Papa’s Pilar a Hemingway Rum Company

There is a new rum player in town.  Papa’s Pilar opened recently at 201 Simonton Street.  The Hemingway Rum Company offers a peak into everything Hemingway loved about Key West.  Here you will take a journey into the history of rum, the life of Ernest Hemingway and the art of making fine spirits.

papa's pilar

papa's pilar


When you walk into Papa’s Pilar, expect… well the unexpected.  Unlike some of the other distilleries in town, rum is not being distilled currently in this location.  Stay tuned, should be happening soon.  That said, you can still take a taste of Papa’s Pilar rums.

papa's pilar

You can also, shop for really cool merchandise.  I know, every place in Key West has a tourist trap shop, but this one seems, (is?) a little more upscale.  I bought the book all about Hemingway’s cocktails, To Have and Have Another by Philip Greene (affiliate link).  Pretty interesting read on his favorite cocktails, their recipes and some back stories behind those cocktails.  Hemingway certainly was all about a good cocktail.  Mr. Greene connects each of the cocktails back to a Hemingway story… imagine reading one of his novels and sipping the same cocktail as one of characters.  Quite the experience don’t you think?

papa's pilar

Through the sidedoor you can walk through a cool exhibit, all about Hemingway and rum making.  The soon to be used stills are located here too.  Tall copper vessels all ready to rev up and start making some of that wonderful Hemingway rum.

papa's pilar

papa's pilar

papa's pilar

The rums

Papa’s Pilar offers two different rums a Blonde and a Dark version.  The tasting allows a sip of each.  The Blonde offers notes of citrus and hints of almond and oak.  The Dark has a complex flavor profile that is gutsy and bold.  At this location, all you can do is sip a taste of each, you can’t buy here … yet.  There are many locations around Florida and the rest of the United States you can purchase, check the website for a location near you.

papa's pilar

papa's pilar


I found a few recipes on the Papa’s Pilar website and I must say they sound and taste wonderful.  Let me know what you think too.

The Hemingway

1.5 oz Papa’s Pilar Bonde Rum

.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice

.5 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice

1 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur

Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with grapefruit.

Papa’s Summer Punch

1.5 oz Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum

4 oz Guava, Mango and Passion Fruit Juices

Serve over ice.  Garnish with Serrano slices.

Papa’s Old Fashioned

2 oz Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum

1/2 teaspoon Demerara or Turbinado  Sugar

3 dashes Angostura bitters

Splash of soda water

Orange peel

Muddle sugar, bitters and soda water in a rocks glass.  Add rum and ice.  Spritz with orange and garnish with peel.

Papa’s Pride

2.5 oz Papa’s Pilar Dark

Serve on the rocks with grapefruit peel

Overal Impression

Papa’s Pilar is a great spot to step in and explore the life of Ernest Hemingway and learn a little bit more about rum.  Take a taste of Papa’s Pilar rum and do a little shopping.  It’s a nice place to cool off from the Key West heat and see what’s new in town.


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