Tag Archives: Rum

Ron y Cloro: 8 Ways to Solve Your Problems in PR

Posted by Cassie

There is a joke people sometimes say here. What’s the solution to Puerto Rico’s problems? Ron y cloro. Rum and bleach. Rum, because well everything is just better with a little buzz and bleach because it will wipe everything clean again! So I thought I would write a little about how we use each of these to solve our daily problems in Puerto Rico.

Cassie drink (2)

1) Things just break down and get so much dirtier here than it ever did in Colorado. We have to keep a cover over our washing machine because the dust settles so heavily over the course of a week and then makes the clothes or sheets dirtier than they started! So you must use more bleach! ¡Más cloro!

Washing machine cover
Washing machine cover

2) I always wondered why so many people had a broom in their hand whenever we would drive around Puerto Rico. Now I know! I must sweep the house at least 2-3 times a day. And it still gets grimy. So…then I need to mop! Más cloro!

3) Not only are we near the sea, but it is constantly humid and so anything metal starts rusting and corroding very quickly. We have learned to buy most metal things out of aluminum or galvanized steel because it is much more rust resistant. But, even still, never trust anything that is held together with metal. Here’s a case in point when the deck to the cabana completely broke!

Broken deck
¡Ay, bendito! The screws rusted out on the ledger!

So you learn that you need multiple back-ups. Especially because on this island you NEVER know if you’ll be able to find the part you’re looking for. Even if you buy online don’t expect it to arrive anytime soon. Britton ordered a part for the Mustang from Ebay and it took nearly a month to arrive because they put it on a ship rather than airplane! ¡Caramba! No wonder things take so long to get fixed, if ever! Island time…means you often have to wait and be patient, so why not go have a drink. Más ron!

Deck repair
To repair it we added two more legs to the wall and cross-braced. Must be prepared for the inevitable future breakdown

4) Even clothes break down faster here! The elastic in our underwear breaks down and the clasps on swimsuits rust out! When I was in Colorado I had clothes for 10+ years! Not here! Plus you have to clean clothes with bleach which breaks down the fibers even faster! But at least we don’t need to wear as much since it’s always warm out! Más ron =menos ropa! :-)

Dirty windows
Even aluminum windows start breaking down after a while! And windows constantly need cleaned (Más cloro!)

5) Bugs! Of course there are bugs everywhere, but here there are a couple that most people who are not from the tropics are not as familiar with: termites and cockroaches. ANY wood you use here including for cabinets, furniture and of course structurally should be made with pressure treated wood! (Madera tratada). We bought some beautiful eucalyptus doors for the cabin, and it said they were insect resistant. What it should have said was that this wood was the most delicious food ever for a termite! Bleach will kill them, but you have to get to their main hive and so we had to take the whole door apart and put it back together again. Más ron!

Termites in the doorframe

As for the cockroaches, unless you live completely sealed in an air conditioned house surrounded only by concrete (and even then), you will have some. They especially love any kind of fresh produce or old food. They poop and are just plain gross with those long antennae and I do not want them around! So this means you must keep your kitchen super clean and no dishes in the sink and everything must be organized and reorganized on the regular. Easier said than done!

Look, a paradise beetle! haha

6) But they do not like bleach! So bleach floors and counters often to keep cockroaches somewhat away. Another trick we learned with cockroaches is to grab the spray bleach bottle and spray the heck out of then. It slows them down enough that you can then smack them with your chancla (flipflop). (Haha, yes, this is part of our life!) Más cloro!

Spray cloro
Not just for toilets anymore!

7) Bleach also takes away most of the mold that will grow on all sorts of things. Even our pillows, behind framed pictures, anything leather and plastic trashcans! It is just amazing how much life there is here!

8) Rum or rather its boring cousin rubbing alcohol (as well as H2O2 and Neosporin) is the preferred method for all the infections and scrapes we get here. A simple splinter can cause a pus-infested swollen finger in a matter of days because there is just so much stuff always growing here. My skin always breaks out from the various forms of life -whether plant, bacteria, fungi, whatever! Alcohol neutralizes the poison in carrasco, it also helps clear up the stinging red ant bites. We also eat copious amounts of garlic since it is a natural anti-bacterial/anti-viral/anti-fungal agent. It’s no wonder garlic is the main seasoning in Puerto Rican cuisine!!

Haole Rot
In Hawaii they call it Haole Rot because it affects white people more I assume -tinea versicolor

Todo tiene solución. Everything has a solution. And for these problems, and more: Ron y cloro! But don’t forget a nice course of Vitamin Sea with a rum piña colada and a good sense of humor to help these problems and others just melt away!

Beach Sat
Ahhh…Rincón balneario

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The Unofficial Drink of Colorado and The Official Drink of Puerto Rico

Posted by Cassie

One thing we will definitely miss about living in Colorado when we move to Puerto Rico are the quality micro-breweries here. It is almost like a passtime for some people. While we have some moderately strict alcohol laws (no sales after 12 at liquor stores, separate liquor stores and the former blue law of no sales on Sundays), we do have a lot of microbreweries (and some that I wouldn’t call micro anymore). Some of the good ones include: New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins (this is probably the most well-known), Left Hand Brewery in Longmont, O’dells in Fort Collins and even Crabtree Brewery right  here in Greeley.

I would have to say, if there is an unofficial drink of Colorado, I would give it to New Belgium even though Coors is from the Rocky Mountain water. They definitely have a lot of Coors in Puerto Rico, whereas we don’t have any Medalla Light here. I also like New Belgium because, while it is a growing company, it is not a huge conglomerate Corporation like Budweiser (also in Fort Collins) or Coors. They are also into sustainable energy supplies, bicycling and generate all of their electricity from wind power. They also come up with seasonal drinks like Frambozen in the winter which is one of my favorites. Frambozen is a sweet, dark beer made with raspberries. They have other specialities as you can see in the picture, but they are probably best known outside of Colorado for Fat Tire.

2 Below, Mothership Wit (Organic), Frambozen, Cherry Ale, 1554, and Fat Tire

I never really used to like beer until I met Britton, and now I can handle the occasional beer if it is sweet or light. Britton really likes it, so we have limits on how much we buy. One thing I always liked, however, are pina coladas! And guess what? Pina Coladas are Puerto Rico’s official drink! I didn’t realize this, but I guess it makes sense. Colorado has lots of micro-breweries and Puerto Rico has lots of rum (or Ron) distilleries. I definitely think Puerto Rico is much prouder of its rum history -Bacardi, Don Q, Malibu (is Malibu from there?), etc- than they are of their beer (Medalla is just a party beer like Bud Light or something).

Apparently, as the story goes, some bartender in San Juan, Puerto Rico experimented with pineapple juice, coconut juice, and ice and called it Pina Colada. Then, of course, he added some rum and a cherry on top and it has become the drink that it is. If you are in Puerto Rico you will notice that when you order a Pina Colada that they will ask if you would like it con o sin ron (with or without rum). This goes back to that history! Puerto Rico is so proud of the Pina Colada that apparently they have rum festivals featuring it and they play that cheesy 80′s Pina Colada song over and over.

Anyway, so while I’ll miss the occassional beer here, I would gladly trade it in for a few pina coladas, sin o con ron. For Britton, it may be a little harder to give up his great beers for Medalla Light (and an aside- there is no Medalla, only Medalla Light, is that weird or what?), but I’m sure he’ll manage.

Pina Colada Receta (Recipe)

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