Live the colada dream and transform your drink into paradise!
You can sip a cocktail pretty much anywhere you go, but to enjoy one in Puerto Rico, the heart and soul of the Caribbean has a different taste to it. Fresh ingredients, tropical vibes, local rum, and an enchanting backdrop anywhere you go. That's what the cocktail culture is all about. How do we know? Well, the Island is not only the birthplace of the iconic and refreshing piña colada; it is the rum capital of the world.
Puerto Rico is home to world-renowned distilleries that produce Bacardí, Don Q, Caribe Rum, Ron del Barrilito, and more. In fact, the Island is responsible for making over 70% of the rum sold in the U.S. mainland alone. That's a lot! The Island also houses acclaimed bars like La Factoría, Jungle Bird, La Casita de Rones, and La Central.
From elite master blenders like Joe González and Ramón Díaz to award-winning newcomer mixologists such as Luis Pagán and Nicole Fas (who is currently among the best mixologists in the world), the bars across the Island are jam-packed with bartenders and mixing professionals ready to serve you and satisfy your quench — whether it is a classic Old Fashioned, a refreshing Mojito or an innovating drink concocted just for you.
Yes, you can experience Puerto Rico's cocktail culture while on vacation by bar hoping (or at your hotel), but there are so many boozy adventures to have in rum-soaked Puerto Rico. Book a walking sunset tour with Spoon, explore big distilleries, take mixology classes in Casa Bacardí itself, visit Castillo Serrallés — the former house of the family that brought Don Q rum to the world, and more.
Guide to Rum Tasting in Puerto Rico
Over 65 years ago, two islanders mixed coconut cream, pineapple juice, white rum and called it a piña colada. The question lies in which bartender did it first. If you walk by the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, you will notice a plaque that reads "The House Where the Piña Colada was created by Don Ramón Portas Mingot," just outside Barrachina restaurant. And it is because this bartender claims he concocted the delicious drink back in 1963.
But, back in 1954, another bartender insisted that the sweet cocktail was his creation. Ramón "Monchito" Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton hotel, was commissioned to create a signature drink for their Beachcomber Bar. And so he did. A third version of the story claims that Ricardo García, yet another Caribe Hilton bartender, said he came up with the fruity drink that same year due to a coconut shortage that forced him to improvise.
The mystery of the inventor of the piña colada remains unsolved. Still, you can try to settle the dispute and savor a piña colada in both Barrachina and Caribe Hilton, and at the very least, decide which is your favorite.
Whether you visit the Island, create your own twist of a piña colada, or explore the Caribbean's rum scene from home, it's time to live Puerto Rico's Cocktail Culture!
The Origin of the Piña Colada