Rum Journal: In Puerto Rico, the History of a Little Barrel

By Alexander Britell
Original Post: Caribbean Journal 6/14/19

He would carry it around in a small wooden barrel, rum in arm, giving tastes to his friends and those who wished to try it.

Don Pedro Fernandez, a third-generation sugarcane grower in Puerto Rico, had studied the art of brandy and cognac distillation in France and returned to the island with a copper pot still in 1871.

Fernandez wished to impart in rum the finesse of French spirits, and in a few years Puerto Rico’s first rum was born on an island covered in sugarcane plantations.

He called it “Ron del Barrilito,” or the “Rum of the Little Barrel,” branded with the story of those early rum sojourns.