Puerto Rico, the ‘Rum Capital of the World’ is Hittin’ the Road to Spread the Spirit
Puerto Rican rum distilleries want to let the world know that the island is open for business and ready to serve up some liquid silver and gold. The distilleries and other representatives of the rum industry on the island, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC), Manuel A. Laboy Rivera and the executive director of Rums of Puerto Rico, Alexandra Salgado Colón, launched the Rums of Puerto Rico promotional campaign, “The Rum Standard.”
Unlike bourbon that is a distinctive product of the United States, rum has no legally recognized country of origin. There are however legal definitions of regional rums. In the case of Puerto Rican rum it has at least four key components.
Puerto Rican Rum Standard in 4 Steps
Molasses – It has to be made with molasses that is developed through the extraction from sugar cane juice known as “guarapo.” The uuarapo is later boiled and converted into sugar crystallization, and the residual of this produce (molasses) is used in our rum.
Continuous Distillation – Unlike U.S. made bourbon that can be made from a pot still or a column still, Puerto Rican rum must be made using a continuous column still. Each tray is a level in the column where descending liquid meets the ascending vapors. The vapors that have been enriched with alcohol and aromas come out of the top of the column as they cool and turn into liquid.
Aging in Oak Barrels – No white dog here. Puerto Rico law requires that their rums be aged for a minimum of one year in white oak barrels. And here are some additional naming conventions for Puerto Rican rum – They must be aged at least 1 year(light or white), gold rums must be aged at least 2 years, and premium rums no less than 6 years.
Made in Puerto Rico – This one seems obvious but let’s add it to the list, Puerto Rican rum must be distilled and aged on the island Puerto Rico the, ‘Rum Capital of the World.’
The Rum Standard
The new advertising campaign and the relaunch of the RumCapital.com website will serve as a tool to expand the knowledge base of the rums of Puerto Rico.
“We are confident that with this campaign, the production, sale, and export of Puerto Rican rums will continue to grow. With this promotional effort we aim to increase the number of people in the world who know and love Puerto Rican rum. We will present it at events where we participate, in and out of Puerto Rico, and through the various networks of the Government of Puerto Rico that promote the island internationally. The commitment of our administration and Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, is to continue supporting this industry because it is a high quality local product that has gained international recognition,” said Laboy Rivera.
Manuel A. Laboy Rivera said “It is an honor for me to share the final product of a team effort, carried out with pride and with the satisfaction that it will contribute to the international promotion of Puerto Rican rums and, therefore, the economic development of the Island.“
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$300 Million Impact on the Local Economy including 700 Direct Jobs
The DEDC Secretary stressed that this industry generates more than $300 million annually to the local economy and represents 700 direct jobs in rum distilleries.
“We are convinced that the Puerto Rican rum industry can increase its contribution to the development of our economy. We will continue to support it because it is a local product of great quality that has gained international recognition. It has enormous possibilities of growth. And we will continue working to make it so. This promotional campaign is part of that effort. And, the best thing is that the protagonists are the hard-working hands, that for decades have taken this industry to the place it now occupies,” emphasized Laboy Rivera.
The campaign consists of seven videos, five minutes each, that summarize the history and the process of making each rum. And a one-minute video that summarizes what the Rums of Puerto Rico brand is all about.
The Rums on Puerto Rico include the following brands.
- Don Q
- Ron del Barrilito
- Club Caribe
- Caliche Rum
- Trigo Reserva Añeja Rum
The campaign emphasizes that the Rums of Puerto Rico are the example to follow – “When it comes to rums, this is the standard rum.”