SOURCE: Rums of Puerto Rico

September 14, 2007 10:16 ET

Destination Puerto Rico: Discovering "Liquid Gold" in the Rum Capital of the World

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 14, 2007) - Puerto Rico is a world-class travel destination, abundant in tropical beauty, culture, music, cuisine and fine, aged rums, better known as "liquid gold." Puerto Rico has a 450-year history of producing rum, which is why the island is frequently referred to as "the Rum Capital of the World."

According to Karen Garnik, chief marketing officer for Rums of Puerto Rico, 70 percent of the rum sold in the United States today is from Puerto Rico, including well known brands such as Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Don Q and Ron del Barrilito. By law, all Puerto Rican rums must be aged in charred white American oak barrels for at least one year, ensuring quality, consistency and smoothness. Darker rums, with qualities consistent to a fine cognac, can be aged as much as five to 15 years.

For visitors to Puerto Rico, here are ways to sample the local product and learn more about rum production:

To the Pier: Watch the cruise ships sail in and sip on a complimentary rum cocktails, prepared by the Rums of Puerto Rico "Drinks Team" at La Casita (The Little House), located in Plaza de la Dársena, which houses the Puerto Rico Tourism Information Center in Old San Juan. The center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rum bar is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays through Wednesdays. For more information on La Casita, visit www.gotopuertorico.com or call (787) 722-1709. Note: La Casita is under renovation and will reopen in early November 2007. The temporary office is located at 201Tetuan Street, approximately one block away.

Casa Don Q: Located in Old San Juan across from Pier 1, this tiny museum and shop provides a history lesson about one of Puerto Rico's oldest rums, Don Q, produced by Destilería Serrallés, established in 1865. The family-operated distillery is located in Ponce on Puerto Rico's southwest coast. Visitors can learn about rum production and taste different kinds of rum at Casa Don Q. There is a gift shop for purchasing rum and other accessories. Call 787-977-1720. Hours: October 21 to April 30: Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1 to October 20: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Bacardi Rum Distillery: Referred to as the "Cathedral of Rum," this modern facility is the world's largest distillery of natural spirits. The distillery is located in Cataño, which is 15 minutes from San Juan by car. Visitors will learn the Bacardi family history, how rum is produced and, of course, will enjoy a rum tasting. The Bacardi distillery has many interactive exhibits, and there is a large gift shop on the premises. 787-788-8400. Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Cocktails Revisited: Dine at some of Puerto Rico's hottest restaurants, from traditional to contemporary. All offer creative cocktails made with Puerto Rican rums; or try a few dishes made with rum. Recommendations include: Agua Viva, Dragonfly, Marmalade, Parrot Club and 311 Trois Cent Onze, located in the trendy dining district in Old San Juan, referred to as "SoFo" (South Fortaleza Street); and Pikayo, located in the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, in the Condado district of San Juan.

Addresses:
 Agua Viva, 364 Calle Fortaleza 787-722-0665
 Dragonfly, 364 Calle Fortaleza 787-977-3886
 Marmalade, 317 Calle Fortaleza 787-724-3969
 Parrot Club, 363 Calle Fortaleza 787-725-7370
 Pikayo, Hotel 1, Joffre Street, Condado 787-721-6194
 Trois Cent Onze, 311 Calle Fortaleza 787-725-7959

Puerto Rico can be reached by major airlines including: American, Continental, Delta and Jet Blue. The island's tropical climate ranges from 76 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 70 to 83 degrees in the winter. A U.S. passport is not required to enter Puerto Rico. For more information on visiting Puerto Rico, go to www.gotopuertorico.com. For information on Puerto Rican rums, visit www.rumcapital.com.

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