Think about rolling into the airport lounge earlier than your flight and as an alternative of the bottom-shelf liquor, low-cost wine, and unhealthy beer you’ll discover included in U.S. lounges, you get to sip one of the best rum on the planet as an alternative. It’s not a dream: that’s the setting of the Ron Zacapa Casa de Ron within the Guatemala Metropolis Airport. And it may be all yours in case you have a Precedence Cross membership.
We’ve made no secret right here about our favourite rum, which is an opinion quite a lot of the consultants share. The finest Guatemalan rum, Ron Zacapa, beats out the remainder of Central America and the Caribbean in our opinion and should you throw of their Botran rum too, they may simply have two within the prime 5. Except you step all the way in which as much as their Ron Zacapa XO version in a really fancy bottle, you will get this advantageous rum for a really cheap value, a tiny fraction of what you’ll pay for Scotch and even bourbon that has skilled the identical degree of getting old.
I used to be truly sorry I had booked an early flight once I walked into this lounge and I used to be very tempted to do some day ingesting. It was 9:00 within the morning although, so I made a decision to be a accountable grownup and have espresso as an alternative. I checked out the scene on behalf of you although, expensive reader, and was salivating sufficient that I’m prepared to move again to Guatemala on one other journey so I will be on the Casa de Ron later within the day to actually get pleasure from it. You may earn again a superb portion of the annual price in your Precedence Cross membership from this lounge alone should you do a rum flight right here.
Casa de Ron on the Guatemala Metropolis Airport
Whereas this Central American nation does have a couple of different airports, together with one serving Tikal, they solely get a smattering of worldwide flights. So should you go to the nation, you’ll virtually absolutely fly into La Aurora Worldwide Airport, with the code of GUA. Once I first visited this airport with my spouse and younger daughter again within the late ’00s on trip, the Guatemala Metropolis airport was fairly dumpy and unhappy trying. They’ve made nice strides since then, nevertheless, and it’s now on par with what you’d anticipate from a capital metropolis take-off and touchdown facility.
There are literally two lounges within the GUA airport. One is the Copa Membership lounge serving enterprise class passengers of Copa Airways, those that have excessive sufficient standing with Star Alliance to get in, or Precedence Cross members. So should you’re within the latter camp, you’ve bought two selections. The Copa one could also be much less crowded should you aren’t a rum fan or it’s too early for a drink.
Casa de Ron is a celebration of advantageous Guatemalan aged rum, nevertheless, and an actual deal with if you wish to pattern the corporate’s items with out shopping for an entire bottle to see what you want. It’s a horny facility too, newly constructed on this bi-level location in 2019. You may sit at a desk or stomach as much as the bar and take a look at no matter you’d like from their rum menu, with the one restriction being that you simply’re restricted to 1 drink solely of the Centenario XO rum. That’s an inexpensive sufficient restrict contemplating that a bottle retails for round $135.
In any other case, you’re welcome to attempt a Ron Botron 15-year, a Zacapa 23-year, or an attention-grabbing Edicion Negra model that’s saved in charred bourbon and pink wine barrels. That final one appears like a recipe for catastrophe, however all Zacapa merchandise are blended with the Solera technique, which means the 23-year rum is simply partly 23-year rum, for instance. So the grasp distiller can flip the depth up or down on the ratios of what got here out of these various barrels with out having to reveal something.
Right here’s the complete listing of what they’re pouring:
- Zacapa XO (1 per particular person, restrictions might apply)
- Zacapa Edición Negra
- Zacapa 23
- Botran Solera 18
- Botran Reserva 15
- Botran Añejo 12
- Botran Reserva Blanca
- Ron Colonial
Some purists get aggravated with this Sistema Solera technique because it’s as opaque as what’s in your glass and also you don’t actually know what you’re paying for once you see an getting old years indication on the label. For me although, the ultimate product’s style issues greater than what goes on within the mixing course of and this manner you’ve assured of consistency too. A Ron Zacapa 23 goes to style the identical whether or not you purchase it in 2015 or 2025.
There’s additionally a little bit training within the combine, from the shows on the partitions to info the bartender will present on the background. Then when your abdomen begins rumbling, there’s meals on supply such as you’d discover in any airport lounge although once more, superior to what you’ll discover in a U.S. one run by the massive 3 legacy carriers. (I didn’t drink, however I did get to eat.) Right here’s the menu in English.
The Casa de Ron VIP lounge is situated between gates 6 and seven within the worldwide terminal and is open from 4:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Exit via the Rum Store
Should you preferred what you tried in Casa de Ron sufficient to deliver some dwelling with you, that’s as straightforward as swiping your bank card on the way in which out. There’s a horny show of Zacapa rum manufacturers, with costs marked, so you will get a duty-free bottle right here with out visiting every other shops within the Guatemala Metropolis airport. Costs are in step with what you’ll discover elsewhere in Guatemala, lower than what you’d seemingly spend at a liquor retailer in your personal metropolis.
Once I visited on the finish of 2023, for instance, a liter of the Zacapa 23 was simply $46, an actual discount, and the Edicion Negra in a pleasant reward field was $65 for a liter.
As talked about earlier in our put up about Guatemalan rum, Casa de Ron has expanded its choices over time and this airport location is simply essentially the most handy one to attempt. Should you don’t have lounge entry, it’s straightforward sufficient to pay up elsewhere and have your personal educated sampling at a Casa de Ron in Guatemala Metropolis (a number of places) and the historic middle of Antigua.
They don’t simply pour rum right into a glass although. If there’s somebody in your celebration that doesn’t get pleasure from ingesting spirits neat and desires to have a cocktail as an alternative, they’re joyful to oblige. The bartender will combine up a signature cocktail that might be value taking a photograph of on your social media feed.
Article and photographs by Luxurious Latin America editor Timothy Scott, who visited the Casa de Ron within the Guatemala airport in December of 2023 and did a tasting at one of many capital metropolis places on an earlier journey.
Article by Timothy
Timothy Scott is the founder and editor of Luxurious Latin America and has been masking the area as a journey journalist because the mid-2000s. He has visited every nation we cowl a number of occasions and is predicated in a UNESCO World Heritage metropolis in central Mexico, the place he owns a house. See contact info right here.