Robs Rum Guide

your guide to the world's finest rums

Category: Florida (page 1 of 2)

Big 5 Gold Rum evokes wistful era

A trio of rums from Florida — including Big 5 Gold Rum — seek to echo the spirit of rum’s classic era in Cuba’s high society of the 1940s and 1950s.

Modeled in the light bodied Cuban style of aged rums, Big 5 Gold Rum is a fine example of a modern spirit finished by craft distillers in artisan copper pot stills. Continue reading

American Rum Portfolio debuts at 2017 Miami Rum Festival

America is returning to its roots with a proliferation of local craft distillers creating authentic rums — as evidenced in the new American Rum Portfolio showcase at the 2017 Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo. Is this the New American Rum Revolution?

Festival organizers recognize the rapid growth of American craft spirits. The 2017 Miami Rum Fest scheduled for April 22-23 at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Hotel and Convention Center will highlight a collection of fine American rums selected by the editors of Robs Rum Guide.

American Rum Portfolio at Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo

The 2017 Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo April 22-23 will feature the American Rum Portfolio — highlighting a collection of award winning American rums selected by the editors of Robs Rum Guide.

The American Rum Portfolio Debuts

The American Rum Portfolio offers craft spirit producers an opportunity to present their best products at this large gathering of rum enthusiasts, experts and professionals.

Rum connoisseurs and collectors will discover the most complete collection of American rums ever assembled under one roof.

The New American Rum Revolution

Before the American revolution, more than 8,000 distilleries in the American colonies were producing rum from the plentiful supply of molasses available through trade with Caribbean islands. Most ceased production by the time prohibition decimated the American spirits industry. Now, that downward trend is reversing.

“In the past few years, more national, regional and local rum distillers are gaining well-deserved attention. Many are making their mark as true artisan spirits by winning awards and setting new standards for authentic, hand-made rum,” said Robert A. Burr, publisher of Robs Rum Guide.

“We’re now tracking more than 150 producers of American rum. It’s nothing short of a rum revolution — changing the American rum industry. They’re bringing back the art of craft distilling, presenting American rum in a most favorable light by emphasizing the quality aspects of small production.”

Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo Celebrates Rum

Miami Rum Fest and Trade ExpoThe annual gathering of rum experts and consumers in Miami is the place where rum reputations are made. The RumXP panel of expert rum judges from around the world gathers for their blind tasting competition. Rum producers from far and wide — as well as locals — gather to present their products to an eager audience.

Rum distillers, importers, distributors and retailers come together once a year to collaborate and put their heads together to assess the direction of the rum industry.

Now, American rum producers will take a front row position as the American Rum Portfolio debuts at this global gathering.

For more information about the American Rum Portfolio at the Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo, call 707-278-6736 or visit the Miami Rum Fest web site: www.miamirumfest.com

Oak And Cane rum launches in Florida

Produced in small batches in Riviera Beach, Florida, the new Oak And Cane boutique rum launched in Ft. Lauderdale recently, seeking to deliver a very smooth and delightful expression to the local market.

The Oak And Cane Project

Oak And Cane rum from Fort Lauderdale, Florida rests in orange peels

Oak And Cane rum is a distilled specialty spirit from Fort Lauderdale, Florida rested in orange peels.

Fred Greene leads the project. His new rum, bottled at a gentle 35% (70 proof) is classified as a Distilled Specialty Spirit, rested in Florida orange peels and finished in charred American oak.

The brand’s stated goal is to create an American lifestyle product that is smooth on the rocks or can be mixed into timeless classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned, Mojito or even a Mimosa or Sangria.

Tasting Notes

Delicate aromas of light vanilla and faint citrus are revealed over a hint of aromatic wood. On the palate, this pale spirit initially reveals creamy vanilla and bright orange, leading to a light viscosity and mild texture in the mid-palate. The dry finish is faint and smooth with lingering notes of creamsicle.

Oak & Cane can be purchased for about $47 plus shipping from the Passion Spirits online web site.


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Ohana: Luau by the Sea returns to Ft. Lauderdale

Ohana means “family” in Hawaiian. The concept behind Ohana, Luau by the Sea is for Tiki Family to come together with a purpose and have serious fun once a year at a seaside gathering.

