Pitorro is the popular word for Puerto Rican moonshine rum. Other common words for the same product are Pitrinche, Cañita, Lágrimas de Mangle, Curao. Production and sale of pitorro is penalized by Puerto Rican laws.
Pitorro is produced by distilling sugar cane. The resulting product is a clear liquid with a high alcohol content, generally higher than legal rum, of which several brands are produced in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico's legally produced rums are sold worldwide. Alcohol products are heavily taxed. The lesser-priced pitorro does not bring revenues to the government. Hence, pitorro producers are pursued by both the Puerto Rican police forces and special revenue agents from the Treasury Department.
Traditionally, pitorro is cured (aged) before using. Curing is achieved by adding fruits, such as coconut, grapes, prunes, orange slices and letting the mixture sit for several months. Some people bury the bottles for months as part of the curing process.
Most of the pitorro produced in Puerto Rico is usually consumed during the Christmas season. Some people use pitorro as an ingredient in coquito, Puerto Rico's traditional Christmas drink.