Siesta Key Rum Drum Circle Distilling
In the winter of 2010 Edible Sarasota took a peek behind the scenes at Drum Circle Distilling and produced a portrait of the owner, Troy Roberts, as a renegade entrepreneur, deeply committed to his latest passion project, and, as yet, unaware of the imminent runaway success of his Siesta Key Rum label.
Six years later, the portrait of Troy Roberts is colored with noticeable new nuances. He’s still a renegade entrepreneur, still a passionate producer, but he’s also relaxed, jocular, affable, and confident. The man has a smile that can light up the entire high-ceilinged warehouse distillery that he and his family call their home away from home. That smile is born of a dream reaching fruition, its potential unlocked, accessed, and fully realized. That smile is incendiary, aspirational, enviable, and if the quotes on the wall are anything to go by, it’s also well-deserved.
I confess my own experience of Siesta Key Rum was limited to hearsay prior to my being assigned this article. A friend of mine met an online date at the warehouse for the tasting tour. The date was a disaster, she said, but the rum and the tour more than compensated. I pictured a factory hidden somewhere on Siesta Key, its entrance covered by thatch and lined with palm trees. I plugged Siesta Key Rum into my GPS and set off south on U.S. 41 only to immediately be rerouted … in the direction of the airport?
Sheepishly I followed the prescribed route and found myself in an industrial park, tucked away off of U.S. 301. Once you enter there’s plenty of thatch and the walls are painted a lovely shade of blue. The machinery required to make the award-winning, best-selling rum closely resembles the Wonka Mobile and I half expect Oompa Loompas to guide the tour. There are no Ooompa Loompas here, though, just a group of exceptionally hardworking friends and family who obviously take a lot of pride in this incredibly successful local business.
Troy mentions on the tour that he expects this to be his legacy, the business that he passes on to his family. His son is old enough to pour the rum now (even if he can’t drink it yet) and he’s practicing giving the tours with the same practiced ease that his father displays with every self-effacing joke and “aw, shucks” recognition of an accolade.
Siesta Key Rum can be found in Total Wines & More, Publix, ABC Liquor, Winn Dixie, Costco, Wal-Mart, and Disney Springs. Not bad for a business that only five years ago was tapped by Edible Sarasota as one to watch, even though it had yet to be named by the Caribbean Journal as “The best rum distillery in the United States.”
► Siesta Key Rum: 2212 Industrial Blvd, Sarasota; 941-702-8143; siestakeyrum.com