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Five Steps to Building the Perfect Rum Bar

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When in Key West, you absolutely must stop by the Madda Fella Rum Bar. Consider it a “rite of passage”.

We are in the lobby at the Ocean Key Resort (base of Duval Street at Sunset Pier) for the best, hand-crafted rum cocktail south of the Mason-Dixon line. Period. No debate.

In celebration of National Rum Day, here’s our patented, 5 step process to creating the perfect rum bar.

Location, Location, Location: Find a place with crystal clear water, lush palm trees, gentle breezes and gorgeous sunsets. Maybe some live music nearby. Your location doesn’t need to be large, just cozy enough for 5 or 6 people to nestle up, enjoy themselves and swap stories of incredible adventures.

Authenticity: Design and build the structure with authentic, aged or weathered materials. If it’s the “real deal”, you have to be genuine through and through. It starts with your vision and an execution that does not waiver from each plank of wood, copper, glass, etc. All originally sourced by you, having “character” and a story to it.


Skilled Craftsmen or Craftswomen: Or in other words, your site becomes a “no bozo’s allowed” zone. Whether its you, friends or the team you bring in…the people building the masterpiece are as important to this process as the rum you’ll be stocking. They are part of the story. Even better if they are semi-reformed pirates. 

Fresh Ingredients: Each drink is made from scratch, and we really mean from scratch. Fruit juices are freshly squeezed for each drink. Your mojitos don’t use simple syrup…rather you build it using raw, high quality, turbinado sugar. Each step brings forward a new level of flavor to tickle your taste buds.

The Barkeep: Maybe it’s you, maybe not. However, this person is the essence of the rum bar magic. The diligence and patience to build the perfect cocktail, the ability to hold a conversation while simultaneously creating the drink, and knowing when to just listen.

Ah, yes…the rum. Hmmm….such a personal taste topic. However, stay away from the cheap swills. Here’s a guide to help you select the perfect rums to complement your bar.

And…yes.  Each of the above 5 steps were, and are, absolutes. Visit the Madda Fella Rum Bar here in Key West. Come on by and let us build you the perfect cocktail on National Rum Day…of course, every day is National Rum day for us!

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