Port Morris Distillery was founded in 2010, by co-owners Rafael Barbosa and William Valentin, in the Port Morris section of the South Bronx. The two distill a specialty spirit, Pitorro, a Puerto Rican Moonshine native to the island of Puerto Rico. Using Tio's, Ralph's uncle, family recipe of apples, honey and brown sugar, they have created a bold, smooth and tasteful 92 proof spirit.
Pitorro is a well kept secret on the island of Puerto Rico, only had for special occasions and holidays. Families who craft Pitorro have a unique recipe that has been passed along through generations. Tio, belonging to a family of jibaros (moonshiners), has been making moonshine illegally for over 40 years. During a family reunion in Puerto Rico for Ralph’s grandfather's 94th birthday celebration and Los Dias de Los Reyes, Ralph and William once again heard stories of the moonshine days from Tio.
Having enjoyed the rich taste of Pitorro, Ralph and William began their research on the first Distilling companies in New York City. Kings County Distillery, Breuckelen Distilling and New York Distilling Company are some notable distilleries. Both building excitement about this new endeavor they thought, why not bring the flavor of Pitorro to NYC? After convincing Ralph’s uncle to relocate from Puerto Rico, they decided on making Port Morris their home. As of today, Pitorro is made illegally in Puerto Rico and most commonly consumed during the holidays.