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People Profile: Rum Shop Ryan

My brother in rum, Ryan VanDenabeele (AKA Rum Shop Ryan,) sits down with us to sip spirits and tell his story.  Read the entire interview here.
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RC: Welcome, Ryan.  Tell us how and when you became interested in rum?

Ryan: I’ve always liked the taste of different rums, but I’d say watching a History Channel show on the history of rum really soaked my soul to find and taste more of this Caribbean water.
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RC: How many rums are in your collection?

Ryan: Not all that many, I end up drinking all of them. That’s the point right?
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RC: What is your favorite rum (or rums) in each category and why?

Ryan: I’ve always been a fan of the Cruzan rums, no coconut flavored rum for this pirate.  Give me the dark and spicy please.
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RC: Do you have a favorite rum bar?

Ryan: I do, it’s called Pontoon Jimmys. It’s a little tiki bar my buddy built and I supply the PainKillers for all to enjoy!
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RC: What is your favorite cocktail?

Ryan: Sails up and hands down the PainKiller. I fell in love with them in the Virgin Islands. I also seem to enjoy too many RumRunners with a 151 floater at the Lani Kai on Ft. Myers Beach.  Those things will sneak up on you quick style!
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RC: Do you have a favorite spirits shop for buying rum?

Ryan: Here in the States you pretty much had to go to a big spirits stores like ABC Liquor or Total Wine and Spirits to get a good selection. It’s not like sailing up to a new island and indulging in the local rum.
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RC: Which rum would you travel to buy?

Ryan: Mt. Gay rum of Barbados.  What better place to enjoy rum at a local rum shop.
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RC: When did you launch RumShopRyan.com and what is your focus?

Ryan: RumShopRyan.com was thought up last August (09) and really started to consistently post in November. It’s a passion project.  I grew up in the land locked state of Kansas and had always wanted to get out and live where people vacation. So that’s what I did.  I didn’t know a single person in Naples, FL when I upped and moved. The tropics/sun/sand and bikinis in December just seemed to call to me.  So why not write about it and share this world. I know there’s an audience for it…Mr. Buffett seems to be doing pretty well singing about it.
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RC: What should we watch out for on RumShopRyan.com in the coming months?

Ryan: We are always doing something new. We just did a very successful photo contest. Drinking rum and corona tends to supercharge the creative juices so who knows what’s down the road.  I know we will keep posting the island webcams and Boat Drinks each week.  It’s important to be creative with your rums and to keep a voyeur eye on those special islands we all love.
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RC: Words of wisdom?

Ryan: Drink Up and follow your dreams!
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RC: Damn, those are words to live by, Ryan!!  Thanks for sharing.  Cheers!
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Don’t forget to check out Ryan’s website for a daily dose of the islands.  RumShopRyan.com