In Dominican Republic Ron, Romo or Rum, whatever you call it, is a staple, almost as important as water. It is said that rum is the essence of the Dominican spirit. The major competition rum here has is the beer. The rum made on the island is some of the best in the world. It is not that easily obtained in many parts of the world. This is why when you come to visit our country take as much back home with you as you are permitted. Also remember if you buy that bottle of mamajuana it tastes best made with Dominican rum.
Among some or the major rum companies in Quisqueya are Barcelo (Puerta Plata), Brugal (Santiago and Santo Domingo), Bermudez, Pedro Justo Carrion (San Pedro de Marcorix-owned by Brugal), Ron Siboney,Vinicola del Norte. I am sure there are more and I will post them as I discover them.
What exactly is the history of rum one may ask? It is a distilled alcoholic liquor made from sugar and molasses. It became an important product of the Western Indies with the arrival of Columbus and his introduction of sugar cane to the islands. It was discovered that the molasses could be fomented and distilled to make a smooth and stimulating liquid.
The beverage made from molasses was first mentioned in history in some documents of Barbados in 1650. Rum was referred to as Mata-Diablo or Kill-Devil' and Rumbullion or Great Turmoil. Kill-devil "(' it kills-diablo') or" rumbullion "was called to him" (a word of Devonshire, England, that means ' great tumultó). In the French Antillean colonies, guildive was called to him later (modification of "kill-devil") and tafia, an African or indigenous term. It has also been called tafia by the Africans and guildive which is Kill-Devil a little modified. It later was called Rum (Rhum in French and Ron is Spanish) which seemed to have come from Jamaica and has kept the name ever since.
Rum was exported to Europe from the Antilles, used in slave trade and Indian trade as well. It was traded for Gold and Silver
The main rums here are also known as the 3 B's Brugal, Bermúdez and Barceló.
Brugal Ron / Rum During the second half of the 19th Century, Don Andrés Brugal Montaner, the Spanish national who started making this rum, decided to come to the Dominican Republic from Cuba. He came to Puerto Plata and used his rum making experience he learned in Cuba to start making rum here. Thus began Brugal & Co. This long established family business, started by Don Andrés has become one of the top businesses in the country and has branched off into many smaller businesses and organizations helping the country and its people.
Brugal is the world's third largest rum producer and the biggest rum brand in the Caribbean and Spain and is rapidly growing. Brugals rums include - Carta Dorada (made from molasses produced by local sugarcane. The fields are not sprayed nor artificially fertilized. This rum has received many international prizes for its quality. It is considered one of the finest rums on the planet. Its flavor is excellent and it is very inexpensive), Blanco Especial/ Special White, Añejo/ Old (aged 5 years), Extra Viejo/ extra old (aged 8 years), Siglo de Oro / Golden Age (aged 12 years), and Único (aged 30 years designed specially for rum connoisseurs), Brugal Titanium and Brugal 1888 (special edition) plus their many special Reserve releases.
The Brugal factory is located in Puerto Plata in the northern part of the island. Their distribution and marketing offices are located in Santo Domingo and Santiago de los Caballeros. You can tour the Brugal Rum bottling factory while you are in Puerto Plata in North Coast of Dominican Republic. The visitor can have a short tour of the oldest bottling operation in Dominican Republic. The best part is at the end of the tour you get to sample our liquid gold. The factory produces more than one and a half million liters of white and dark rum each year. Tours are conducted Monday to Friday 9am to 12pm, and 2pm to 5pm http://www.brugal.es/
Brugal - Esencia de Santo Domingo / The Essence of Santo Domingo
Some hints on how to enjoy Brugal rum and remove the yellow net from the bottle...
Removing the netting from a Brugal bottle is an acquired art. Turn the bottle upside down and find the shorter end. Pull and it should fall open. If by chance you do grab the wrong end and tie the knot tight don't try tearing the netting. It is strong and could hurt you little fingers. Trying to cut it with a knife or scissors is not acceptable. You can always give the netting a sharp tug at the top of the bottle making an opening large enough to be able to pop the top of the bottle out of its yellow cage giving direct access to the lid.
Once you have gained access to the lid and are waiting to open it there is a plastic sheet covering the lid. Twist this while pulling up and it should crack the little perforated side seam and pop right off. Then, as with all bottles, twist the cap off. The aroma will fill your little nose holes and you will be so excited to put this fine liquid into your glass and start drinking..but WAIT...one more step. You have to dump a small amount, thimble full to half a shot (don't get too friendly) onto the floor. Accompanying this action you say "for the dead" of if you are real brave in Spanish "por los muertos". This is for the dead and it is a tradition in Dominican Republic to do this. Its not that much Rum so I do not consider this alcohol abuse (*note - the dictionary of the Dominicana Gringa states "alcohol abuse is when you spill a glass, drop a bottle, or in any way waste this gift from the gods of the island") and it is fun to join in with the customs of the country. So don't forget a little hit for the dead!
