The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is more than a resort – it’s a place where guests create special experiences set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Atlantic beach.

And at the heart of enjoyment for guests and locals alike is RUMBAR, which transports guests into a 1940s Havana-style bar and lounge with a new transformation. The updated space now offers additional bar and lounge seating as well.

Rumbar has a grand selection of over 85 varieties of rums, piscos and cachacas, and a great menu to offer the perfect companion to the great cocktails. Live music every Friday and Saturday evenings.

While the natural environment is a big part of the resort’s allure, the talented professionals who treat guests like beloved family are equally important.

One of those individuals, Alejandro Rodriguez, has found his niche at RUMBAR, the resort’s Havana-inspired cocktail lounge. There, Rodriguez makes a point of getting to know each guest, what they like, and how he can make their stay a memorable one.

He talked to The Islander News about his love for his career and the joys of working on the Key.

Name: Alejandro Rodriguez

Current job: Bartender at RUMBAR at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

Question: Where were you born?

Answer: Miami

Q: Where do you live now?

A: Coral Gables

Q: How did you get your start in the culinary industry?

A: I started almost 20 years ago working as a bartender in different bars and clubs in Coconut Grove.

Q: What is your “secret to success?”

A: Truly loving what you do gives your guests a sense of honesty and sincerity on how you serve and engage with them.

Q: What’s your proudest moment in your career?

A: I think it would have been creating the cocktails for our restaurant Lightkeepers and being part of the bar opening team. 

Q: Any funny or embarrassing stories you can share?

A: A couple years ago, I was extremely busy and as I was shaking a martini in the shaking glass, it totally slipped, and I soaked a guest with vodka. Luckily, they were not upset.

Q: What do you love most about your career?

A: Putting a smile on our guest’s face and creating guests for life.

Q: If you had to choose one meal, what would it be?

A: Definitely ceviche.

Q: If you had to make a cocktail for yourself, what would be your favorite recipe?

A: My favorite cocktail to make and drink is a rum old fashion.

Q: What is your favorite junk food or comfort food?

A: Shake Shack

Q: Is there any food you absolutely don’t like?

A: Pickles

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I love to play golf and spend time with my 5-month-old daughter.

Q: What’s your favorite part about working in Key Biscayne?

A: The drive into the Key and coffee at Oasis.

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?

A: Probably my age. People never believe I’m 40 years old.

Q: What’s your advice for someone just starting in your profession?

A: I say do what you love, and it’s never called work.