Ohana, Luau By The Sea, Mai Kai, Polynesian, Ft. Lauderdale

Ohana: Luau By The Sea is a big weekend gathering and celebration of tiki cocktails and Polynesian culture hosted by the Fraternal Order of the Moai (FOM) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the first weekend of October.

The Fraternal Order of the Moai Foundation donates all profits to their designated charity: the Easter Island Foundation. The National Fellowship of local chapters is proud to support multiple scholarships administered by the EIF.

Luau By The Sea

Luau by the Sea is a global gathering in Ft. Lauderdale during the first weekend of October organized by the Fraternal Order of the Moai. For those coming in from out of town early, Ohana Luau by the Sea kicks off with a trip to the Planeboat once owned by Howard Hughes — a Ft. Lauderdale oddity — on Thursday, September 29 from 1 to 4 pm.

Floating in the Ft. Lauderdale Intercoastal Waterway, take a tour with Medusirena, the Fire Eating Mermaid and enjoy complimentary classic cocktails for this extra special event. A separate ticket is required which includes transportation to and from the host hotel.

Ohana Vice Party

Later on Thursday evening (September 29) everyone convenes for the “Ohana Vice Party” in the appropriately named Aqua and Terra Ballrooms at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Ft. Lauderdale 17th Street, the host hotel for the event. Here you will find incredible look-alike to James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs of Miami Vice. Show off your costume and blend in to this themed evening to get the Luau by the Sea party started. Pusser’s Navy Rum is awarding prizes for the best costumes.

Friday Seminars

On Friday, September 30, registration opens at 11am. Begin your day by attending four seminars throughout the afternoon.

  • Howard Huges’ Stratoliner Planeboat, a brief history

    Learn more about this local oddity and cultural icon from hosts David Drimmer and Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid.

  • Bitters and Tinctures

    Join Ayme Harrison of Kreepy Tiki as she takes you on an exploration of Bitters and Tinctures for your cocktails. This seminar is both a presentation and a hands-on class. There is an optional Bitters Kit for sale that includes everything you need to make your own bitters.

  • Tiki by the Numbers

    Explore the great variety of flavors of tiki cocktails deconstructed by the Gumbo Limbo Chapter of the FOM. We’ve all seen tiki bar menus that read as though every drink is “a blend of rums and tropical juices.” This interactive seminar will help you visualize and taste the different ranges of the tiki trinity (sour, sweet, and strong), with extra attention to the flavors that come from different styles of rum.

  • Tropical Fusion

    Polynesian Gods, Barrels of Rum, Rogues, Scoundrels and Geniuses. Join writer and seminar host Paul Senft for his discussion about the history of rum and its part in the evolution of the Tiki movement and the people behind it.

Friday Grand Luau Feast

At 6:45pm Friday evening the Grand Luau begins in the Grand Salon of the Embassy Suites where guests will enjoy a wonderful Floribbean/Hawaiian theme feast with lots of wonderful entertainment. Rocking the Luau by the Sea for the second year with their unique combination of surf, exotica and Hot Rod music.

Come see why 9th Wave is called the “Official Band of Ohana!” The Aloha Islanders will perform a high-energy and authentic Polynesian show that is an action packed non-stop revue of dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, and New Zealand.

Roy and Malia Anderson of Ronin Taiko combine elements of Japanese instruments, Tiki-exotica music, and theatre to create a unique Pan Pacific experience. And Nani Maka and Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid will be dancing together on the Ohana Stage.

Saturday, The Rumporium

On Saturday, October 1, the Rumporium will open at 12 noon along with all the great Luau by the Sea Tiki Vendors. Enjoy sipping and learning about some great rums while you shop for your favorite Tiki souvenir. And don’t forget to bid on some wonderful items in the Silent Auction and support the Scholarships for the Easter Island Foundation.

Try your rum knowledge at the Great Rum Challenge sponsored by Rob’s Rum Guide and the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. If you can correctly identify all the rums in this blind tasting, you win a ticket to the festival April 22-23, 2017. Learn how to play the Ukulele with Tony Baloney at 1pm.

Tiki Mission to the Mai Kai

At 5pm the Mai Kai opens and everyone will make their way to Happy Hour at the Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant’s Molokai Bar where special drinks will be available for the Ohana crowd. At 7:30pm Ohana Dinner seating begins. Everyone will enjoy their spectacular evening together watching the Mai Kai’s incredible Polynesian Show.

