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Although Key West’s ties with Cuba aren’t as pronounced as they were before the embargo, the two islands still share a lot in common - one such thing being their love of rum. The Gates Key West believes in honoring this tradition. Which is why we have partnered with local rum distiller Paul Menta of the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery to bring our guests chef-distilled rum from right on the island. Here are some of our favorite rum cocktails. Ask for them at our poolside bar, Rum Row, and take a bottle from Key West First Legal Rum Distillery home with you to make them whenever you’re not in paradise.
This is one of our favorites. We like it so much we treat all of our guests to one when they walk through The Gates. A popular prohibition cocktail, the Mary Pickford mixes rum, pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur, and grenadine. It’s tropical, refreshing, and does the trick. Although it’s named after the silent movie star, the drink is actually attributed to Eddie Woelke, the famous bartender who fled to Cuba during the prohibition. Try this recipe from Imbibe Magazine
1½ oz. Key West First Legal Rum
1½ oz. pineapple juice
¼ oz. grenadine
1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.
Here’s a drink that has Key West’s name all over it. In fact, it was named for the prohibition-era rum runners who would smuggle rum from the Caribbean into the Florida speakeasies. Made with both light and dark rum, blackberry and banana liqueurs, pineapple and orange, and a splash of grenadine, this drink packs a punch. Drink up. After all, you don’t know when you’ll have another. Here’s a great recipe from our poolside bar Rum Row.
Two cups ice
1 oz Rum Row pineapple fresh sour mix
1 oz orange juice
1 oz blackberry brandy
1 oz creme de banana
1 oz Key West First Legal Rum
1 float of Duval Street Spiced Rum
Fill glass with ice. Add the liquid contents. Enjoy!
The Hemingway is another Key West classic. Created by Papa Hemingway himself to combat his diabetes without infuriating his liver, the Hemingway Daiquiri combines white rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and lime juice for drink that goes down oh so smooth. You can have a few of these and not even notice - that is until you stand up. Here’s the recipe from Imbibe Magazine.
1 1/2 oz Key West First Legal Rum
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish.
The perfect island drink, the mojito is a must with a bottle of Key West’s First Legal Rum. It’s one of the drinks that takes a little more effort when it comes to muddling the fresh mint and lime, but it’s oh so worth it. It’s also ideal for kicking back at The Gates pool and making life a breeze. Here’s the recipe from the experts at Rum Row.
8 mint leaves
2 oz Key West First Legal Rum
1 oz Simple Syrup
½ oz chilled club soda
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves and fresh lime. Add ice and the rum and Simple Syrup and shake well. Strain over ice, stir in the club soda, and garnish with the mint sprig. Or serve frozen with a float of club soda.
This might be the most delicious concoction to come out of Rum Row. With three flavored rums mixed with tropical fruit juices, the Rum Row punch is sweet, refreshing, and the perfect way to start your afternoon on the island.
Rum Row Punch
1 oz vanilla rum
1 oz passion fruit rum
1 oz mango rum
1 ½ oz cranberry juice
1 ½ oz pineapple juice
Splash of coconut milk
Mix ingredients and serve over ice.