Puerto Rican Rum and Revenue Flowing Again at Bacardi Distillery
Spirit tax generates 3 percent of island’s total tax revenue
Devastation didn’t touch barrels or distillation equipment
Jennifer Kaplan and Laura Blewitt
After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s physical destruction multiplied its financial crisis. But at least one revenue generator is up and running: rum.
On the western edge of San Juan Bay in a small town called Catano, a Bacardi Ltd. distillery produces some of world’s most famous rum. The spirit made at Bacardi and competitors like Destileria Serralles and Edmundo B. Fernandez Inc. provides fully 3 percent of Puerto Rico’s tax receipts.