Sunday at Kreepy Tiki

On Sunday, October 2, everyone meets at the Kreepy Tiki Lounge, before departing, for the Hair of the Dog, Car and Bike Show, hosted by the Gumbo Limbo Chapter. The Kreepy Tiki is on the way to the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

Tickets and Reservations

Your $95 ticket includes the seminars, the Luau Dinner, the Aloha Islanders, the Taiko drumming by Roy and Malia, the Pretty Allrights on Ukulele, the totally awesome 9th Wave, the Rumporium, the Ohana Marketplace, and the Ohana Silent Auction which benefits the E.I.F. for the weekend.

  • First, get your tickets on the web site.
  • Second, call the Mai Kai and make your reservations for dinner on Saturday at 954-563-3272 and tell them you want to join Ohana for dinner on Saturday, October 1. Please reserve your space at the first dinner seating.
  • Third, call the Embassy Suites and book a room in the heart of the action. They are pet friendly, if you want to bring along fido. Call 954-527-2700 or visit the hotel web site.

For more information about Ohana: Luau By The Sea, visit the Ohana: Laua By The Sea web site.

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Florida A1A Cocktail Trail offers tropical libations

In North Florida, take the A1A Cocktail Trail when you want to enjoy a leisurely drive along the coast. The route combines amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean with stops at popular watering holes that feature tropical cocktails made with fresh Florida citrus and local craft spirits from St. Augustine Distillery.

North Florida's A1A Cocktail Trail features tropical cocktails made with Florida citrus and spirits from St. Augustine Distillery.

North Florida’s A1A Cocktail Trail offers a delightful adventure along Florida’s Historic Coastline, discovering tropical cocktails made with fresh Florida citrus and rum from the St. Augustine Distillery.

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), St. Augustine Distillery and the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) have created a trail of bars and restaurants along Florida’s Historic Coastline that serve up original cocktails made by experienced Florida mixologists.

“We are excited about putting Florida on the ‘map’ as a state that is creating some of the freshest cocktails. We’re combining locally made spirits from Florida agriculture with the world’s finest citrus, highlighting our long history of agriculture and sustainable production practices,” explained Philip McDaniel, co-founder and CEO of St. Augustine Distillery. “Together with the FDOC and VCB, we are proud to promote the Spirit of Florida.”

The A1A Cocktail Trail Passport

Get your official A1A Cocktail Trail passport at participating bars and restaurants from Atlantic Beach to St. Augustine.

A1A Cocktail Trail, tropical cocktails, Florida citrus, St. Augustine Distillery, Florida's Historic Coastline

Amy Carpenter from the Florida Department of Citrus (left) and Kara Pound from the St. Augustine Distillery (right) visit with Matt Stevens (middle), manager of A1A Ale Works in St. Augustine, to unveil the new A1A Cocktail Trail program.

Once your passport is stamped at all eight locations, redeem it for a free collectible A1A Cocktail Trail t-shirt and branded, wooden coaster set.

Passports are also available at the I-95 Welcome Center, the I-75 Welcome Center, the St. Augustine Distillery and Florida’s Historical Coast office in St. Augustine.

Discover Florida’s Historic Coastline

Take your time and enjoy the natural beauty, leisurely pace and delightful venues along Florida’s Historic Coastline.

A1A Cocktail Trail, tropical cocktails, Florida citrus, St. Augustine Distillery, Florida's Historic Coastline

Florida A1A – the beach road

Florida’s A1A is a north-south Florida State Road that runs mostly along the Atlantic Ocean, with sections from Key West at the southern tip of Florida, to Fernandina Beach, just south of Georgia on Amelia Island.

Saint Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the contiguous United States. Since the late 19th century, St. Augustine’s distinct historical character has made the city a major tourist attraction.

The St. Augustine Distillery is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The restaurant is open seven days a week for dinner from 5 to 10pm, and lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday. The bar is open from 11:30am to midnight on Sunday and Monday, until 2am the rest of the week. Call 904-825-4962 or visit the web site.

Their craft rum spirits are produced on-site by master distillers from select regional sugarcane syrups and molasses in copper pot stills and then barrel-aged for a distinct flavor profile.

