
1/3 part Maraschino liqueur
1/4 part fresh lime juice
1/2 part freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Maraschino cocktail cherry.
Pour the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice cubes and crushed ice. Shake very vigorously and for a long time until the outside of the shaker is frozen. Carefully pour the mixture into a chilled glass with a cherry on the bottom.

The company produces many varieties of rum: Bacardi Solera, Anejo, Mango Fusion, Limon, Orange, Big Apple, Coconut, Rock Coconut, Dragon Berry, Razz (rasberry), Black Razz, Torched Cherry, Wolf Berry, Pineapple Fusion, Arctic Grape, Grand Melon, Peach Red, Pina Colada, Mojito, Strawberry Daiquiri, etc.

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