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.


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Join us with chef Tommy Klauber, of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, as we take a field trip to harvest fresh local clams with family owned Two Docks Shellfish. Then head back in the kitchen at USF Culinary Innovation Lab as chef Klauber prepares a lemongrass clam pan roast with green curry.

Two Docks Shellfish operates an aquaculture farm just north of Sarasota. The company was founded by Aaron Welch Jr. and his son, Aaron Welch III. The Welchs raise seed clams that they plant in bags at the bottom of Terra Ceia Bay. Two Docks Shellfish leases a large plot of the bay floor including the six inches of water column above the bottom.

After about a year in the bay, the bags are ready to harvest. Throughout the year the clams will burrow the bags down into the sediment where they feed. Aaron III takes routine dives to monitor the clams' growth and check for signs of predators. New bags are planted at regular intervals to ensure weekly harvests of fully grown little neck, middle neck and top neck clams.

Upon harvest, the bags are rigged to long lines and pulled up from the bay bottom using a winch. Each bag is emptied into a basket and then dredged back through the water to purge the clams of sediment. Once the clams are clean they are processed through a tumbler to sort out empty shells and the occasional crab.

The suitable clams are sorted and bagged by size, and each bag is tagged with tracking information to identify the source location information.Two Docks Shellfish harvests fresh clams weekly and delivers their locally sourced, sustainable seafood to area restaurants and retail outlets, including chef Klauber's Polo Grill and Bar in Lakewood Ranch.


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

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