Puerto Rico El Morro


A Celebración of Puerto Rico’s Best Cuisine & Rum

It’s loud, joyous and unmistakably Boricua. There’s lots of dancing, drumming and delicioso food. It’s the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, and it will be taking place in cities across the U.S. the weekend of June 10 and 11. The boldest and biggest, of course, is in New York City, where millions have taken to the streets to celebrate Puerto Rican pride for 65 years—and counting.  It’s the biggest cultural celebration in the U.S., according to parade organizers. 

Think of it as the nation’s biggest Boricua block party, and everyone is invited

In its honor all through June, we’re hosting a month-long salute of Puerto Rican heritage, cuisine and rum here at Familia Kitchen. We’re all about keeping things authentic and sabroso, so we’ll be cooking with lots of sofrito and sipping Puerto Rico’s official cocktail, piña colada, made with the island’s best-selling rum, Don Q. Here’s to the sabor of the island, and the spirit of Boricuas in Puerto Rico and here in the States. ¡Que viva!

Enter to Win a Trip to Experience Puerto Rico’s Best Food and Rum in NYC

How would you like to win a delicioso experience for two to attend a Chef’s Dinner TableGUSTO!” dinner series event in New York City in early October 2023, starring one of Puerto Rico’s best chefs? The prize trip includes dinner for two, a special Don Q rum tasting, and one night’s stay at a luxury hotel. Enter for your chance to win today!

Giveaway is officially closed.

Meet Orujo’s Carlos Portela, Puerto Rico’s Acclaimed, Visionary Chef

The New York City parade weekend event we’re most looking forward takes place at a beautiful, intimate dining and events space for comida connoisseurs. Chef’s Dinner Table is owned and managed by Hernan “Ronnie“ Rodriguez, who happens to be a Puerto Rican on a mission to showcase his homeland’s finest food and drink. That’s why he has partnered with Don Q rum and Discover Puerto Rico to curate and host “GUSTO!,” a yearlong dinner series celebrating the island’s top chefs. Interested in attending? Make your future reservation here!

The Saturday night before the big parade down Fifth Avenue, on June 10, Puerto Rico’s celebrated and daringly experimental chef Carlos Portela, profiled recently in Food + Wine, will be helming the kitchen at Chef’s Dinner Table. The executive chef of Orujo, a hot-ticket restaurant in Miramar, Puerto Rico, Portela is known for his inventive, soulful reimagining of traditional ingredients, and for inviting diners into the kitchen to meet the crew creating his mind-blowing fare with love and precision.

Q: Carlos, what is inspiring the dishes you’ll be serving at Chef’s Dinner Table the night before the Puerto Rican Day Parade? 
A: “Los Puertorriqueños somos orgullosos. We Puerto Ricans are proud,” says Portela. “As we get ready to travel and represent our take and philosophy on the ever-changing landscape of gastronomy, our heart and mindset are primarily focused on the people. How will they react to our unconventional approach to classical flavors and cooking methods of today’s Puerto Rican-inspired cuisine? In the last couple of years, we have developed a dynamic, experimental and inspirational concept that translates home-style flavors and techniques into a modern presentation and enjoyment of the flavors and deliciousness of Caribbean food.”

Q: What island ingredient might people be surprised to find on your menu at the Chef’s Dinner Table special dinner?
One of the most loved ingredients by Puerto Ricans is the pana (breadfruit), a delicious and versatile ingredient brought in during the colonization era and even used as trading currency. Pana is one of the most sought-out delicacies on the island, used in everything from tostones to flan, and is considered a superfood. It’s right up there with guanábana (soursop). When it’s in season, it becomes a must-have, enjoyed from the most simple to the more elegant tables.

Q: What would you like the world to understand in a new or different way about Puerto Rican food?
A: Puerto Rico is one of the oldest colonies in the world, and still our cuisine hasn’t been included as one of the most complete, hearty and delicious in the world. The Taino influences are very strong, there are noted African impressions, as well as European cooking methods and preservations. Puerto Rican cuisine has all that it takes to be recognized as one of the best cuisines in the world, and many of us are working hard to place our cooking culture on the map.

Q: We’re all about homecooking here at Familia Kitchen. Do you remember that first Puerto Rican dish you learned to make when you were growing up?
A: Un guineito rebosado, a lightly battered and pan-fried baby green banana, served with simple white rice, is one of the first things I learned as a kid. It makes a great substitution for avocados when they are not in season.

