RICO is home to many delicious rums, among them Bacardi.
Should you find yourself on the lush Caribbean island, we suggest
you drop in on the new Casa Bacardi Visitor Center, in Cataneo,
a mere 10 minutes from the city of San Juan.
Think of the Casa Bacardi as a museum with a little
history, culture, state-of-the-art design and, if you include the
nosing booths, some aromatherapy. Consisting of seven different
rooms, each one is as informative as it is fun. Highlights include
a ceiling constellation of the stars exactly as they appeared over
Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, the date that Don Facundo
Bacardi purchased the first distillery. Bacardi’s roots are deep
set in Cuba but when the totalitarian régime withheld all company assets
in the 1950s, the company was forced to flee, making Puerto Rico the
home of Bacardi.
The most fascinating room of the Casa Bacardi is
an exact replica of the first distillery. Copper smiths in Scotland
worked to create a copy of the original copper still used to distil
sugar cane molasses to make rum. The room feels altogether authentic
and antiquated complete with staked barrels and various historical
distillation equipment. This room also tells the tales of the Bacardi
family, through the generations, via portraits, old photographs of
various family members and original letters. Examining the case of
old dusty Bacardi bottles is particularly interesting: you will find
that they resemble medicinal vessels more so than delicious tipples.
Sipping many a daiquiri at
the Floridita bar in Havana, Ernest Hemingway is associated with
the cocktail—though the refreshing elixir was made before he brought
it to fame
The Parrot Club in the evening. ABOVE
FROM TOP: The Parrot Clubs signature dish: blackened tuna
in a dark rum sauce with orange essence. BELOW
LEFT: The art déco bar inside the Casa Bacardi.