Established in 2014, Montauk Rum Runners is a family business through and through. Started by two sisters and their husbands, the brand boasts three twists on classic liquors: citrus flavored gin, honey flavored whiskey, and coconut rum. It all started when the sisters were researching their family tree.
They discovered their great grandmother owned a restaurant on what is now Navy Beach. She sold the property to the navy during prohibition. Their great grandfather was a fisherman in Montauk who may, or may not, have turned a blind eye to an extra crate or two coming back to the docks on his boat.
The term rum-running is more commonly applied to smuggling over water where bootlegging is applied to smuggling over land.
They started learning the distillery business at the beginning of the craft beer movement, brewing beer at home. Through a process of experimentation, the team came up with recipes they thought were worth a shot. They have a farm distillery license for their gin and whiskey, meaning at least 75% of their product uses locally grown (New York State) ingredients. The rum requires cane sugar, which isn’t exactly indigenous to the region, so that’s the only one that doesn’t qualify. But if you’re questioning their dedication to locally grown, you should know their whiskey is flavored with honey from bees they keep in their backyard.
Since these guys are longtime locals, I asked for some favorite spots around town, (pre-hipster invasion of Montauk). Their immediate response is to hang at the beach, Napeague, where you can drive on with your gear during the day, and hang out in front of a campfire at night. Other favorites include Tauk at Trail’s End, O’Murphy’s and Shagwong Tavern. Get the bolognese there, they tell me, from Chef Darren.
This Saturday, July 29th, the Rum Runner team will be at one of their other local haunts, Lobster Roll in Amagansett. Come from 1-4 to taste special drinks both on and off the menu. Featured will be the Bloody Mary Lee, named for the mascot of Montauk, the great white shark, Mary Lee. Equal parts bloody mary mix and Rum Runner’s Gin, it’s a fresh take on the hangover hero.
If you miss this weekend, August 5th, they’ll be serving the Coconut Lime Daiquiri at the Montauk Playhouse Gala (picture above, recipe below)
Frozen Coconut Lime Daiquiri1 part Montauk Rumrunners Coconut Rum2 parts coconut milk1 part frozen limeadeBlend well