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Jun 22, 2010 11:38 AM

Puerto Rico - What to drink?

Rum, I'm supposing. I'm not a big Rum drinker. I like it OK, but don't know a heck a lot about various brands.
Bacardi is Puerto Rican, but what else?

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  1. Ron de Barrilito - 3 Star - An amazing, wonderful, sippable rum. Until recently, I don't believe that this rum was readily available in the States. Now I can get it in the Washington, DC area - hooray!

    I also enjoyed Don Q Anejo Rum - aged 9 years and really smooth too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MDBBQFiend

      Barrilito 3 Star for sure.

      A Pina Colada, but make sure it is made with Lotus Pineapple Juice and Coco Lopez. Nothing else even comes close.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Can i assume also, that if i order a daquiri, that it will be a frozen blender one, not close to the original recipe?
        I am staying at large American resort

        1. re: TroyTempest

          My daquiris in the Condado area near San Juan were "classic" and not automatically served frozen.

          If in doubt, just tell the bartender what you want and then enjoy...

          1. re: TroyTempest

            The Lotus juice and Coco Lopez are both local products and really excellent.

            Oh, also, if you get a chance, check out the bar at the El San Juan Hotel. Most amazing bar I've ever been in:


            Finally, if you want to check out one of the few remaining bastions of truly amazing local food check out La Casita Blanca on Calle Tapia. Dingy neighborhood, but amazing local food.

      2. besides the don q and barrelito, a company is producing legal pitorro to sell, that should be tried as well.

        1. Bacardi was actually founded in Cuba. As said before, Ron de Barrilito, be it 2 or 3 stars, is great... good enough to drink alone (straight up or on the rocks). However, if you will be having a mixed drink with rum, like Cuba Libre, which is pretty popular here, you'll be fine with Don Q or Palo Viejo even. Cuba Libre is rum and coke with lime. I never have Cuba Libre with Bacardi or Pepsi. It's just not right. However, locals pretty much drink what everybody else drinks: beer, madras, vodka and cranberry juice, etc. You'll see many people drinking Medalla beer, which is local. However, be warned that in lobby hotels and touristic bars, they will pour you the least alcohol, which accounts for some very bland and overpriced drinks. If you go to some other bars, the bartender will eyeball it... you get a better tasting drink (you are on vacation after all) and a better value for your money... Gotta go, but will be happy to keep on posting!

          1. Oooh, I forgot to mention that a popular shooter or shot here is called "chichaĆ­to", rum and anise (La Paloma, the cheapest brand), which you follow with a very cold Medalla. It's popular among college students, bohemians and eclectic crowds. But beware, it usually costs between a $1 and $1.50, but some places charge them at $3. Sadly, one of my favorite bars en Old San Juan, El Batey, does this. Luckily, there's a very small hallway bar in Old San Juan that sells them very cheap. It's called Tres Cuernos, and they even have flavoured shots, with honey and other spices.

            1. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. We stayed at a pretty large resort, and it seemed like it only had Don Q and Bacardi.
              My wife had some pretty good mojitos with the Don Q Cristal.
              I didn't see any Ron De Barrillito, but i did pick up a bottle of 2 star and a bottle of 3 star at the duty free shop.
              Given the price point, I Initially i thought i'd use the 2 star for mixing and the 3 star for sipping, but found that the 2 star was really tasty, complex and good to sip on. It did make a good dark and stormy, though.
              The 3 star makes a great after dinner drink.
              Beer selection was pretty much American macros, corona, and Medalla as revuelta mentions below.
              I drank a lot of Medalla. Ice cold in the heat, they did the trick. I imagined that they were better than Bud Light, though it may have just been the atmosphere.