Drive Safely

If you don’t have a designated driver, consider using a car service to enjoy the A1A Cocktail Trail. For a list of recommended transportation companies in the area, visit the Florida Citrus web site’s A1A Cocktail Trail web page.

Wicked Dolphin announces new beer barrel rum

Florida craft distiller Cape Spirits today announced the addition of a new beer barrel rum expression to their portfolio of artisan spirits: Wicked Dolphin Rum Brewer’s Series in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing.

Cape Spirits produces Wicked Dolphin rums at their artisan distillery in Cape Coral, Florida.

Wicked Dolphin beer barrel rum - A new collaboration between Cigar City Brewing and Cape Spirits has Wicked Dolphin aged rum finished in beer barrels for a unique flavor profile.

The new Wicked Dolphin Rum Brewer’s Series limited edition aged rum expression is a collaboration between Florida’s Cigar City Brewing and Cape Spirits.

This new release is the first in a series that partners Wicked Dolphin Rum with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa. Oak Barrels that once held premium American Bourbon — before aging Wicked Dolphin Rum for two years — were filled by Cigar City with a tropical style stout.

Noted by dark roasted grains, cacao nibs, citrus and dark fruit aromas, Da un Beso a la Bottela stout beer was available only to Cigar City’s El Catador Club.

The barrels were then given back to Wicked Dolphin to be filled once more with their award winning rum, this time absorbing the residual stout notes from the barrel. The result is a delightful osmosis of flavors in this beer barrel rum.

This Wicked Dolphin Brewer’s Rum series with Cigar City is a wonderful aged rum offering a soft nose of cocoa and light bourbon wood over vanilla, with a bit of cocoa butter and a hint of sherry. On the palate, the big bright entry of this 46% ABV spirit is truly unique. Vanilla, butter and wood lead to a dry mid-palate when a subtle warmth delivers an echo of hops into a dry finish dominated by lightly charred wood.

Wicked Dolphin Rum owner JoAnn Elardo is passionate about this new beer barrel rum collaboration. “At Wicked Dolphin, we love experimenting. A lot of our team was brewing beer well before distilling rum, so the new Brewer’s Series is a natural fit for us. We have some great breweries working with us throughout Florida, and we’re going to make some fantastic rum. What better way to start than with our friends at Cigar City Brewing, one of the most accomplished premier breweries in Florida.”

Wicked Dolphin Brewers Series limited edition beer barrel rum expression will be distributed by Republic National Distributing Company to select retail stores throughout Florida. The 750ml bottle, at 92 proof, will retail for $47.99.

Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple flavored rum from Florida

South Florida Distillers, makers of the award-winning Fwaygo Rum, have recently released a unique limited edition expression based on grilled pineapple: Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple Rum.

The small distillery is located close to the largest tropical fruit farms in the United States. Their repeated experiments with pomiculture products lead to the development of this new variation.

Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple - Delicious notes of caramelized pineapple over a well-crafted rum base deliver delightful tropical tones in Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple Flavored Rum.

South Florida Distillers presents their limited edition Fwaygo grilled pineapple flavored rum, made in small batches on a craft still.

Master Distiller Joe Durkin’s passion for produce is notable. “I searched forever to find locally grown — and most importantly — ripened on the plant pineapples. I sliced them and dusted in cinnamon and sugar so the pineapple didn’t dehydrate on the grill. I grilled them to get a nice caramelization and char.”

Joe soaked the grilled pineapples in overproof for three months. He also soaked the skins in overproof distillate, then redistilled the infusion to pull out more fresh pineapple flavor. Finally, it was strained and blended with double barreled rum to get some woody spicy notes and a little more smoke.

The result is delicious. Bright aromas of cane are complimented by the caramelized pineapple notes over a hint of cinnamon apple pie and charred wood. On the palate, the fresh pot still rum makes a fine base for the tropical fruit notes, well balanced with a hint of butter and spice before the medium dry finish slowly fades.

Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple Rum is available in limited supply at South Florida Distillers for $49.95.

Among Joe’s current works in progress is a dark overproof rum and a beer barrel spiced expression. The distillery’s YouTube channel with their 50 Days of Fwaygo episodes has garnered a fair amount of attention among rum enthusiasts. #50DaysOfFwaygo

To be notified of new releases from Fwaygo Rum, visit their web site and Facebook page.

