Puerto Rico Distillery Focuses on Conserving Tradition (and Rum)

Nonprofits and crowdfunding often lead to great things, but in the case of Puerto Rico Distillery , they have led to a whole new business. Founded in 2017, this Puerto Rican-owned company is located in Frederick, and is run by a “power” father-daughter duo, Angel Rivera and Crystal Rivera. Together, they provide the community with high-quality pitorro – sugarcane moonshine rum that dates back to 1797 and is unique to the island.

The demand for this product became evident to the Riveras during a fundraising event held for their non-profit organization, Cultura Plenera . “People drove from as far north as Connecticut and as far south as North Carolina to buy pitorro,” says Crystal. Their non-profit already connected the Puerto Rican diaspora with arts, cuisine, music, and languages, all included in multiple yearly community events in Maryland, so the next step for the Riveras seemed obvious.

Seven years later, the distillery is flourishing, surrounded by the community’s love and appreciation. A testament to its support is The Little (Virtual) Book of Clandestino Cocktails – a collection of recipes featuring pitorro sent and discovered by the Riveras over the years.