Skip to main content
Performing Art
Casks of rum inside the Siesta Key Rum distillery.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 6 years ago

IN THE KITCHEN - Local Field Trip: Siesta Key Rum



Join us with chef John Horne, of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, as we take a field trip to the locally owned and operated Siesta Key Rum distillery. Then head back in the kitchen at the USF Sarasota-Manatee Culinary Innovation Lab as chef Horne prepares a spiced rum cake with rum syrup.

Drum Circle Distilling produces and bottles small batch craft Siesta Key Rum at their local Sarasota distillery. The company was founded by local Troy Roberts in 2007, and now distributes rum to retailers across the country. 

Siesta Key Rum in hand-crafted with high-quality ingredients that are locally sourced in Florida. 

Molasses made from Florida grown sugarcane is poured into the mash tanks for clarification. The purified molasses is then moved to the fermentation tanks. Water and a specialty yeast are added to the fermentation tanks, which transforms the sugars of the molasses. The rum is then separated from the mixture by the copper pot still. In the still, the fermented molasses is heated at high temperatures to allow the alcohol to evaporate into the still system. The system releases the finished rum into barrels to age before it is bottled by hand on-site at the distillery.

The reaction of the copper still and natural ingredients produce the smooth, chemical-free taste that has won numerous international awards.

The Siesta Key Rum product line includes a Gold, Silver and Spiced rum, and a limited edition Distiller's Reserve. A toasted coconut spiced rum is scheduled for release later this year.

In collaboration with local craft beer brewers, Siesta Key Rum also produces a Beer Barrel Finish spiced rum. This rum is aged in barrels previously used to produce craft brews to give the rum a unique flavor.

The Drum Circle Distilling tasting room and gift shop are open to the public for sampling and tours.


Scroll down for a video tour of the distillery and an instructional video on how to prepare a spiced rum cake with rum syrup.


Spiced rum cake

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons canola oil
1 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup Siesta Key Spiced Rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cake preparation: 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat standard size (12 cup) Bundt pan in butter and flour. Scatter chopped walnuts in bottom of pan and set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer to low and gradually add dry flour mixture. Add 3 tablespoons canola oil and mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. Add vanilla pudding powder and mix until combined. Turn off mixer and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, whole milk, 1/2 cup canola oil, 3/4 cup Siesta Key Spiced Rum and vanilla extract. Add egg mixture to combined dry ingredients in electric mixer and beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping side of bowl as needed. Pour cake batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Use a toothpick to test the center of the cake. Toothpick should come out clean when the cake is ready.

Rum syrup

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup Siesta Key Spiced Rum

Syrup preparation: 

Start syrup preparation when cake about 10 minutes left in the oven. Melt butter in medium size sauce pan. Add sugar, water and salt. Boil mixture for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Return to heat and stir for 30 seconds.


Final preparation: 

Remove cake from oven and immediately invert onto plate. Pour 2/3 rum syrup into bottom of empty Bundt pan. Poke holes into top of cake with fork or knife. Carefully drop cake back into pan. Poke holes into entire cake bottom. Pour remaining syrup over cake bottom. Leave cake to absorb syrup for over 1 hour. Invert cake onto serving plate and slice. 



Click here to READ MORE about the USF Sarasota-Manatee Culinary Innovation Lab in Lakewood Ranch.

For more information about Siesta Key Rum and Drum Circle Distilling, click here


  For more In the Kitchen videos, click here


 *IN THE KITCHEN is a trademark of Observer Media Group, Inc. 



Related Stories