Become a Mixologist at Casa Bacardí
If you like rum drinks and would like to learn a little bit of bar tending, the Mixology “class” at Casa Bacardí is for you. Heck, even if you just want to have fun and drink some cocktails, this class is for you!
Casa Bacardí is located in Catano, maybe a 20-minute drive from San Juan (or a short ferry ride from Old San Juan). This is the place where Bacardí rum is made, so many rum enthusiasts make a visit. It is a fun place to spend some time, enjoying a drink and learning about Bacardí, from the origins of the brand, to how rum is produced today. They offer 3 different tours: a Historical Tour, a Mixology Tour, and a Rum Tasting Tour. We recently went for the Mixology Tour, and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Our Mixology Tour
They ask you to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled tour, in order to sign in, etc. They give you a commemorative glass, and a token for a complimentary drink. We had some time to kill before the tour, so we wandered to the bar and I exchanged my token for a Bacardi Sunrise, and Ray got a Cuba Libre. We enjoyed the drink in the open air pavilion, it was breezy and cool on this warm, sunny day. Great photo opportunities here … you can see Old San Juan and El Morro from the pavilion.
When it was time for our tour, we boarded the tram, and took a short ride around the distillery grounds. As we were taking the short ride, the tour guide explained the different buildings, and artwork that we passed. We stopped at the “Cathedral of Rum”, which is part of the actual factory.
Downstairs they told us about the origins of Bacardí, some history about how rum is made, and they showed us some of the rums they produce, and the discussed the differences between the various rums. After our history lesson, we went upstairs, where they gave us a brief glimpse of the rum production facility (the fermentation process). There were lots of big tanks full of promise!
Then we went to the roof, where you can see the “back lot” and a great view of Old San Juan and El Morro, and areas west. They explained more of the rum-making process. An interesting tidbit is that the rum is shipped to Florida where it is bottled (since it’s more cost-effective to ship the rum up there, than it is to ship the empty bottles to Puerto Rico).
Then we walked over to the classroom building, along the way learning about sugar, and the sugar cane train. Once we got to the classroom, hand-washing was a requirement before entering the classroom … No dirty fingers when making drinks please!
We were assigned to our bar-tending stations, and the tour guide explained the supplies we had, and the use of each. For each of the three drinks that we made, the guide gave us the history of the drink, and step-by-step directions on how to make the drink.
First up was the Cuba Libre … that one is easy … and it goes down quickly. But hang on, you have to start making your second drink before you’re finished drinking your first! Next up was the Daiquiri. That is a yummy drink too! Now you have two drinks to finish, and you’re starting to mix your third one … the Mojito. A little more complicated, but still easy enough to make. It also was delicious … compliments to the bartender … oh wait … that was me! At the end, they give you a cute “Bacardí Mixology Certificate” with your name on it, proclaiming you to be an “Honorary Bacardí Mixologist”. Mom would be so proud!
So yes … you counted correctly. In about 45 minutes you have made, and consumed, three 12-ounce cocktails. You don’t have to chug them down. You do have your commemorative glass that you can fill up with whichever cocktail you didn’t finish drinking, and enjoy it “to go” on your way back to the pavilion.
Like any tour, the exit is through the gift shop. Here you will find all sorts of Bacardí merchandise for purchase … rum not available elsewhere, and even a chance to bottle your own special aged rum. Of course, they have a photo e-card you can send (free) to your friends!
From the gift shop, there is a short walk back to the pavilion, where you can relax for a while, while your body processes the rum you’ve been feeding it. They have free Wi-Fi, that is a nice touch (especially for cruise ship visitors), so you can send pictures to friends of you enjoying yourself at Bacardí!
The cost of the tour is $60 per person, for adults 18 and older. Kids under 18 are not permitted on the tour.
The Mixology Tour is offered on Saturdays and Sundays only, starting on the half hours. The distillery opens at 12-noon. The last tour starts at 4:30pm. If you just want to visit Bacardí, they are also open Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
The tour itself takes about 90 minutes, plus time to relax in the pavilion before/after the tour. I think we were there a total of about 3 hours.
Remember to drink responsibly, and never drink & drive. Uber and taxis are available to/from Bacardí.
You can book your tour online to guarantee space on the tour at the time you want (and skip the ticket line at Bacardí). You can visit their Facebook page for more information or to ask them a question.
Directions from San Juan – By car, get out of San Juan, go on Rt 18 until Highway 22 West, get off at the exit for Catano / Road 165. There is a little brown Bacardí sign. Take Road 165 until KM 2.6 – follow the brown Bacardí signs. The Bacardí factory is visible on the right side just before the exit. You can also turn right at the light at Int 888 (it is in an industrial park area).
From Old San Juan – Take the ferry from Pier 2 to Catano, for $0.50 per person, each way. When you arrive in Catano, go to the right for a taxi to the factory for about $3.00 per person each way.
It should be about 20-minute drive from the San Juan area.
We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...
- AquExpreso / ferry terminal / Pier 2: (18.462981, -66.113126)
- AquExpreso / Catano ferry terminal : (18.443512, -66.116678)
- Bacardi Rum Distillery: (18.454087, -66.143532)
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