Rum is as considerably a portion of the historical past of Puerto Rico as El Morro, the streets of Old San Juan or a plate of arroz con pollo.
The island’s rum business generates a lot more than $300 million in revenues each individual year and employs hundreds across quite a few distilleries, in accordance to the Division of Economic Advancement and Commerce.
The record of rum in Puerto Rico is a story of the households who settled there and commenced creating sugar to satisfy need in Europe for the item.
Don Q grasp blender Silvia Santiago describes the distillation course of action to tour teams. Photograph Credit rating: Courtesy of Don Q
The Serralles family is one particular of individuals stories. Originally from Catalonia, Spain, they immigrated to Puerto Rico in the early 1800s, settled in Ponce and given that 1865 have been manufacturing rum.
The loved ones behind the prime-selling Don Q brand name is now telling their story and showcasing their craft in a tour released in March at their facility in Ponce, on the island’s southern coast.
Sugar manufacturing was the Serralles’ initial endeavor when they arrived in Puerto Rico, harvesting and refining the sugar cane that Spanish colonizers had introduced to the island hundreds of years previously. They ultimately opened a rum-creating facility at their hacienda in the vicinity of Ponce.
Their distilling company managed to survive the Prohibition period, which lasted from 1917 to 1933 in Puerto Rico, by concentrating its initiatives on refined sugar manufacturing in its place of on alcoholic beverages for the duration of all those years.
The stop of Prohibition signaled a new starting for the relatives business enterprise, marked by the start of Don Q, its flagship manufacturer, in 1934.
There is a digital reality component to the Don Q Rum Tour. Image Credit rating: Courtesy of Don Q
The new Don Q Rum Tour tells of the family’s 157 several years in the business and also presents guests a peek inside of the distilling approach.
The tour will take spot in the Museo Castillo Serralles, which was the house of the Serralles family for extra than 50 a long time. The elegant 1930s revival mansion consists of a butterfly nursery and a Japanese meditation garden with benches, pagodas and koi ponds.
“We feel really excited and happy to share from the Museo Castillo Serralles the historical past of our island’s main rums. Don Q is an iconic brand name for all Puerto Ricans because it represents, over all, society and high quality,” mentioned Philippe Brechot, CEO of Destileria Serralles, the oldest running distillery in Puerto Rico.
“Remaining ready to supply this new working experience for our people and our clients more elevates this meaning,” he mentioned.
Contributors on the rum tour understand about the heritage of rum on the island and the craftsmanship of Don Q generation at the distillery.
The Museo Castillo Serralles, once dwelling to a family of sugar and rum producers, and the Vigia Cross are Ponce landmarks. Image Credit rating: Courtesy of Don Q
Intro to mixology
Tour participants will also consider portion in a mixology workshop and get ready a hand-shaken pina colada and an outdated fashioned as nicely as have an opportunity to sample rum specifically from the white oak barrels in which it is saved. The exhibit also contains an opportunity to get up near with the rum generation system via virtual reality technological know-how.
“The 90-minute tour is supposed for smaller groups of up to 15 people max. A lot less than a week immediately after the tour released, we saw fantastic desire and foot traffic,” explained Adamarie Melendez, senior brand manager for Don Q.
“As a long lasting exhibition, we are glad it is really below to stay so that the two locals and holidaymakers alike can appreciate this practical experience and study about the wealthy record and heritage of Don Q rum,” she claimed.
The tour pays commission and is conducted in English and Spanish admission is $15 for every particular person and have to be booked in advance. Days of procedure are Thursdays by means of Mondays at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Participants should be 18 or older to get the tour and have to show evidence of vaccination to enter. For information, stop by https://museocastilloserralles.com.
The Don Q exhibit is section of the Puerto Rico Rum Journey and Rums of Puerto Rico initiatives in collaboration with the Office of Financial Growth and Commerce.
The Parque de Bombas is a firehouse-turned-firefighting museum in Ponce. Image Credit: Courtesy of Don Q
Although in Ponce …
Adjacent to the museum is the 100-foot Cruceta del Vigia, or Vigia Cross, an iconic Ponce landmark that opened in 1984 and has withstood several normal disasters, which include 3 important hurricanes. The arms of the cross evaluate 70 ft throughout.
Readers can ascend the 10-story monument for panoramic vistas of the town and the sea.
Though in Ponce, website visitors ought to also make time for the Museum of Ponce Architecture, housed in a pastel-pink developing that some say appears like a marriage cake, and the Parque de Bombas, a firehouse-turned-firefighting museum decked out in pink and black stripes that resemble a checkerboard.