Puerto Rican rum is a type of rum made on the Island of Puerto Rico. Rums made in this style are column distilled and quite light, scarcely differentiating white Puerto Rican rums from vodka. Puerto Rico is a huge producer of rum, though sugar cane harvesting has all but disappeared from the island.
There are a handful of large distillers in Puerto Rico, the best known being Bacardi. Other producers include Captain Morgan, Ron Rico, and Don Q.
Some popular cocktails containing Puerto Rican Rum
- Love Burns — Puerto Rican Rum, Sparkling rosé wine, Chinato, Grapefruit bitters, Lemon juice, Simple syrup
- Hawaii Kai Treasure — Puerto Rican Rum, Curaçao, Crushed ice, Lime juice, Grapefruit juice, Half-and-half, Orgeat, Honey syrup
- Six Barrel Shotgun — Gin, Bourbon, Puerto Rican Rum, Sweet vermouth, Bitters, Simple syrup, Lemon juice
- Lani-Honi — Bénédictine, Puerto Rican Rum, Lemon juice
- Zombie — Jamaican rum, Puerto Rican Rum, Demerara Rum, Falernum, Bitters, Pastis, Crushed ice, Lime juice, Grapefruit juice, Cinnamon syrup, Grenadine, Mint
- Caribbean Punch — Puerto Rican Rum, Jamaican rum, Falernum, Bitters, Herbal liqueur, Crushed ice, Sarsaparilla soda, Simple syrup, Lime juice, Almond syrup, Grenadine, Mint
- Q.B. Cooler — Jamaican rum, Puerto Rican Rum, Demerara Rum, Falernum, Bitters, Crushed ice, Club soda, Orange juice, Lime juice, Honey syrup, Ginger syrup
- Don Fulano — Champagne, Puerto Rican Rum, White Crème de Cacao, Bitters, Sugar cube
- Samoan Fog Cutter — Puerto Rican Rum, Gin, Brandy, Cream Sherry, Ice, Lemon juice, Orange juice, Orgeat
- El Momento Perfecto — Puerto Rican Rum, Aromatized wine, Byrrh, Campari, Bitters, Orange marmalade
Just a quick note—Captain Morgan is no longer produced in Puerto Rico. It is now made in the US Virgin Islands.
While it's true that rums made in Puerto Rico are lighter in body and character than rums from, say, Jamaica, it's misleading to say they're scarcely differentiated from vodka. Bottlings like Palo Viejo and Caliche, containing a high proportion of heavy rums in their blends, have a full, molasses-y flavor that compares favorably, in my view, to Havana Club Añejo 3 year. The Barrilito expressions are robust and rummy. Even Don Q Cristal, the most popular rum among Puerto Ricans, has vanilla and spice notes from barrel aging, and makes a flavorful Daiquiri.
All Puerto Rican rums are aged for a legal minimum of one year in oak in bonded warehouses. Most bottlings are a blend of light-bodied and heavy-bodied (long ferment, lower distilling proof) rums. I've tasted the heavy rums on their own and found them surprisingly English/Jamaican in style (albeit less funky than, say, Wray & Nephew White Overproof). Granted, the character of most blends is still light (the heavy rum being equivalent to a touch of Islay in a blended Scotch). Distilleries sometimes bottle their aguardientes (low wines), which are intensely flavored, like eaux de vie of molasses.