Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eating the Island, Part 7: Don Q Rum Museum

After a long day in the sun, I told my boyfriend we should stop into the Don Q Rum Museum in Old San Juan for a drink and a little history.  I'm going to admit, I didn't learn much about their rum making process and I just took some random photos.  In terms of information, this in no way is comparable to the Bacardi factory tour that I took last year.  The Don Q museum in Old San Juan is in need of a kiosk, pamphlets, or something! But, to be fair Don Q's distillery is located in Ponce so I'm sure they have a more complete tour and museum there.

After finishing the museum in less than 10 minutes (its literally a hallway with a U-shaped area for merchandise) we headed to the bar to sample some rum.  At the museum you can try as much rum as you want for free!  I tried the passion fruit rum, mojito flavored rum, the anejo (aged) rum, and pre made pina colada.  Other offerings include coconut rum and the usual regular light and dark rums.

The passion fruit rum was by far my favorite! It was sweet and had a nice fruity smell and when mixed with cranberry juice and a splash of sprite it was a clean and fruity libartion.  Thanks to this trip, I met the base of my new summer cocktail (stay tuned) and I ended up buying a bottle for $16 to add to our home bar.

Next up was the mojito rum which was mixed with soda water and garnished with a lime. The mojito rum was way too spearminty and sweet for my personal taste and needed more limes than just a garnish to balance things out.  I'd rather make a mojito from scratch because this rum tasted like cancer.  Yes, I said cancer. That is my description when things taste too manufactured, fake, or processed.

The anejo had a sweet, molasses-y flavor and a spicy smell.  This rum will put hair on your chest because it was strong, rightlyfully so after being aged from 3 to 12 years.  My boyfriend really liked this one and after giving it a try, he mixed it with coke.

The pina colada was frozen, coconut sweet, and had this weird bubblegum-like flavor.  My boyfriend said it tasted like super sweet coconut milk.  To me it wasn't quite like cancer, but it did taste odd so a couple of tasting sips was enough.

So if you're in Old San Juan near the marinia, stop in for a free drink (or more) and buy some cheap rum.   The bartenders have a heavy hand but most of the rum is good so it won't be like drinking moonshine, but that also means it will sneak up on you so be careful! There is not much information about Don Q as a company, go to Ponce for that, but it is a nice break from the heat.

Don Q Rum Museum
In the harbor across from Pier 1 in Old San Juan


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