Q: At your restaurant Orujo, you’re known for inviting diners into your kitchen and creating connection and community between those who eat and those who cook.  Why is it so important to you to break down the silos between back and front of the house?
A: We love to have people immersed in our experience. We not only want them to be satisfied by the food, but also to enjoy the way of preparation and fabrication of the items they consume, giving them the opportunity to get more close and personal with methods, ingredients and see first-hand the composition of their dishes while talking to us and having all their questions answered. It’s a new way of integrating the chefs and cooks into the service, and gives the foodie a more up-close and personal service experience.

To reserve your spot at the table at a future “GUSTO!” dinner series starring Puerto Rico’s most celebrated chefs with dates throughout 2023 and 2024, visit Chef’s Dinner Table.

Chef's Dinner Table NYC

Because It’s Not a Real P.R. Party Without the Island’s No. 1 Rum: Don Q

Rum runs through the story of Puerto Rico. Since the 1500s, the distilled spirit made from sugar-cane molasses has shaped the Puerto Rico’s history, economy and culture. Today, this tiny Caribbean island 100 miles long by 35 wide is the leading exporter of rum in the U.S. 

It all started with one savvy Spaniard, Don Juan Serrallés, who arrived in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1820 and got into the azúcar business. He ordered a copper still from France, and in 1865 distilled the first batch of an alcohol he named after another español on a quest for quality, Don Quijote de la Mancha.

Almost 160 years later, Don Q is legendary for its elegant, smooth taste, award-winning distillation process, and environmentally sustainable production. Its quality rums are enjoyed both straight and mixed in cocktails, especially in the island’s national bebida, the piña colada. Is it any surprise that Monchito Marrero, the Puerto Rican bartender who invented the frozen libation in 1954 at San Juan’s famed Caribe Hilton hotel, used Don Q Gold in that pioneering piña? 

In honor of all the Puerto Rican National Parades taking place this June, we invite you to toast the Boricua spirit with the island’s most famous cocktail. Get your celebracíon going in style with your choice of two official piña colada recipes — classic and a skinny version for the health conscious — from the cocktail experts and master blender at Don Q rum.

Piña Colada Classic

Recipe by Don Q Rum
5.0 from 1 vote
Cuisine: Puerto Rican


Prep time




  • 2 oz Don Q Gold rum

  • 1 1/2 oz fresh pineapple juice

  • 1 oz cream of coconut

  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

  • 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish


  • Blend ingredients with a 1/2 scoop of cubed ice.
  • Pulse until light, frothy, aerated and not thick.
  • Pour into a tulip glass. Garnish with the cherry.

Piña Colada Skinny

Recipe by Don Q Rum
5.0 from 1 vote
Cuisine: Puerto Rican


Prep time




  • 1 1/2 oz Don Q Cristal rum

  • 2 oz coconut water

  • 1 tsp fine sugar

  • 2 chunks pineapple


  • Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  • Shake vigorously and double strain into a cocktail glass.


  • Don Q recommends using water from a coconut that’s been freshly cracked open. If you don’t have access to fresh coconut water, Don Q recommends the brand Harmless Harvest.

Liza Cordero, Don Q’s Master Blender, on the Boricua Roots and Craftsmanship of Puerto Rico’s Top Rum

Liza Cordero is master blender of Don Q. Her craftsmanship, values and passion help guide the family-owned distillery led by six generations of rum makers. Don Q rums range in notes from the rare, limited edition, ultra-premium rums like La Reserva de la Familia; to the warm and smoky oak finish of the Gran Reserva XO; to the smooth, clean taste of the award-winning Don Q Cristal.

Q: How does Don Q’s production in Puerto Rico contribute to its unique flavor profile, starting with using local sugar cane and water from Ponce’s Rio Inabón, which flows through the island’s volcanic areas?
A: Every distillery has its own process, its own distinction. However, Destilería Serrallés is incomparable and unique. Our roots go all the way back to 1865. Our rum was born here, in Ponce, Puerto Rico. We have grown as a company, but we still are in the same area of Puerto Rico. This is our home. We have used local resources in our manufacturing,  like local water, which has this special and pure taste that imparts a special touch to Don Q rums that no other rum can replicate. Our right to use this water source dates back to the days when Puerto Rico was a territory of Spain. Besides our resources, all the people who work here feel extremely proud to be part of history. We are loyal to our roots and happy that our rum is known all around the world. This is what being Puerto Rican is all about: Adding our special touch to everything that we do, so people get to know our culture.  

Q: How does the work you do as master blender and Don Q’s famously exacting production standards contribute to its enduring popularity and success?  
A: Being the master blender at Destilería Serrallés, besides making my life complete, comes with a great deal of responsibility. Our mission is to always remain innovative and produce a variety of rums for all palates. This is possible thanks to our approach to blending, the excellent quality in our rums, having in place the most rigorous quality standards, and knowing very well what regulations apply to everything that we do. This is how we help set the guidelines and best practices within the industry.  

