Best White: Don Q Cristal
courtesy of Don Q
Region: Puerto Rico | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Pineapple, Brown Sugar
My favorite rum for a standard Daiquiri would have to be Don Q Cristal White Rum, says Reece Dodd of Helen in Birmingham, AL.
Don Q Cristal is simple and smooth. Unlike most clear rums, Don Q uses a multiple distillation process. This process provides a cleaner and delicate profile. After distillation, it is aged for 1.5 to 5 years in American white oak barrels. This is to create a smoother finish, making it the perfect rum to refine your classic Daiquiri build.
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Best For Frozen: Flor De Caa 4 Year Old Rum Extra Seco
Courtesy of ReserveBar
Region: Nicaragua | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: White Chocolate, Orange, Vanilla
These are stormy waters to weigh into depending on what sort of Daiquiri youre looking for, but for the classic standard workhorse youre looking at Flor de Cana 4-Year-Old, says Tobias Hogan, of The Aimsir Distilling Co. It is rich and round with sweet notes that complement and elevate the lime juice, and it will never disappoint. Go ahead and use this when making the frozen version of the Daiquiri to elevate this poolside cocktail.
Sugarcane Juice Rums Are In A Sweet Spot And Can Be What Ignites Rum Interest Worldwide
On this matter, the future of sugarcane juice rums is promising. In Alvarez Jr.s words, pressure on molasses rums is increasing, as well as the volumes of Agricole rum producers on the general market. In addition, infused rums have a lot of potential for their versatility and as an entry-level for potential rum-connoisseurs.
Rum has a lot of potential for the future, and we hope both our brands, our infused rums, Tresclavos, and our Ron Agricola, Ron Pepón, can ride both of these trends . I think that overall rum production and demand will increase, but sugarcane juice rums are in a sweet spot and can be what ignites rum interest worldwide.
Tresclavos Passion Parcha, a rum infused with passion fruit and natural flavors and bottled at 60 proof, received a Double-Gold Medal from New Yorks The Fifty Best 2022 contest as the Best Flavored Rum.
Currently, many molasses-based rum producers are experimenting with sugarcane juice, one can see a combination of concern for molasses as a viability in the future and the general consumer interest in sugarcane juice rums as the reasons that are influencing these changes.
San Juan Artisan Distillers is working on placing Agricole rum on the map once again, not only in the Caribbean but also in the mainland U.S. This is why the brand led by the Alvarez Family is working hard to produce Puerto Rican premium rums with the highest quality.
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How To Make Vegan Coquito
Unlike the old-school version, this vegan coquito doesnt use pitorro. Its also not a quick version because this one uses freshly pressed coconut milk. This is the closest thing to the original coquito without the burning sensation that makes you regret drinking it.
Add 6 cups of fresh coconut milk to the blender with the spices and tea. A can of cream of coconut and a can of sweetened condensed milk sweetens the coquito. Blend these for 30 seconds to combine.
Best Rum In Puerto Rico
One of Puerto Ricos greatest claims to fame is its rum manufacturing. Not only is rum an important export of the island. The industry also employs lots of people all across the island to make this distinct drink.
Although high-quality Puerto Rican rum can be pricey, great rum doesnt have to be expensive. If a rum has rich and complex flavors, it will absolutely drink well on its own. If it tastes good in a rum cocktail, as well as on its own as a sipping beverage, then you have certainly found a great, high-quality rum no matter the cost. So if youre asking yourself, Whats the best rum in Puerto Rico, read on to find out!
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The Best Puerto Rican Rum
There are many great rums in this world, with a flavor profile for almost any taste or preference. That being said, some of the very best rum comes from Puerto Rico a beautiful place where many families have been blending and distilling for many generations. This tradition of passing down the business is likely part of the reason so much of the rum is so successful knowledge is built upon and recipes are kept within the family and constantly improved.
Rum from Puerto Rico tends to be light and oaky, often on the dry side, and distilled using column stills. These are not hard rules, just the general consensus. There will always be some that go against the grain. In terms of legal requirements, Puerto Rico requires that rum be aged for at least one year, or three years if its to be considered a dark rum.
The best Puerto Rican rum is one that carries the mark and heritage of the country while still creating something new, high-quality, and enjoyable. Some are made for sipping while others are intended to enhance your cocktail but either way, you always want nice flavors and a smooth finish.
