A Drinking Guide to the Dominican Republic from the Youngest Rum Master in the World
A scion of the rum powerhouse Brugal tells us where to tip back in the D.R.
Just 29 years old, Jassil Villanueva Quintana is the youngest Maestros Roneros (master of rum) in the world. In addition to skillfully navigating an industry dominated by guys, she carries on the Brugal family legacy at the distillery in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. That’s a lot of pressure, but that doesn’t mean the rum maker is afraid to let her hair down from time to time. Here, her imbibing guide to the island.
“They do an amazing Piña Colada (in a pineapple! love it!) Great people too—Chilean chef, Gean Carlo Fiori worked all around Europe in Michelin-starred restaurants, so the food is amazing too.”
Casa Colonial Rooftop, Puerto Plata
“This place has the most incredible view, so I can’t even say which cocktail is the best—I’ll drink anything while looking out at the ocean! But they always have a bottle of 1888 Brugal at the bar to share with friends.”
Green Jack Restaurant, Puerto Plata
“The head bartender Alberto “Kiko” Castillo is really creative and makes amazing mojitos with uva de playa (sea grapes) and rum. The open-air space has a great atmosphere too.”
Playa Blanca, Punta Cana
“This restaurant has breathtaking beach views and fresh-fruit cocktails. The head of the restaurant is a good friend of mine, Carla Valbuena; we go paddle boarding in the morning and finish with a rum and tonics!”
Paradisus Palma Real Resort, Punta Cana
“This place without a doubt makes the best punch I’ve ever had. Spanish bartender Miguel Lancha makes it with a habanero-infused vodka, but I always ask for rum!”
Lulu Tasting Bar, Santo Domingo
“This is a stylish place to spend your night. The bartender Christopher works really well with fresh fruits, especially the rum cocktail with pineapple and mint.
Queen Elizabeth, Santiago
“How could I forget about @CantineroDave from Queen Elizabeth, a simple wood-walled bar with a theme based on the queen. He likes to experiment and surprise people with unexpected ingredients. We’ve enjoyed many conversations, cocktails, and cigars together.”
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