Don Q

Every time we craft a new rum expression, we need to select carefully which aged rums to use. Their character, taste and aroma are essential in creating its personality. We also have to ensure that our rums honor our history, the Serrallés family legacy, and represent our Puerto Rican culture. All of these characteristics go hand-in-hand with the technical data that confirms that the quality of our rums aligns to the standards. Our success is the result of having a product that exhibits the perfect balance between every aspect that must be considered. And for me, as a master blender, perfection is a must. 

Q: The piña colada was invented in Puerto Rico by a wise and wonderful bartender, Monchito Marrero, who used Don Q Gold. As an expert in rum, what can you tell us about the history of this cocktail that rum lovers might not know?

A: The piña colada has been the most popular cocktail worldwide since its creation in 1954. In Puerto Rico, the government has even named it the national drink. There is also a document prepared by Marrero stating that piña colada is his creation and also mentions the following: “Toward the objective of promoting and associating the ’piña colada‘ created by the writer; Mr. Ramon Marrero, with Don Q Gold Puerto Rican Rum by Destilería Serrallés Inc. I transfer all the copyrights to the said company in enabling its use accordingly.” 

Due to its popularity, its history is very well known and is part of every mixologist’s conversation. The first thing to learn when making an authentic piña colada is to make it with Don Q Gold. It’s like a standard operating procedure! 

Is no surprise that the rum used for this cocktail is the Gold expression. This is a very well-balanced, aged rum (a blend aged between 1 and 5 years) that imparts its rum character and oak notes to this citrus and sweet cocktail, without leaving a heavy and astringent note at the end. It allows you to experience a perfectly aged rum, but without being overpowering. 

Q: Don Q is respected for its early adoption of an environmentally forward distillation and production process. What are some highlights of this process and tell us why they matter? 

A: At Serrallés, we recognize the importance of having an eco-conscious operation. The rum industry relies on nature and the environment, so we need to respect our natural primary ingredients. For example, molasses, our raw material, depends on the environment and how it has been impacted over the years. 

Don Q plant
The Serrallés plant is located in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and is deeply connected to the local climate, river and environment.

Because we have a commitment to positively impact the environment and we understand our role in protecting the environment as a company, we have worked to reduce the usage of fossil fuel in our utilities by means of alcohol burning and LPG at our boilers. We have been able to reduce the greenhouse gases by installing solar panels that supply almost 40% of our electrical consumption. Our distillation process is a state-of-the-art energy efficient one that allows us to use the heat generated throughout the process to preheat other streams. That means less energy consumption per proof gallon produced. Also, our effluent is biologically treated in our anaerobic and aerobic digestors prior to discharging to the irrigation site. Currently, we are working on several efforts for recycling a vast number of water effluents to the very front end of our water-processing plant. This will reduce the raw water usage in our process, which will help us protect our natural water source coming from the Inabón River. 

Q: What are 3 things most people don’t know or misunderstand about rum? 

A: 1. Rum has sugar. 2. The rum industry is not being regulated. 3. There is only white and dark rum.

Q: What is your favorite way to saborear Don Q?

A: In cocktails with Don Q Reserva 7. However, I always ask mixologists to make me a unique cocktail with Don Q. Each one I have enjoyed over the years has a great story and has been an excellent experience. 

Don Q distillery entrance

Q: As a Puerto Rican, how does it make you feel to be working on one of the island’s most iconic products, so foundational to the island’s history?

A: There are never enough beautiful words to describe how I feel working for Don Q Rum and Destilería Serrallés. 

For me as a Puerto Rican, it is important to give back to my island. And what could be better than working for the best and most important distillery in Puerto Rico? I feel so proud to be part of a company that every day introduces Puerto Rico to the world. I love having such an important role in Don Q’s elaboration and having the responsibility to present to people what my island is all about. Our rum is a result of extreme commitment, loyalty to our roots and history, and indescribable passion. In every blend that is made, in every rum that we present to our customers, we honor our culture, values, beliefs, Latino heritage, and traditions.

All of this is Don Q, the authentic Puerto Rican Rum, born in Ponce, Puerto Rico! Twenty years have already passed since I started working for Serrallés, and I have enjoyed every single day. I am hoping for many more to come in which I will contribute to making the best rum there is: Don Q! 

Q: What’s next for Don Q rums and the work you are doing with this legendary Boricua spirit? 

A: Our plan is to continue crafting the best and most recognized premium rum brands. We like innovating every blend — and believe me, we are working tirelessly on some interesting surprises. As always, expect the best from Don Q rums. ¡El auténtico ron de Puerto Rico! 

Add Don Q rum to your cocktails for that authentic Boricua sabor. Find recipes and inspiration at DonQ.com!