Ron Del Barrilito 3 Star
Ron del Barrilito 3 Star features a blend of rums that are aged between six and 10 years in a series of vintage sherry and American white oak barrels. This is a premium spirit that was made specifically for sipping and enjoying neat enhanced perhaps by a splash of water or served on the rocks. It needs little else to reach its full potential.
Their recipe also contains a secret blend of 10 ingredients that they count on to give the expression its unique profile and strong, exquisite flavor. Overall, it’s complex and extremely smooth, which has gained the brand and this expression, in particular, a large and loyal following.
The nose opens with notes of wood and fruit with citrus aromas from orange and lemon peel with ripe cantaloupe in the background and a touch of vanilla, caramel, and toffee. The palate enters with strong flavors of black and red pepper with the warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg baking it up. Following this are notes of woodiness and citrus with a touch of caramel and vanilla. The finish is dry and just a little bitter.
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Puerto Rican Rum Makes Comeback
Don Q Gran Anejo is the best rum Ive tasted from Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico bills itself as the Rum Capital of the World, and makes a huge amount of the stuff by some estimates 80% of all rum consumed in the US comes from the territory.
But as a lover of fine rums, Puerto Rico has been off my radar, with most of the best coming from places like Panama, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique, and Brazil. In fact, when I chose my top ten rums for National Rum Day earlier this year, there was not one from Puerto Rico on the list.
That just changed, when I got to try Don Q Gran Anejo. Like Bacardi, Don Q is a big manufacturer of mass produced Puerto Rican rum, but this one is much, much different. The distillery blends its best stocks of rums ranging from 3 to 12 years, aged in a mix of white oak and sherry barrels, utilizing the unique Solera blending system used for fine sherries . It has already won numerous top medals in spirits competition and was given an impressive 92 point rating by the Wine Enthusiast.
The Don Q is not the best rum I have ever tasted, but it certainly joins the upper tier of rums I look forward to drinking, and it makes an exceptional gift, considering its elaborate packaging, beautiful bottle and very reasonable price tag at a suggested retail of $60. The picture here does not do justice, as the bottle comes in an impressive sliding lid box, set in a cradle of gold ribbon.
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Visit The Rum Distilleries Of Puerto Rico
If you love rum, visiting a distillery will give you the opportunity to discover this spirits enticing history, learn how its made, and, of course, sample a drink or two.
Rum is the Caribbeans most popular and versatile spirit, so if you want to appreciate rums true craftsmanship and rich history, the best option is to visit one of the Islands 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 scenes 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.
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Guide To Rum Tasting In Puerto Rico
Next time youre 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.
Best Rum Aged Less Than Five Years: Brugal Aejo Superior
Brugal AÃ±ejo Superior
Region: Dominican Republic | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Chocolate, Oak, Brown Sugar
This Dominican Republican rum is aged between two and five years in American oak before bottling, picking up notes of vanilla, spice, and wood along the way. Its not the oldest rum out there, but it certainly sips like something way beyond its years. It also works great as a substitute for whiskey in a cocktail like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan.
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The Best Puerto Rican Rums To Try During Your Island Vacation
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Puerto Rican rums have a bit of a cult following behind them, and there is a good reason for it- the stuff is delicious!
When we visited this tiny American island territory, we had one goal in mind and that was to try as much local rum as possible
What did we find? Well, after a distillery tour, several rum tastings, six bottles of rum consumed in a week, and another six packed to come home with us, we have the following favorites you absolutely must try and bring back home with you!
How Do I Serve Coquito
After sitting in the fridge to cure, the fats in all the milks will solidify. Before serving you need to pull it out of the fridge and allow it to warm up on the counter for 10-15 minutes.
After your coquito has warmed a little, just give it a vigorous shake to mix the spices that will have settled, serve it, then sip. I mean, its a rich, dessert-like libation- and its potent- so, sipping seems like the right thing to do. The Soldier and I dont, but you should do as I say, not as I do. I serve our coquito in old fashion glasses. They look classy, and you feel like you have a lot, which stops you from becoming the drunk aunt or uncle who embarasses the family at every holiday event.
