Boulevards & Byways

Bacardí Rum: Where to Try it in Puerto Rico

Planning a trip? No need to get your passport ready because here in Puerto Rico passports are not required for US citizens. When spending time on this lush tropical island it’s important to immerse yourself in local culture, seek new places, taste unique foods, and explore the natural beauty – and not forget about the local rum, Bacardí.

Seeped in history and tradition, Bacardí  is the most famous rum in Puerto Rico. When the Bacardi family discovered fruit bats living in the rafters of their first distillery they decided to feature the bat on the label of their award-winning spirit. For the family, it was a sign of good luck, but for the rest of us it’s the sign of a fabulous tasting rum.

Bacardí Rum: Where to Try it in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico takes the title “Cathedral of Rum” seriously which is why I recommend visiting to Casa Bacardí in Cataño. Participate in a mixology class, indulge in a rum tasting, or embark on a fascinating historical tour.

Since 1862 the Bacardí family, led by Don Facundo Bacardí Masso, made their own unique blends in Cuba with a revolutionary rum-making process using charcoal filtration. The result? It changed the historically harsh unrefined grog into a smooth, light bodied spirit. After the move from Cuba to Puerto Rico in 1936, Don Facundo’s talent for refining the quality of the family’s rum set the standard, catapulting Bacardí toward achieving over 550 awards and making Bacardí the number one rum in the world.

The Casa Bacardí Welcome Center

The Bacardí oceanfront pavilion is in the shape of the wings of a bat.

The Casa Bacardí tours and classes all have a fun vibe, there’s space to hang out, opportunities to try different rums, and relax. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon. Whether you attend a historical tour, a rum tasting or a mixology class, you’re greeted at the oceanfront pavilion with a welcome cocktail in a commemorative Bacardí cup.

 

Guests receive a refreshing welcome cocktail with every tour or class. This mojito is a combination of white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint. The combination of sweetness, citrus, and mint flavors complement the rum.

Bacardí Mixology Class

We were given everything needed to make three fantastic cocktails; Cuba libre, daiquiri, and mojito!

As a rum lover, I wanted to be sure I returned home with the skills needed to make the perfect Cuba libre, daiquiri, and mojito for my friends and family. I attended the mixology class, which didn’t let me down. With my own bar set up and the direction of a highly skilled instructor, I used jiggers, shakers, and stirrers to “season” the ice, smack and muddle the mint, and mix three perfect cocktails using Bacardí white and gold rums. 

My perfect Cuba libre!

The mixology class, however, proved to be so much more. The fascinating historical tour and distillery visit provided me with an understanding of the long-standing relationship between Puerto Rico and rum and an appreciation for what it takes to make over 132,000 liters of this spirit a day. 

At the factory, you get to see the impressive fermentation vats.

Did you know some say pirates helped launch the popularity of rum?

In the 16th century when sugar production became the heartbeat of Puerto Rico’s economy, sugarcane juice (guarapo), extracted and boiled at a high temperature, yielded molasses. When molasses is mixed with water and fermented, the result is, you guessed it, rum!

Some say the popularity of rum was due to pirates!

The Caribbean was at the center of major trade and exploration routes. This attracted pirates who used rum not only for drinking but for currency too. It was the Royal Navy’s job to fight the pirates. The rum they confiscated from captured pirate ships became so popular that they included in the daily rations of the seaman. Rum’s popularity spread to colonial North America, Europe, and Australia.

I am the proud recipient of a personalized Bacardi mixologist certificate.

The historical tour and the mixology class were great fun. With my personalized honorary Bacardi mixologist certificate in hand, I made my way to the retail shop where I purchased a stirrer and muddler.

The gift shop is also where there’s a unique opportunity to fill a personalized bottle with Bacardí’s Special Reserve Rum. Decide what to engrave on the bottle, then fill and seal with their signature red wax, personalize the label with your name, and record your name and bottle number in the Casa Bacardí registry. You will receive a special padded box to preserve the bottle along with a photo of you holding a bottle in front of the barrel it came from. It’s a fun way to commemorate your visit to Bacardí and makes a superior gift for someone special!

When in Puerto Rico I highly recommend you visit Casa Bacardí and attend one of their tours or classes. There are three to choose from.

Bacardí Tours & Classes

Bacardí Rum: Where to Try it in Puerto Rico.

The Bacardí tram transports visitors during the tour.

$15 Bacardí Historical Tour 

Includes:

  • Visitor’s Center Historical Tour: Learn about the past, present, and future of the Bacardí brand and how it evolved from being a small rum manufacturer in Santiago de Cuba to becoming one of the largest rum producers today.
  • Commemorative Bacardí Cup
  • Bacardí Special premium “Welcome” rum cocktail for adults at the waterfront pavilion.
  • Access to the retail shop and self-fill experience where you fill your own bottle of Special Reserve Rum.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
$50 Bacardí Rum Tasting

Includes:

  • Rum Tasting: Guests learn about the attributes and taste of the 5 finest rums within the Bacardí portfolio including Bacardí’s Legacy rum, which is only available at Casa Bacardí.
  • Guided tour where visitors discover how premium rums are made, the craft of the barrels and blending, and the history of the family-owned company.
  • Commemorative Bacardí Cup
  • Bacardí Special premium “Welcome” rum Cocktail for adults at the waterfront pavilion.
  • Access to the retail shop and self-fill experience where you fill your own bottle of Special Reserve Rum.
  • Complimentary WiFi
$60 Bacardí Mixology Class

Includes:

  • Guests learn how to prepare 3 legendary cocktails behind the bar with everything needed to make three classic cocktails: Cuba libre, daiquiri, and mojito
  • Guided historical tour and distillery visit where visitors learn about the rum making process.
  • Commemorative Bacardí Cup
  • Bacardí Special premium “Welcome” rum Cocktail for adults at the waterfront pavilion.
  • Personalized honorary Bacardi mixologist certificate.
  • Access to the retail shop and self-fill experience where you fill your own bottle of Special Reserve Rum.
  • Complimentary WiFi

Is it 5:00 yet?  It is somewhere, which means it’s time for some rum.

Passionate, warm, and welcoming, I encourage you to visit the island and when you do, make Casa Bacardí your first stop. Let us raise our glasses to all the pirates from days gone by and to those at Bacardí who make the spirit of rum possible.

Casa Bacardi

Carretera 165, Catano, 00949, Puerto Rico

+1 787-788-8400

 

 Monday                     Closed

Tuesday – Friday       9:00am to 4:30pm
Saturday & Sunday  12:00am to 4:30pm

 Rum Cocktail Recipes

 

My mixology tour at Casa Bacardí was complimentary, but all views are my own and did not influence the outcome of this article. 

Sandy Ruyack is the owner and writer of the popular and award-winning adventure travel blog, Boulevards and Byways. Her stories and photographs reflect her love of travel to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean – providing travel guides, destination tips, and vacation inspiration. Through transformative travel experiences she encourages readers to step out of their comfort zones and take the road less traveled. Boulevards and Byways has provided content for an array of hotels, tour companies, and travel publications.

 

On the agency side, her company Write Choice Marketing, is a direct response marketing and digital/social media/online management firm specializing in travel industry and nonprofit sectors. She provides account and content management for some of the best brands and charities. As a nonprofit direct response expert and writer for some of the largest fundraising organizations in the United States, she uses her years of expertise to execute strategic plans for online and direct mail appeals for nonprofits, and assists the travel industry with growth and monetization through engaging content strategy and storytelling.

 

A native New Yorker, she lives with her husband and 20-year-old cat Titan, and splits her time between Brewster, NY and Luquillo Puerto Rico

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