There’s a reason Puerto Rico boasts the top-selling rum in the world. Nearly three quarters of all rum sold in the U.S. is made by our hands.
With four distilleries around the island and a rum-producing tradition that dates back to the 1600s, we’ve perfected the craft of distilling our favorite spirit over the centuries.
We’re also the only rum-producing country to enforce a strict minimum-aging law for every one of our rums, and that makes our rum exceptionally smooth. And, of course, we’re the birthplace of the most famous rum cocktail in the world: the piña colada.
A tour of one of our distilleries is an informative, entertaining journey into the history, tradition, and blend of science and art that has made our rums the most popular on the planet.
The Bacardi Distillery
A visit to the “Cathedral of Rum,” Bacardi’s rum factory and the largest distillery in the world, is an entertaining experience for any visitor. Located in nearby Cataño, just across the water from San Juan, the headquarters of Bacardi Rum in Puerto Rico is an intriguing destination.
The free trolley tour of the facility includes a recreation of Bacardi's first distillery in Cuba and interactive exhibits that let your nose guide you through rum’s different varieties and blends.
The tour ends with a free sample of a Bacardi rum drink or cocktail.
Origins of the bat
The Bacardi bat is an instantly recognized symbol of Bacardi rum, and its origins as the company’s logo date back to its early history. Bacardi’s first distillery was a basic building that was home to a colony of fruit bats.
Did you know that the Cuba Libre (more commonly known as Rum and Coke), Daiquiri and Mojito are all Bacardi originals?
Numerous companies offer tours to the “Cathedral of Rum,” but you can also take a ferry from the piers at Old San Juan to Cataño. From here, it’s a short taxi ride to the distillery.
Far less known internationally, Don Q Rum is the favorite for many Puerto Ricans. Don Q is an original Puerto Rican product, made by the Serrallés family. A visit to their elegant Spanish revival mansion (despite the name, it’s not a castle) in Ponce is a step back in time to the early 1900s, when the rum barons lived in lavish style.
While the Bacardi tour focuses on the production of rum, the Serrallés Castle is a look at the history of Puerto Rico’s first family of rum. After the tour, visit the well-stocked gift shop and take home a bottle of Don Q, Palo Viejo, or Ron Llave rum – all crafted in the Serrallés distillery.
Perched on a hill, Castillo Serrallés is a lovely landmark overlooking the city of Ponce. The castle is one of the stops on the Ponce Trolley, making it an easily accessible destination. Tours are given daily.
The Vigia Cross
After touring the castle, cross the street for a visit to the Cruceta del Vigía, or Vigía Cross, a large structure with an observation tower that offers panoramic vistas.
The third attraction worth visiting near Castillo Serrallés is the small but serene Japanese garden, located next to the Vigía Cross.
Ron del Barrilito
Compared to Bacardi and Don Q, Ron del Barrilito (which means “Rum from the little barrel”) is a much smaller operation. The company produces only two rums: Two Star and Three Star. However, what it lacks in quantity, Ron del Barrilito makes up in quality… or so say many Puerto Ricans.
While the factory (you can’t miss the once-upon-a-time brick windmill that now houses the main office) doesn’t offer official tours, you’re welcomed to visit them during business hours.
Ron del Barrilito is located on Carretera Cataño 5 km 1.6 in the city of Bayamón. It’s a short drive from the tourist neighborhoods of Old San Juan, Condado and Isla Verde.
A family secret
Ron del Barrilito is made with a secret recipe known only to the founding Fernandez family. It’s also the only rum that is blended before it is aged.
A Three Star Review
Ron del Barrilito Three Star is a much-loved, high-quality spirit that is aged in barrels for six years; in fact, around here we say it’s the “best cognac in the Caribbean.”
Not all rums were created equal and Trigo Corporation's line of fine rums can attest to this. With just a bit more than fifty employees, Trigo Corporation has been using unique methods of blending and aging local rums for over three generations to create some of the most prestigious and sought after rums around the world. Their current lineup includes rums such as Ron Cañita Alambique, Coquito Trigo, Ron Mojito Twin isles and Bugalú Rum. But it's their Trigo Reserva Añeja Rum that really stands out amongst the rest. Aged a minimum of 10 years in American white oak barrels, this smooth and rich in flavor rum is produced in small batches so you know you're getting a quality product.