It’s no secret when going to Puerto Rico that its legal drinking age starts at 18, instead of 21. The reason? Rum! Rum everywhere! We certainly love having a good time, and have been making rum since the 19th century.

by My Puerto Rico Experience

A little bit of history

More than 150 years ago, Don Juan Serallés, from Cataluña, Spain, started producing rum in Hacienda Mercedita, Ponce (1865) after importing a still from France. Sixty-five years later, in the 1930s, the family launched Don Q, their own brand of rum named after famous Miguel de Cervantes novel, Don Quixote.

RUMS produced in Destilería Serallés:

  • • Don Q Cristal – *Most Popular*
  • • Don Q Gold
  • • Don Q Añejo
  • • Don Q Gran Añejo – *Top of the line*
  • • Don Q 151
  • • Don Q Limón
  • • Don Q Coco
  • • Don Q Mojito
  • • Don Q Pasión
  • • Ron Caliche
  • • Blackbeard
  • • Palo Viejo – *Most Popular*

There is no public distillery tour at this time but you can find the complete line of products made by Serrallés at La Cava, Fernandez Juncos Ave. #646 in Miramar and at their distillery in Mercedita, Ponce.

Rum Culture

Casa Bacardí

Don Facundo Bacardí Massó moved to Puerto Rico from Santiago, Cuba in 1830. He started as a wine merchant and importer, but later on ventured into the rum distillery business in 1862. Bacardí rum is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular rums, and part of our Puerto Rican heritage.

Visit The Historical Visitors Center tour with a complementary drink included for $15. The tours are available 7 days a week, from Monday to Saturdays (9 am–6:00pm, last tour is at 4:30pm) and Sundays from 10am to 5pm (last tour is at 3:45pm). Certain age restrictions apply. For more information, call 787-788-8400 or visit www.casabacardi.org.

Other Puerto Rican Rums

  • • Ron del Barrilito
  • • Ron Llave
  • • Ron Tres Estrellas
  • • Ron Caray
  • • Ron Pitorro

Pitorro (Puerto Rico’s “Moonshine”)

One of the most popular Christmas rum (and also illegal) is cañita or pitorro (not the same as Ron Pitorro, which is the legal version of the real deal). It is much stronger than commercial rum, usually containing 40-45% alcohol per volume, sometimes even 80%. The most common recipes involve burying a jug of pitorro in the ground with a variety of fruits for several months, leading up to Christmas season.

Bilí (Vieques island version of Pitorro)

This recipe replaces fruits for quenepas, commonly called Spanish lime. It is a mixture of white rum, quenepas, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon that is then buried in the ground for several months. Bilí tastes much sweeter than the traditional Pitorro.