The Gasparilla Distillery & Cocktail Bar is here to right a tragic wrong. The legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar, still lives in our hearts, but his rum was lost to time, forcing the fine citizens of Tampa to endure lesser rums shipped from distant lands while celebrating his spirit. But what was lost is found and we are happy to now provide Tampa’s own Gasparilla Rums. Made from Florida sugar cane molasses, Gaspar’s secret blend of natural flavors, and water as pure as rainfall captured from a Caribbean summer shower, our rum will have your palate dancing a jig. Although rum remains our focus we have expanded our production to also include vodka, brandy, gin, and whiskey so that everyone can find something that they love at our cocktail bar.
And what does a 21st century chiropractor and an 18th century pirate have in common? If you guessed poor hygiene, you’re wrong, and I don’t approve of your conclusion. The answer would be our common appreciation for fine rum.
I began traveling to Tampa for the Gasparilla festival at the turn of the century and loved the place so much that I moved down when I finished college. After having moved here, I realized to my horror that people in the Tampa Bay area don’t actually spend every single day relaxing at the beach or partying at parades and festivals. Once the shock of this wore off, I decided to open up shop and get on with my career as a chiropractor. But the idea that a city so enamored with pirates and rum and fun would not have a rum to call its own continued to nag at me. So in 2015 I endeavored to put together the Tampa Bay Rum Company, with a ragtag group of scallywags who had a shared vision. (I've since changed the name to Gasparilla Distillery & Cocktail Bar to capture our growth since we are no longer an entirely rum-centric distillery.) After tremendous struggle, of which I’d be happy to regale you over a tipple of rum, we opened our doors in 2018. We hope you pay us a visit.
- Samuel Meyers DC