Everyone in Pittsburgh likely knows Wigle, the city's flagship success story when it comes to high proof spirits. But did you know that the Strip District is also home to a multi-award winning rum distillery? If you were like us up until a few weeks ago, you probably did not.
Enter Maggie's Farm Rum, winner of numerous national awards including Pennsylvania Distillery of the Year at the NY International Spirits Competition and America's Best Rum by the American Craft Spirits Association.
A Lesser Known Strip District Gem
Our first visit to Maggie's was on a Sunday over a long holiday weekend. The Strip District was packed, as is the case on most weekends, and was especially busy due to the holiday. On this particular Sunday our visit was not to explore the popular walking streets and businesses in one of our favorite neighborhoods, but was purely to visit this rum distillery that we had only recently found out about.
Located a few blocks down the road from all of the action, we figured that the crowds would be lighter at Maggie's, but we were fully prepared for it to be a crowd all the same. You can imagine our surprise when we entered to find out that we were the only visitors to the store.
I'd normally consider this to be a bad sign, but this shock quickly dissipated as we caught a glimpse of the gorgeous copper stills that Maggie's uses in making their rum, custom built and imported from Spain, sitting out in all their glory. It was in this moment that we knew we were at the right spot and everyone else was missing out.
The downside to visiting on a Sunday is that Maggie's can only do tastings of their rum as cocktail hour is reserved for Fridays and Saturdays only. With the full attention of the staff we were given the background on the rum making process as well as samplers of all of the rums that were available. This was perfect for us as good conversation about rum, trying a few samples from the award winning collection, and leaving with a bottle of the incredibly flavorful spiced rum, a new staple in our bar, is enough for us to be happy.
But when one of our favorite spirits is concerned, we wanted more.
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Cocktail Hour on Fridays and Saturdays
Our one regret with our visit to Maggie's Farm Rum was not visiting during cocktail hour. A quick look over the menu made us realize we made a huge mistake in waiting for Sunday to visit for a tasting, and we returned the very next weekend to try some of the distillery's flagship cocktails.
The ever-changing cocktail menu makes Maggie's a great spot to return to time and time again for more creations. In between the staples like Mojitos or a Dark & Stormy, the overall feel of the creations are that of tropical boat drinks found in the Caribbean- full of delicious juices, coconut cream, and generous pours of rum.
You may not be able to get the hammock on the beach while having a cocktail at this distillery. But considering we're in Pittsburgh, a rum-filled boat drink in-front of a gorgeous copper still is the next best thing.
Maggie's Farm Rum is located at 3212A Smallman Street in the Strip District.
Want to keep drinking in the Strip District? Head over to Pittsburgh Winery, grab another cocktail at Wigle Whiskey, or celebrate happy hour at Kaya Pittsburgh or Smallman Galley (two of the best in the city!).