I have never figured out a use for the netting. I use one in my kitchen to hold the onions and some veggies. You can tie them together and use them as a rope (great clothes line). I use many tied together with a close clip on the end so I can lower it down from the 2nd floor window to get my key from the deliveryman. Just lower down the rope from floors above and he can attach the key and you heist it up so I do not have to go down the stairs to lock the door (lazy isn't it?). Save them to see how much of a drinker you really are. They make nice little ankle bracelets and show the world how many bottles you imbibed. Put one on your head like a skull cap to show the world just how much you have drank..drunken..drinked...
Brandy from Connecticut wrote with a game they play with the nets from the Brugal bottle: "My friends have a tradition of awarding the net to the person who finishes the bottle. The net is then tied around the wrist and worn as a bracelet. This has become a game for us and often we are drinking quickly to see who will get the last swig! It is also a sign that those of us who aren't Dominican can drink with the best of them!!" Thanks for the input Brandy.
Any more uses for the netting please send them to us and I'll be happy to include them here.
*One very very important thing to remember this Dominican saying when you drink rum: Si tomas Brugal tú resuelve o peleas. - If you drink Brugal (rum) you either fight or have sex. This is the reason that whenever you purchase or drink Dominicans will give you a little smile or a knowing nod. They think they know what activity you will be enjoying later on.
How about a few drinks made with Rum?
*Cuba Libre or Santa (could be Santo, not real sure) Libre
Also known in English as a Rum and Coke but it sounds so much better if you say it in Spanish
Cola (Santa Libre use lime soda (ie: Sprite or 7up) in place of the cola)
squeeze of lime
Serve in a highball glass filled with ice, add the rum then fill with the coke add the lime.
To make a Cuba Libre Dominican Style. Get a large styrofoam glass. Fill with ice. Fill it almost to the top with rum. Add a shot of soda to the glass and lime if you have it. Swirl it around a bit or mix with your finger if necessary Now for the best part...drink it down! Enjoy! / ¡Disfrutar! / gozar de
2 ounces of white rum/ ron blanco
1 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce lime juice/ jugo de limón
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
shake all ingredients with ice. Strain. Or make a smoothie put the ingredients in a blender/ licuadora with a little ice and blend. Can be served with a salted rim/ borde cubierto de sal if you like.
*Carajillo or Carahijo (the man that told me about this drink was not sure of the exact spelling or measurements. Maybe he had one to many of these drinks.)
Get a shot of rum. Get a cup of espresso coffee. Ask for another cup to do the mixing because the coffee cup will be too small. Add sugar and or cinnamon to the coffee if desired. Mix the coffee and rum together...yummm
+click to enlarge Some of the Brugal Rum Family with the old and new bottle designs
Ron Bermúdez originated in 1852.Started by Don Erasmo Bermúdez when he created the formula for the "Amargo Panacea", appetizer rum and which quickly became famous. Their mission is to produce the most authentic Dominican rum, with insuperable characteristics, and to be of service to the general public in accordance to their industrial ethic to always compete with quality.
They have a line of products, Premium, Añejos, Dorados, Blancos, and 151 rums. They also make Ginebras/Gin, Vodka, Whisky, and Licores/Liquors (Mint, Cream, Amaretto and Triple Sec)
This is an older TV Commercial for Barcelo. I love the way it shows the real Dominican people from the town of La Vega. The Framboyan tree, the tree with the vibrant red flowers, in this video is beautiful.
May 2013 Brugal released a newly designed more fashionable bottle and label.
Barceló The adventures of 25 year old Jualian Barceló started in January 1929 when he left his native island of Mallorca to to make his own way on another island, Dominican Republic. He joined his brother who was already here to start their own rum company, Barceló & Co.They worked hard that first year and then all they did was destroyed one year after they started in 1930 by the worst disasters in the history of the country, the San Zenón hurricane. Santo Domingo was totally devastated and their new business was ruined. Andres was done here and he went to settle in Puerto Rico. Julian stayed and rebuilt his dream. Selling from his old model Ford, he promoted his product driving around the island which worked. He made his dream into one of the mayor forces in the nation's industry.
The business moved around until it made its permanent home in 1946 on the eastern bank of the Ozama River, which can be seen from the Fortaleza Ozama. http://www.ronbarcelo.com
Julian Barceló (who died in 1982) believed in team work and identified strongly with the needs of his community. He cared about education, health and sports. Most of all, he cared about helping young people build a future. This family business has grown and is still run by the family Barceló.
Siboney made by Bodegas Cochón-Calvo, S.A originated in Santo Domingo in the 1920's. This elixer is one of the older rums produced on the island by 3 generations of the Alfonso Cochón family. It is aged in white casks and made in very small amounts. Siboney is siad t be the more authentic Dominican rum, because it is made from local products. Starting with alcohol made from the juice of Dominican sugar cane. It is distilled and aged in American oak barrels for one year to 15 years, depending on which product.