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Rum is as a lot a component of the history of Puerto Rico as El Morro, the streets of Aged San Juan or a plate of arroz con pollo.
The island’s rum sector generates more than $300 million in revenues each individual yr and employs hundreds across a lot of distilleries, according to the Section of Financial Advancement and Commerce.
The history of rum in Puerto Rico is a tale of the families who settled there and began generating sugar to satisfy demand from customers in Europe for the item.
Don Q learn blender Silvia Santiago explains the distillation method to tour teams. Photo Credit score: Courtesy of Don Q
The Serralles relatives is just one of all those stories. Initially from Catalonia, Spain, they immigrated to Puerto Rico in the early 1800s, settled in Ponce and due to the fact 1865 have been generating rum.
The relatives at the rear of the leading-promoting Don Q manufacturer is now telling their story and showcasing their craft in a tour introduced in March at their facility in Ponce, on the island’s southern coastline.
Sugar manufacturing was the Serralles’ to start with endeavor when they arrived in Puerto Rico, harvesting and refining the sugar cane that Spanish colonizers had brought to the island hundreds of years before. They sooner or later opened a rum-producing facility at their hacienda near Ponce.
Their distilling small business managed to survive the Prohibition period, which lasted from 1917 to 1933 in Puerto Rico, by concentrating its attempts on refined sugar output alternatively of on liquor in the course of people years.
The conclude of Prohibition signaled a new commencing for the family members organization, marked by the start of Don Q, its flagship brand, in 1934.
There is a digital fact ingredient to the Don Q Rum Tour. Photo Credit history: Courtesy of Don Q
The new Don Q Rum Tour tells of the family’s 157 several years in the industry and also gives site visitors a peek inside of the distilling method.
The tour will take spot in the Museo Castillo Serralles, which was the household of the Serralles family members for extra than 50 years. The tasteful 1930s revival mansion consists of a butterfly nursery and a Japanese meditation yard with benches, pagodas and koi ponds.
“We sense really thrilled and very pleased to share from the Museo Castillo Serralles the heritage of our island’s top rums. Don Q is an legendary model for all Puerto Ricans since it represents, above all, tradition and top quality,” reported Philippe Brechot, CEO of Destileria Serralles, the oldest running distillery in Puerto Rico.
“Remaining capable to supply this new practical experience for our guests and our prospects further more elevates this indicating,” he said.
Individuals on the rum tour learn about the background of rum on the island and the craftsmanship of Don Q creation at the distillery.
The Museo Castillo Serralles, once house to a loved ones of sugar and rum producers, and the Vigia Cross are Ponce landmarks. Image Credit: Courtesy of Don Q
Intro to mixology
Tour participants will also just take aspect in a mixology workshop and put together a hand-shaken pina colada and an old fashioned as nicely as have an chance to sample rum specifically from the white oak barrels in which it is saved. The show also includes an opportunity to get up shut with the rum manufacturing course of action by way of digital reality know-how.
“The 90-moment tour is meant for tiny teams of up to 15 men and women max. Less than a 7 days following the tour released, we noticed fantastic desire and foot website traffic,” explained Adamarie Melendez, senior brand manager for Don Q.
“As a lasting exhibition, we’re glad it’s in this article to stay so that both of those locals and tourists alike can take pleasure in this encounter and find out about the rich historical past and heritage of Don Q rum,” she said.
The tour pays fee and is conducted in English and Spanish admission is $15 for each particular person and have to be booked in advance. Days of procedure are Thursdays by way of Mondays at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Members ought to be 18 or more mature to take the tour and ought to present evidence of vaccination to enter. For data, visit https://museocastilloserralles.com.
The Parque de Bombas is a firehouse-turned-firefighting museum in Ponce. Picture Credit rating: Courtesy of Don Q
Although in Ponce …
Adjacent to the museum is the 100-foot Cruceta del Vigia, or Vigia Cross, an legendary Ponce landmark that opened in 1984 and has withstood many pure disasters, together with a few big hurricanes. The arms of the cross measure 70 feet across.
Guests can ascend the 10-story monument for panoramic vistas of the city and the sea.
While in Ponce, guests ought to also make time for the Museum of Ponce Architecture, housed in a pastel-pink building that some say appears to be like a marriage ceremony cake, and the Parque de Bombas, a firehouse-turned-firefighting museum decked out in pink and black stripes that resemble a checkerboard.