 

Wicked Dolphin announces Gold Reserve Rum

From Cape Coral, Florida, the Wicked Dolphin craft distillery today announced the release of a new rum expression: Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve.

Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve - From Cape Coral, Florida, the new Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve aged rum rests for three years in Bourbon barrels.

Wicked Dolphin’s new Gold Reserve hand crafted aged rum is produced in Cape Coral, Florida.

This new aged rum was handcrafted from two distinct fermentation styles using both Florida sugarcane and Florida molasses. The rum is batch distilled in a copper pot still before resting in used Bourbon barrels for three years.

“We have worked on Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve since we started making rum in 2012. Our rum is aged for a full three years in Bourbon Barrels which gives us unique deep whiskey notes for one of the best gold rums on the market”, stated Wicked Dolphin Rum Owner, JoAnn Elardo.

The heat and humidity in Florida play a large factor in Wicked Dolphin’s rum making process. The South Florida climate leads to a rapid aging process which allows for a robust flavor profile.

Wicked Dolphin barrels are then blended and finished to create a smooth and sweet buttery start, followed by a deep oaky finish. Wicked Dolphin does not add caramel or sugar to this authentic craft rum.

Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve is available in 750ml bottles at 40% abv (80 Proof) at a retail price of $32.99.

Ohana: Luau by the Sea debuts in Ft. Lauderdale

The Fraternal Order of the Moai today announced the schedule for their upcoming event dubbed Ohana: Luau by the Sea.

Tiki fanatics are gathering for a celebration of Polynesian culture and authentic cocktails on the first weekend of October in Ft. Lauderdale as the Fraternal Order of the Moai presents their inaugural "Ohana: Luau By The Sea."

Ohana: Luau By The Sea is a big weekend gathering and celebration of tiki cocktails and Polynesian culture hosted by the Fraternal Order of the Moai (FOM) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the first weekend of October.

The FOM is the premier fraternal organization and social network for all men and women interested in tiki culture and the Polynesian pop era. Famous for the annual “Ohana: Lua On The Lake” summer event at The Tiki Resort on Lake George in upstate New York, these perennial party people are setting their sights on creating this new tiki-tastic event in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the first weekend of October.

In Hawaiian culture, Ohana means family in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional.

Ohana: Luau by the Sea is a three-day charity event held in several locations in and around Fort Lauderdale for the great Moai tiki family to meet and enjoy quality time together. Locations include Kreepy Tiki rum bar, the famed Mai Kai Polynesian restaurant and the grand Ohana Luau located at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port Hotel.

If you enjoy classic tiki cocktails done the right way, live music, tiki vendors, great food, custom tiki carvings, poolside fun in the sun and a live Polynesian show, set your sails for Ft. Lauderdale on the first weekend in October.

The Ohana Luau by the Sea Kick-Off Party kicks off Thursday, October 1st at 7pm at the Kreepy Tiki Lounge, voted one of the best Tiki Bars in the US by Traveler Magazine. The theme of the party is Circus Sideshow and the bands and drinks will give new meaning to “The Greatest Show on Earth!”

Friday at the host hotel, the team from Miami Rum Festival will host the Great Rum Challenge, beginning with a short presentation on how to taste rum followed by a blind tasting competition to test the skills of participants. In the Rum Room, sponsor brands will showcase their products as brand owners are on hand to share their stories face to face.

Friday evening features a fabulous gathering at the World-Famous Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant and Bar starting with a special happy hour for Ohana from 7 to 9pm in both the Molokai Lounge and on the Lanai, with bus transportation. The evening progresses with dinner and a show by the Polynesian Islanders Review, the world’s longest running show of its kind. After dinner and stroll through the gardens there will be even more entertainment in the Molokai Lounge and on the Lanai.

Saturday guests will enjoy shopping for treasures in the Ohana Marketplace, enjoy some pool-side games, fresh music, pop-up bars serving delicious cocktails and several tasting events by sponsoring rum brands and organizations. And then…Saturday night is the grand Ohana Luau, a magical evening including dinner and dancing, with four great bands. All of your fun tiki friends will be there — both old and new.

For more information and to secure your tickets before they’re sold out, visit the web site for Ohana: Luau By The Sea.

