In order to live a more cultured and sophisticated lifestyle, one must do a bit of traveling, and while traveling, partake in the local delights of wherever one finds themselves. My travels this year have led me to Belize, Grand Cayman, and most importantly, Puerto Rico. In the past year, I have spent a grand total of nearly 6 weeks on the Island of Enchantment, where the national drink is rum. In fact, Puerto Rico is known as the Rum Capital of the World, and more than 80% of the rum consumed in the United States, comes from the island. The most popular of the many brands in Puerto Rico is Bacardi, which is distilled in Cataño, right across San Juan Bay from the apartment I stay at. Every time a cruise ship made port (which is fairly often, as Puerto Rico is also the cruise ship capital of the world), dozens, if not hundreds, of people lined up to take tours of the Bacardi factory.
For obvious reasons (it is delicious), I am a big fan of rum. My time in Puerto Rico was well spent, as I tried several of the most popular local brands, none of which seemed to actually be Bacardi. My favorite of the locals ended up being Don Q Cristal, a silver rum distilled in the city of Ponce on the south coast of the island. I brought a bottle back with me to the United States, and spent much time reflecting on why I did not bring an entire case. Don Q is not sold in my neck of the woods, so I’ve only used it sparingly, on special occasions. Tonight is one of those occasions, as I finally sit down to do a real taste test, to see if Bacardi can be dethroned as the King of Puerto Rican Rum.