I don’t have my own vehicle and I don’t eat pasta very much anymore, but my friends and I were hunting for fun places outside of Rincon to enjoy so we thought we would give Copas a try. They had been advertising a Whiskey Tasting & Bossa Nova on Facebook so I couldn’t think of a better night to go. Copas had been on my Puerto Rico Restaurants Bucket List for quite some time now so I was very excited to finally visit. My buddy was in desperate need of a fun and relaxing evening and I was really pleased to be able to take him to a new spot instead of our Rincon Regular haunts.
As we approached the establishment there was an air of nothingness all around us. No noise, no people, tons of cars and blacked out windows. It’s always a sign of good things to come when the windows are blacked out, in my opinion. I love the sense of mystery. It’s going to be empty, Crystal said. Or we will open the door and get hit with a wave of food smells and noise, I replied hopefully. I cracked the door and peeked inside to hear….nothing. I peered around the corner and saw that I was in a small dimly lit dining room with a bar featuring a bottle lined wall at the far end. There were only two tables with couples at them and nothing that looked like a whiskey tasting or a Bossa Nova band. We were running an hour late so I didn’t let myself get disappointed because I came with no expectations and was more interested in checking out a new spot that I had never been to. A waiter came to seat us and we learned that in fact we were not too late to join, if we would please just follow him right along this way Ma’am’s and Sir. From the outside the restaurant looked small, I had no idea where he was taking us but I was incredibly intrigued when I turned the first corner and saw a gondola sitting in the middle of the room, umbrella lighting fixtures dangling from the ceiling, and silhouettes of Italian architecture along the walls. I still heard no music and show no people other than the two couples when we had first entered but I followed along the corridors curiously. How big IS this place?! I lost count of how many corners we turned down, but I gasped out loud when we finally made one last turn and I saw the dining room. I stood still for half a step with my mouth gaping open resisting the urge to whip my iphone out and photograph everything. We were standing in a room that looked like a creepy cool Italian dollhouse! The entire room was done up to look like an Italian city courtyard complete with tiny little houses, doorways, windows, scones, awnings, twinkle lights and more. Am I stoned or did I eat the cookie and fall down the rabbit hole? Maybe a little of both.
The whiskey tasting event was posted to start at 7pm but when we arrived around 8pm people were seating and waiting for missing members to arrive so we didn’t miss out on anything (thank you heavens for “island time” mentality). Our tasting host for the evening, Robert, and the rest of the staff were incredibly friendly and had laid back and fun vibes. Robert has been hosting wine tastings for a little while at Copas and the events were so successful that he turned it into a regular weekly event. I’m not sure if he had ever hosted a whiskey tasting before but he did a great job with the selections for the evening. Mi español no es bueno pero necesito practicar (my Spanish is not good but I need to practice), so I was very pleased that Robert’s English was good enough to fluctuate between English and Spanish enough for me to understand everything that was being said throughout the evening. We arrived hungry and knew the whiskey would hit us quick so we ordered a bunch of appetizers and a couple main dishes to pair with our tastings. My two friends and & shared a Caprese Salad, Risotto Balls, and two pasta dishes. Everything was beautifully displayed and the portions were generous. Our pastas contained clams and mussels, which I am not a fan of, but nothing about the dish tasted fishy at all so I was able to enjoy it. I am not sure if they make their pasta from scratch or not but I Am In LOVE! Nice thin, flat noodles that soaked up the sauces so beautifully that I ate more than my fill and had me regretting my sexy little skin tight dress decision.
Robert had six single malt whiskeys waiting for us all to sample with a warning that we would all be feeling very relaxed and silly half way through the tasting. My friends and & gave each other Bring-It-On smirks and took a quick “Pre Whiskey” picture for laughs later. I have no idea why I was so confident in my abilities to handle a whiskey tasting on a semi empty tummy but Robert predicted the evening perfectly. While some connoisseurs might enjoy all the background information about their tastings, I much preferred Robert’s casual flow and easy banter. I tried really hard to keep track of our tastings and I have listed them below.
- The Glenrothes 1879: Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
- Aberlour 12: Double Cask Matured Scotch Whiskey
- The Glenlivet: Founder’s Reserve 1824
- The Glenrothes 2001: Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Here’s where things begin to get a little foggy. Robert warned us this would happen.
5 & 6. I’m trying SO hard to remember the last two but I’ve got nothing guys sorry. Next time I will bring a little notebook and keep proper track of notes tasted and my favorite selections.
I had absolutely no room for dessert, but plenty of room for more whiskey so we wandered back through the Italian maze rooms to check out the Bossa Nova band in the main bar/dining room. Crystal & I made a scene of posing ourselves along the gondala and having our pictures taken before we meandered back to the first dining room we originally entered to hear the band, Spirale d’Bossa, perform.
The members of Spirale d’Bossa were not only beautiful but incredibly talented. We recognized the saxophone player from Rincon where he performs regularly, he is a big bearded man with eyes of an angel and lungs of the north wind. The vocalist, Alexandria, had me swooning the moment she lifted one beautifully tattooed hand up to her vintage microphone, and I was a complete goner by the time her voice added to the sax music. I tried my hardest to not post myself directly in front of her like a groupie and sucked back a little too much whiskey to calm my nerves when she came over to introduce herself. My buddy David’s laughter filled the room, Crystal had all the male servers clustered around her hanging on her every word as she chattered away non stop, and my belly and heart were incredibly full. Just as I had the thought, “I wish my father were here right now he would love everything about this moment”, the band began playing one of our favorite Sade songs and I took it as a sign. I don’t drunk dial often, but when I do, its always to call my father and share my immediate moments with him and to tell him how much I love him while trying to not slur my words. I held the phone right up to the stage and let him have a listen for a few moments and then stepped to the side to give him a super quick recap of our evening.
By the end of the evening Robert had been inspired by my request for tequila tastings and my complaint of not being able to find many Mezcals on the island and has now planned for a Cinco de Mayo Mezcal & Tequila tasting. I gave a little shriek of delight when he told me of his plan and immediately started sending my friends invites to join me. I can’t wait to share this place with not only my papa, but with all of my Airbnb guests and local friends as well. I have listed their next scheduled events as well as all the links to the Facebook pages below so you can give them a follow and be notified of later tastings and other fun events that they host such as comedy shows and movie nights!
Are you visiting, traveling or living in Puerto Rico? Come stay with me and play with me in Rincon! I am not your average Airbnb Hostess and time spent in my spaces are unlike any experience you have enjoyed before while traveling. Follow my island adventures on Facebook or Instagram and check my calendar for availability!