The best-loved and most fiercely guzzled rum in Puerto Rico is Don Q (wwww.donq.com), still proudly produced in Ponce by the Destilería Serrallés near the airport (which was once its private airstrip). Like the Barcardís, the Serrallés family hail from Catalunya in northern Spain, and it was patriarch Juan Serrallés Colón (1834–1897) who emigrated to Puerto Rico and established Hacienda Mercedita in 1861 as a sugar-cane plantation, still the location of the current distillery. In 1865 he began to produce quality rum, using a French still you can see in the Castillo Serrallés, but it wasn’t until 1932 that the Don Q brand was launched, named after the much-loved Cervantes character, Don Quixote. Don Q Gold and especially Don Q Cristal are now staples in almost every home and bar on the island, and if you order a piña colada, it will almost certainly contain the latter. Don Q is still owned by Destilería Serrallés, which also produces the Ron Llave, Palo Viejo and Granado brands, as well as Ronrico and Captain Morgan for distribution in the Caribbean (Seagrams has US distribution rights). Sadly, tours of the distillery are not available.

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