Let’s begin by saying that as a fan of whiskey, visiting a rum distillery was not at the top of my list when I landed in Puerto Rico. However, my visit to Casa Bacardi Puerto Rico turned out to be the highlight of my trip. Even if rum isn’t usually on your radar, this is an experience you don’t want to miss!
- Discovering the Bacardi Legacy
- Unveiling the “Cathedral of Rum”
- Tours to Suit Your Tastes
- My Unforgettable Mixology Class
- An Unforgettable Experience
Discovering the Bacardi Legacy
Founded in Cuba in 1892, Bacardi revolutionized the rum-making process. As the distillery expanded operations outside of Cuba, a state-of-the-art facility was established in Puerto Rico in 1930. In 1960, due to political circumstances, the Bacardi family was forced to flee from Cuba, further solidifying their presence in other countries. Today, Bacardi stands as the world’s leading premium spirit brand.
Unveiling the “Cathedral of Rum”
Opened in 2003, Casa Bacardi Puerto Rico offers a range of captivating tours that celebrate the resilience and history of the Bacardi family. Among the options, the “Cathedral of rum” stands out as the world’s largest premium rum distillery.
Tours to Suit Your Tastes
At Casa Bacardi Puerto Rico, there are several tour options to cater to different interests and budgets:
Casa Bacardi Founder’s Experience
Delve deep into Bacardi’s unique aging process with this intimate tour. You’ll enjoy a welcome cocktail, a “VIP ride,” a visit to the tropical aging warehouse, and a curated rum tasting. Duration: 120 mins. Cost: $200.
In this high-energy, hands-on class, you’ll learn about rum’s history while mastering the art of making a perfect Mojito and Piña Colada. The tour includes a welcome cocktail, a trolley ride, and all the necessary ingredients. Duration: 75 mins. Cost: $75.
Rum Tasting Tour
Embark on a journey through Bacardi’s storied past and become a rum connoisseur. Learn the art of tasting rum and experience the flavors of premium Bacardi rums paired with chocolate. This tour also includes a welcome cocktail and a trolley ride. Duration: 75 mins. Cost: $75.
Discover the fascinating history of the Bacardi family through a captivating movie at the visitor center. As a highlight, you’ll have the chance to taste the exclusive Casa Bacardi Special Reserve Rum, available only at Casa Bacardi. This tour includes a welcome cocktail and a trolley ride. Duration: 45 mins. Cost: $30.
My Unforgettable Mixology Class
Initially, I had planned to attend the mixology class with a friend who couldn’t make it. Despite this, I decided to join the class during my solo trip, and it turned out to be the best decision ever!
Arrival at Casa Bacardi
Upon arriving, I was immediately captivated by the stunning grounds, resembling an upscale resort. The Pavillion, reminiscent of an opera house or Cirque du Soleil tent, sets the stage for the incredible experiences to come. As the tours cover extensive grounds, a trolley ride is included in each option.
I arrived slightly late for the tour, missing the opportunity for a welcome drink at the Pavillion. Fortunately, the staff was accommodating, providing me with a drink token and quickly escorting me to join the tour group in the main building.
Immersed in History
The main building, resembling an art gallery, features grand columns adorned with the iconic Bacardi Bat emblem. Stepping inside, I was transported back in time to old Puerto Rico, surrounded by traditional decor. Our tour guide greeted us with a glass of rum, initiating an engaging discussion about Bacardi’s history and the rum-making process. To illustrate the intoxicating aromas, he even sprayed two rum ingredients on our hands. While one smelled like pure rubbing alcohol, the combination resulted in a pleasant and slightly sweet fragrance.
A Class Like No Other
We were then led to a separate building for our mixology class. The room was filled with 15 tables, each equipped with everything needed to concoct our cocktails. The enthusiastic instructor stood at the front, with large monitors, ready to guide us through the experience.
Amidst a lively atmosphere, we learned about each item at our station, including the proper techniques and pronunciation. The instructor informed us that we would be making two classic drinks—a mojito and a piña colada—while delving into their fascinating histories.
The Mojito: A Tropical Delight
As a fan of well-made mojitos, I relished the chance to perfect my muddling skills. The instructor shared that the name “mojito” is derived from West-African and Latino languages, meaning “small potion.” We learned the importance of carefully extracting the mint’s oils for optimal flavor, debunking the common practice of slapping the leaves. After crafting our mojitos, we toasted to our classmates, danced, and savored our creations.
The Piña Colada: A Taste of Puerto Rico
Although I’m not typically fond of coconut and pineapple flavors, I embraced the opportunity to make a piña colada alongside my fellow classmates. This classic Puerto Rican drink, known as the “strained pineapple,” boasts a creamy sweetness. As we prepared our second drink, we engaged in cheerful toasts and continued dancing.
Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to sample the piña colada I had just created. My initial distaste for coconut and pineapple was affirmed, but I could see how those who appreciate these flavors would adore the drink. It embodied the essence of a perfect vacation beverage—sweet, light, and refreshing.
Beyond the Class
After the class, we had the chance to take photos with the instructor, capturing the lively atmosphere. The next stop was the gift shop, where an array of Bacardi-branded items awaited. As I opted to explore the Pavillion, I redeemed my unused drink token for a mojito at the bar. The Pavillion not only serves as a waiting area but also offers games like giant Jenga and cornhole, providing a fun and relaxed ambiance.
An Unforgettable Experience
I wholeheartedly give this tour a 5/5 rating! It truly exceeded my expectations and left me wishing my friend had joined me. Whether you’re planning a girls’ trip, a guys’ adventure, or a romantic getaway, this experience caters to all. In fact, even as a solo traveler, I felt completely at ease and thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
What made this experience stand out?
- The stunning grounds provided a beautiful backdrop.
- The tour included multiple drinks, offering better value than a typical tasting.
- The class was interactive and energetic, fostering a lively atmosphere.
- All the necessary ingredients were provided, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
- The instructor’s infectious energy and fun personality made it an unforgettable time.
- I left feeling that every penny spent was worth it!
If you’d like a glimpse into the lively atmosphere, check out the reel recap I created, or explore my Puerto Rico IG Highlights and YT Vlog. For additional suggestions during your time on the island, check out my blog post featuring a 7-day Puerto Rico itinerary.
Leave a comment and let me know if you’re planning to visit Casa Bacardi Puerto Rico and if you’ll be joining the mixology class!