A stick of cinnamon is the perfect garnish, but totally optional. I do like to freshly grate cinnamon over mine. With or without ice is up to you. I prefer not to water down my drinks.
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The Renaissance Of Sugarcane Juice Rums In Puerto Rico
In the last few years, we have witnessed a renaissance of rums made of sugarcane juice in the Caribbean. Nowadays, although most rum is made of molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refinery process, it seems that rum makers have returned to spirits sugarcane rootsa rum made 100% from farm to bottle.
San Juan Artisan Distillers is the only contemporary brand in Puerto Rico that focuses on producing rum from fresh sugarcane juice. Although the island is widely recognized as a rum producer, local rums are mostly molasses-based spirits. Here is when San Juan Artisan appears on the scene, introducing a pioneering approach to rum distilling.
When To Visit Puerto Rico
The best time to go to Puerto Rico is usually from mid-April to June, as this is just after the busy winter season has ended and before the rainy summer season really gets going. The wet season hits it peak in August and will last until November.
As well as high humidity, the wet season is much hotter which some may not find to be comfortable for sightseeing. However, thats not to say that wet season should be ruled out. This can be a great time to travel if you want to miss the crowds.
From December to March, the island is dry, hot and sunny. But this is the most crowded time, with holiday makers hitting the beaches.
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How To Experience Rum In Puerto Rico:
Self Guided: You can easily experience and try all of Puerto Ricos rum while in Puerto Rico. On the to-do list: Try all of the different rums in the nearest bar. Visit Barrachina in Old San Juan, the birthplace of the Pina Colada. Visit the Don Q Hospitality House in Old San Juan and the Bacardi Factory in Cataño. Make sure to order a Cuba Libra the most popular drink on the island.
Guided: Take a tour with Legends of PR they do a great Rum Tasting Tour. Or visit during the Taste of Rum Festival, an annual event in Old San Juan.
At Home: Throw a Rum Tasting Party! Why not, right? TO get started, pick up various white and dark rums. You can set up some tastings of small shots of rum, but mixed cocktails is where rum really shines, so consider mixing up some rum cocktails as well. To learn more about Puerto Ricos most famous Rum cocktails, click here.
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Best Single Barrel: Holmes Cay Barbados 2005
Region: Barbados | ABV: 64% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Butterscotch, TangerineHolmes Cay imports some truly excellent single cask rums, including this Barbados 2005 bottling. No color or sugar is added to this rum, which is distilled at the Foursquare distillery. It’s aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at a cask strength of close to 64 percent ABV. This drinks easily even at that high proof, but a bit of water opens it up and reveals an exciting range of spice, fruit and vanilla on the palate.
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The Finest Puerto Rican Rum
To find the best Puerto Rican rum, follow the stars. Every single bottle of Ron del Barrilito holds premium rum that has been crafted by hand, using the same methods since 1880. Its always been made in very small batches. Absolutely no artificial ingredients or colorings are used. Its aged to perfection in vintage, Spanish white oak sherry barrels.
San Juan Artisan Distillers The First Agricole Rum Distillery In Puerto Rico
The distillery, established in 2011 by Don Pepe Alvare, is the only operating sugarcane plantation and Estate Rum Distillery in Puerto Rico, which has managed to make its way among rum giants, launching Ron Pepónthe first and sole local Ron Agricolaand Tresclavos, made with locally sourced fruits. Ron Pepón Blanco, a rum distilled from estate sugar cane juice, is bottled at 90 proof. It won The Fifty Best Gold Medal 2021 as The Best White Rum.
San Juan Artisan Distillers is located in the town of Vega Alta.
Don Pepe began his research on rum production about 15 years ago. This was during the Great Recession in the late 2000s, when all businesses had to reinvent themselves. He traveled to the French Antilles islands where he was inspired by the Rhum Agricole model, so he decided to develop those methods in Puerto Rico.
In the production of sugarcane juice rums at San Juan Artisan Distillers, it all starts in the fields where they plant, harvest, and maintain their sugarcane. Then, the milling process takes place to extract the juice from the harvest. Next, during the fermentation, yeast transforms the natural sugars into alcohol, followed by distillation, where the alcohol from the fermented juice is extracted. Finally, rum is bottled. In the production of certain expressions, they incorporate the aging process.
The fields where they plant, harvest, and maintain their sugarcane
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