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Alcohol Alchemists:

Puerto Rico's Best Cocktails and Where to Find Them


Puerto Rico is no slouch when it comes to alcoholic prowess. Not only do the natives love a good drink, they also love their rum, along with their rum-based mixed drinks. Margaritas, mojitos, new takes on old classics, local twists on well-known libations, and aged liquors abound all over the island. Many restaurants and bars have their own colorfully named, brightly colored, and pleasantly liquored cocktails. Here are some of the best and most unique drinks on the island:

Don Q Punch

Photo © Rums of Puerto Rico

A classic summer cocktail from our friends at Don Q, all you need to make this drink is Don Q Gold, a dash of grenadine, 2 ounces of orange juice, 2 ounces of pineapple juice, and an orange or cherry slice for garnish. Shake, pour and enjoy!


The Bacardi Hand-Shaken Daiquiri

Photo © Rums of Puerto Rico
Bacardi's hand-shaken daiquiri can be found all over the island. If you want to make it at home, start with Bacardi Superior Light, add lemon and two tablespoons of sugar.

Dragon Punch

Forget rum and Coke; try rum and ginger? Yup: those are two of the ingredients in the powerful Dragon Punch, an Asian-accented cocktail found in Dragonfly and sister Dragonfly Too, both on Old San Juan's Fortaleza Street.

Caribbean Melon

Photo © Zain Deane

Hiram Avila, resident mixed-drink master at the Caribe Hilton's Atlántico Pool Bar & Grill in Puerta de Tierra, won the gold medal in the 2006 Bacardi Grand Prix for this special potion, which combines Bacardi rums, pomegranate and watermelon juices.

Piña Colada

Okay, so it's not exactly exotic, but no list of Puerto Rican drinks is complete without mentioning the Piña Colada, which was born here. At which hospital, you ask? That would be Barrachina, a restaurant in Old San Juan that has claimed parenthood of the world-famous drink (there's even a plaque outside proclaiming the fact).
Hint: check out their web site, where you can email them for their original Piña Colada recipe.

Parrot Passion

Caged in the famous Parrot Club in Old San Juan, the Parrot Passion blends passion fruit, orange, Bacardi limón and triple sec. Among a long list of exotic drink at this long-time institution, it ranks at the top in popularity.

Watermelon Sangria

Refreshing, not too sweet, and bursting with summer flavor, this is the specialty at Aquaviva, one of Old San Juan's most fashionable restaurants.

Caribbean Cosmopolitan

At the normally mild-mannered Crow's Nest Inn in Vieques, things can heat up with the signature Caribbean Cosmopolitan, a masculine take on classic cocktail that uses white cranberry juice to eliminate the girly pinkish hue, and rum instead of vodka.

Fantasy Martini

The Fantasy Martini is just one of an almost ridiculous menu of martinis at Tantra where Old San Juan meets New Delhi. What's in it? Start with three different flavored rums; mix in crème de cassis; add pineapple and lemon juices; squirt in a spritz of grenadine; and shake to the rhythm of the belly dancer. Check out their martini menu for the full range of flavor combinations available to you.

Coco-Nuts Martini

For the coconut lovers in all of us, Wet, the rooftop lounge at The Water & Beach Club Hotel in Isla Verde, gives you the Coco-Nuts Martini, made up of premium COCO Vodka, flavored coconut rum and coco cream.
Hint: check out their web site for a coupon for a free drink.
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