January 4th, 2006

me: wrong side of the mirror

Day 9: Rum factory & family

We drop off Ian and Anna at the airport in the morning and say sleepy, fond farewells. When we return to the home base, we suddenly find ourselves drained as the pressure to entertain is off. We sit around the house before going to Bebo's for lunch for more pasteles and arroz con gandules. Afterwards, we meet up with Cheo and Magali to go the Ron del Barrilito ("Rum from the Barrel") facility. It isn't a distillery, at least, not any more. They didn't have the cash to upgrade their still after the repeal of Prohibition, so when they resumed production, they switched to purchasing 180-proof cane distillate from Bacardi. They apply their own secret formula of herbs and spices and age the rum from six to ten years in charred oak barrels. The result is most desirable, particularly the three-star variety of which Marco and I are very fond. Since the operation is family-owned, the rum is produced in limited quantities and only exported to a few places: California, New York, Italy and Japan. It's also quite expensive outside of Puerto Rico, when it can be obtained at all. Collapse )