Turns out, champagne and swords are a match made in heaven.
Puerto Rico is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, landscapes and historical structures in the United States. It also happens to have a plethora of signature beverages that pair perfectly with exploring the vibrant island. And while the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria was extensive, Puerto Rico is steadily recovering. Its beaches and waters are mostly cleaned and many hotels, restaurants, and businesses have reopened their doors.
Wake up With Some Coffee While Exploring Old San Juan
Home to numerous statues, churches, and forts Old San Juan is the historical heart of Puerto Rico. It’s easy to while away a morning admiring the varied and colorful facades of the colonial style homes that line the cobblestone streets. But before you set out exploring Old San Juan, you’d be remiss to skip your daily caffeine fix. While there’s no shortage of cafes and coffee shops in Old San Juan, try and stop by a shop that specializes in coffee from Puerto Rico. Don Ruiz, located in the Ballajá Barracks, prepares its coffee in a variety of ways but always with coffee from the municipality of Yauco.
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And if the idea of sipping a hot cup of Joe under the Caribbean sun is a bit daunting, you can always opt for the iced version of your order.
Enjoy a Rum Cocktail Poolside or at the Beach
There’s a reason Caribbean beaches are so sought after. The waters are warm and welcoming and the rules regarding alcohol are generous. As in, you can walk along the surf, the waves lapping at your ankles while enjoying an adult beverage (as long as you’re drinking said beverage out of a plastic container—no glass!).
And, really, that drink should be some variety of rum cocktail. Puerto Rico’s history of producing rum goes back to the 16th century and it still produces most of the rum consumed in the U.S. But if you really want to drink rum like a local, ditch the Bacardi and mix your drink with Don Q, which is easily the most popular rum in Puerto Rico. It’s also the rum that was used by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero Pérez when he was inventing that most iconic of vacation drinks—the piña colada.
The waters are warm and welcoming and the rules regarding alcohol are generous.
And while the mojito may have gotten its start on a different Caribbean island, it pairs excellently with a dip in an infinity pool à la Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.
Have Some Bubbly With a Champagne Sabering Ceremony
If there’s one way to improve the bubbly drinking experience, it’s with the addition of violence.
Champagne is a wonderful thing. For one, it’s delicious. Holding a flute of it instantly makes one feel more elegant. And when you add a little orange juice, it’s suddenly acceptable to drink before noon. But if there’s one way to improve the bubbly drinking experience, it’s with the addition of violence.
That’s where the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort’s nightly champagne sabering ceremony comes in. Every evening at 6 p.m. guests gather as a sommelier, armed with an honest-to-goodness champagne sword, slices open the neck of the bottle—cork and all. This particular technique rose in popularity during the Napoleonic era in France, with one account featuring the widow Clicquot herself as a central figure. It seems that drinking from a bottle that’s been opened not with a pop but a smash is the correct way to celebrate with champagne.
Note: The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is closed to new reservations through August 31, 2018.
Start Your Evening at La Placita With a Spicy Paloma
La Placita, located in the Santurce neighborhood in San Juan, is a market by day but when the sun goes down it transforms into one of if not the best nightlife hubs in Puerto Rico. Partiers spill out into the market square from the area’s many bars to drink and dance and generally have a great time. La Placita features live musicians and a lively atmosphere you’re not likely to find anywhere else.
While there’s no shortage of watering holes on the plaza, find your way to El Almacén Speakeasy if you like your drinks kicked up one (or several) notches. There’s no better way to kick off a night to remember than ordering up one of their signature Spicy Palomas.