Local Libations > Restaurants/Clubs > Puerto Rico
In Puerto Rico, rum is the undisputed king of drinks. The blessed offspring of sugarcane is the main ingredient of a bevy of tasty tropical concoctions, including the piña colada, which was invented in Puerto Rico forty years ago and has since become an international sensation. It should come as no surprise that rum is the national beverage and Puerto Rico is the home of the Bacardi Distillery, the world’s largest rum-producing plant, which pumps out more than 100,000 gallons of the nectar of the Caribbean gods every day. There are also many other internationally known brands that hail from the Island, including Don Q, RonRico, Castillo and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. More than two dozen brands of rum marketed locally come in a number of flavors including lemon, orange, raspberry, coconut and vanilla, among others.
Local rums come in several varieties and instantly give any cocktail a tropical flair. White or light rum is usually the driest and can easily replace gin or vodka in most all classic drink recipes. The more robust flavor of gold or amber rums, which are made with molasses, are an excellent substitute for whiskey and are often served on the rocks or with cola. The gold rums that are aged between four and six years or longer in wooden casks are called añejos. These aged rums, such as Barrilito, are so smooth and flavorful they are usually sipped straight up or on the rocks. You can take home as many as you please of these world-class rums that sell for as little as $4 a bottle
Piña Colada –Forty years ago this world-famous tropical cocktail was invented right here in San Juan. No visit to the Island would be complete without a celebratory sampling of the slushy, fruity frappe-style concoction made with Puerto Rican rum, pineapple juice and cream of coconut.
Planter’s Punch - The second-most-popular mixed rum drink among tourists and locals alike is a combination of dark Puerto Rican rum, dark-brown Jamaican rum, citrus juice and bitters, served over cracked ice.
Cuba Libre - This world-renowned cocktail may have originated in Cuba, but its roots are deeply grounded in Puerto Rico. This cooling local favorite is simply a rum and cola with a generous squeeze of lime.
Coquito – The rich and creamy Puerto Rican version of eggnog is the traditional drink at holiday time. Be careful, it may taste like a milkshake, but it packs a powerful punch.
Daiquiri – Whether blended or shaken, this cool, frosty and refreshing blend of fresh lime juice and sugar with a shot of light rum and plenty of crushed ice is a cooling accompaniment to the Caribbean sun.
Medalla Light - OK, no rum here, but the internationally recognized award-winning local beer is a must-try.