The Rum is no longer gone as entrepreneur opens up distillery in Forked River
After spending two-decades in the sales industry a New Jersey entrepreneur closes the door on that career to open up Ocean County's first rum distillery this month.
38-year old Peter Martorelli, owner of the newly opened Island Beach Distillery on Old Shore Road in Forked River says the first tour was a complete success.
"We sold out of Rum about a half-hour before we closed," said Martorelli.
As a result the remainder of the weekend tours on Saturday and Sunday were cancelled because there was no more rum to sell, but Martorelli has been working tirelessly since to put together a new batch for this weekend following last weekends success.
"The turnout that we got was very unexpected," said Martorell. "It was much larger than we thought, we had people coming back for a second time and they brought more of their friends, which is great."
The name of the distillery was named in tribute one of his favorite landmarks at the Jersey Shore...Island Beach State Park.
It was self-funded to get things going here following nearly a year-and-a-half of planning and paperwork.
After working various jobs in the field of business including stops as a salesman, he hopes his new investment here will continue to expand beyond the Old Shore Road spot.
"Within the next couple of months we're going to be branching into liquor stores, bars and restaurants," said Martorelli. "We're going to be basically expanding from our little hub outwards."
In the mean time Martorelli continues making carribean style rum you can try when you come in for a tour.
"If they (you) choose to they can purchase packaged goods, so they can buy the rum bottle," said Martorell. "They can also sit down and have some mixed drinks. I can do a mixed drink with the rum that I make, I can't use any outside alcohol."
Captain Jack Sparrow will never be thirsty if he visits Ocean County following the opening of the rum distillery.
Martorelli says he uses a Caribbean style molasses in the rum at the distillery which results as a base rum that's white or clear styled and from it other flavors can be added or mixed in.
"I make all of my flavors off of that," said Martorelli. "From that white rum I also have a spiced rum and a sweet rum which is my version of a dark rum."
The fourth type of rum flavor he features includes arguably the world's tastiest spice.
"The cinna-rum is actually a cinnamon flavored rum," said Martorelli. "It's a very smooth, very soft tasting rum. It's not going to bite you back or anything like that."
He says all the caribbean style rum they offer is 80-proof.
Martorelli has hired a bartender to work with him there, and on occasion his wife will be there to help out but he is his own boss and will be on sire to greet you as you come in for a tour and a taste of rum.
If you're interested in learning more or to learn about the tours they offer at the distillery, call on over at 609-242-5054.
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