Food - Drink
Why Puerto Rico Is Considered The Rum Capital Of The World
BY NIKITA EPHANOV
In contrast to full-bodied, funky Jamaican rums, Puerto Rico is all about light-bodied rums, which are put through multiple rounds of distilling for a clean flavor. The country is even home to the "Cathedral of Rum," the world's largest rum distillery, and is considered the rum capital of the world — let's dive into why.
Puerto Rican rum dominates the American market; more than 70% of the liquor sold stateside comes from the island, and at least 80 types are distilled within the territory. Bacardí, one of the world's most popular rums, is produced on the island, and Puerto Rico even has a legal term known as "The Rum Standard."
The Rum Standard governs rum made in the country. Each bottle must made with molasses from sugarcane, the distillation must be done with the continuous column still method, it must be aged in oak barrels, and to receive the "Made in Puerto Rico" label, every step of the process must take place on the island.
Beyond the general rum fantasticism in Puerto Rico, the liquor has a rich history there and plays a huge role in the country's economy. Conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon introduced sugarcane to Puerto Rico in 1506, and production of both the crop and liquor went way up when Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States.
By the 16th century, rum had gained an economic stronghold on the island, and today, most of the island's rum production is done by five major companies: Don Q, Bacardí, Ron del Barrilito (the oldest, having opened in 1880), Palo Viejo, and Ron Llave. Don Q, not Bacardí, is actually the best-selling rum in Puerto Rico.