Given Miami's well-deserved reputation as a boozy city, it's surprising we have so little on-site distillation of our own. But luckily, that's changing -- in part thanks to last year's launch of the now award-winning Miami Club Rum.
The newbie brand just took home the gold medal for best white rum at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, says founder Mike Malone. And it's made right in our own little piece of paradise.
Take that, Bacardi.
The Wynwood-based distillery is Miami's first, and it's already making waves in the liquor world with this recent award and its 150-plus local placements in bars, restaurants, and liquor stores thus far -- primarily procured by word of mouth.
The Miami-made spirit is handcrafted, locally sourced, and "music-infused." Malone plays soothing, upbeat tunes to the liquor as it ages, ensuring that "the energy of the rum is very positive." Based on the brand's track record thus far, he's definitely doing something right.
In last week's prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 1,407 spirits tried their luck with 34 expert judges -- and Miami Club Rum came out ahead. The 305-based brand took home the gold medal for best white rum. Malone was shocked.
"We entered just to enter," he says. After all, the brand is only 5 months old, and he hardly expected to win.
Despite Miami Club Rum's newness, Malone's wife's family has actually been in the rum-distilling business for five generations in Puerto Rico. "I decided to take it upon myself to keep the tradition alive for my kids."
And the liquor is Miami all the way.
"We're all about local. Our sugarcane, our blending products, everything we put into that bottle is local -- comes from South Florida," Malone says.
If you still haven't scored a bottle of the new booze or tasted one of the rum's cocktails at restaurants and bars around town, you can get your first sip at the Great Taste of the Grove. The 23rd incarnation of this festival kicks off April 13 at Peacock Park.
Miami Club Rum will be set up in the central bar pavilion, doling out the following four cocktails at a cash bar.
- Mentirilla (aka little lie): Miami Club Rum, Coke, and a squeeze of lime
- Mijita: Miami Club Rum, cranberry juice, lime, and a sprig of mint
- Jupiña: Miami Club Rum and Miami's own Jupiña pineapple soda
- Miami Rocks -- Miami Club Rum over ice with wedge of lime
The rum is also available at several liquor stores around town, including Jensen's and Sunset Corners, and it's being poured at Juvia, all the Marriotts in Miami Beach, and lots of other local spots. So go get your mojito on already.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.