Saludos Amig@s! Even though RUM and I met over 30 years ago, it has been the last 14 years, since we moved back to our beloved Puerto Rico and then Florida, that our relationship has really flourished.
To fit in in a new place you must do what the locals do so, as soon as I move back to Puerto Rico in 2004 I started joining my friends and co-workers for “Jueves & Viernes Social” which translates to going to Happy Hour on Thursday and again on Friday, right after work for some social drinking. We downed many cold Medalla Light beers and as expected many Cuba Libres (Don Q Cristal and Coke or Diet Coke with a twist of lime) at Los Paraos Bar , EL Choliseo, La Plazita and other cool places. So many memories…
There are only a few RUMs readily available around Puerto Rico, outside of the Duty Free store in the airport, where you can only buy them when you are LEAVING the island, not fair!!! You just landed in The Caribbean, they should let you buy the Rum when you get there!!! Right?
Some of the brands you can find anywhere on the island are Don Q (PR – Cristal, Oro, Añejo, Gran Reserva, Limon, Coco), Bacardi (PR – Select, Oakheart , Reserva Limitada), Barrilito (PR – 2 and 3 Estrellas), and Captain Morgan (USVIs).
If you look deeper you may find Ron Trigo (PR), Ron Caray (PR – Artesano & Platino), Rón Barcelo (DR – Añejo & Gran Añejo), and Blackbeard.
The local Don Q brand dominates the local market by a large margin, in fact that is what most local rum drinkers enjoy, specifically Don Q Cristal because it mixes well with everything and you can drink a lot of it without getting a headache the next day…due to the multiple times it is distilled.
Most liquor stores on the island are small, family owned and specialize in beer and wine, not spirits. Most of them have only one location and do not have web sites.
When in Puerto Rico, drink the local rums and if you have time please visit the very knowledgeable bar tenders at the Rum Time Tower in El Paseo de la Princesa in Old San Juan, and also check out: http://www.casamelaza.com