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St. Augustine Rum debuts in Florida

The inaugural Discovery Series of rums will soon debut at Florida’s St. Augustine Distillery. On Thursday, September 3rd, the public will be invited to purchase the first bottles of St. Augustine Rum from the distillery’s gift shop, located on Riberia Street in downtown St. Augustine, Florida.

A limited series of St. Augustine Rum craft expressions will be released on the following schedule: Series 1 in September, Series 2 in October, Series 3 in November and Series 4 in December. The St. Augustine Distillery’s flagship rum (or final recipe) is slated for a January 2016 release.

St. Augustine Rum - A limited series of craft rum expressions will be released by the St. Augustine Distillery in the last months of 2015, before the final version of this new rum debuts in January.

The historic St. Augustine distillery will debut their new pot still rum with a series of limited edition expressions. The rums will also be featured at their Ice Plant Bar and Restaurant.

Each of these limited editions has been fermented and distilled on-site by Director of Production Brendan Wheatley from select regional sugarcane syrups and molasses in copper pot stills and then barrel-aged for a distinct flavor profile.

“We want our customers to have the unique chance to experience each of these different St. Augustine Rum recipes as we refine our flagship rum,” said co-founder and CEO Philip McDaniel. “This opportunity is very unique and only available at a craft distillery like ours.”

The production facilities are located in the restored historic Ice Plant, featuring a gift shop, restaurant and bar. Large numbers of tourists flock to the facility daily for a presentation in the small theater, followed by tours of the distillery and tasting sessions every half hour. The tour ends with a visit to the gift shop.

The Ice Plant bar and restaurant are also extremely popular, offering a first-class cocktail program developed by Zach Lynch, a talented mixologist and master bartender. The restaurant menu features farm-to-table cuisine with grass-fed beef and burgers, local seafood and vegetarian options among the daily specials.

The St. Augustine Distillery is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The restaurant is open seven days a week for dinner from 5 to 10pm, and lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday. The bar is open from 11:30am to midnight on Sunday and Monday, until 2am the rest of the week. Call 904-825-4962 or visit the web site.

Wicked Dolphin releasing USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum

Known for their outstanding craft spirits produced in Southwest Florida, Wicked Dolphin today announced they will release a limited edition rum expression benefiting the USS Mohawk Coast Guard Cutter Veterans Memorial Reef and Bionic Warriors program.

Wicked Dolphin USS Mohawk - Benefiting the USS Mohawk Coast Guard Cutter Veterans Memorial Reef and Bionic Warriors program, Wicked Dolphin's new limited edition USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum was created to honor veterans.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery of Cape Coral, Florida has announced the limited edition release of their new USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum, to benefit the Bionic Warriors program.

The rum will be available July 2, 2015 at Wicked Dolphin Distillery, based in Cape Coral, Florida. Wicked Dolphin will release only 200 signature bottles with the name “Sunken Barrel USS Mohawk CGC Reserve,” a limited edition 750ml bottle priced at $39.99.

USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum began with the sinking of five Wicked Dolphin Rum barrels filled with distilled water, sent 90 feet down to the USS Mohawk Veterans Memorial Reef last week, and then raised 72 hours later.

The ship was sunk to create an artificial reef environment that encourages coral growth, fish populations and a myriad of marine life.

Wicked Dolphin Rum and Lee Reefs have partnered to create the limited edition rum to benefit the Lee Reefs program and Special Operations Bionic Warriors — a foundation that ensures wounded, injured or ill U.S. Special Operations veterans/athletes receive state-of-the art adaptive sports equipment, coaching and access to cutting-edge sports science that will ensure achievement of their athletic goals.

The barrel sinking at the Mohawk reef site comes just three years after the Mohawk was sunk for use as a veteran’s memorial reef. One hundred percent of the profits will be use to benefit both artificial reefs and the ongoing efforts of the Bionic Warriors.

“We’re proud to be able to create this special rum to honor the spirit of our servicemen — past and present,” said Wicked Dolphin Distillery owner, JoAnn Elardo. “The Mohawk Reef is a wonderful setting to bring this product to life.”

The USS Mohawk CGC has become a premier dive destination in Florida. During its short time as a memorial reef it has been visited by numerous whale sharks, hosted an underwater art gallery, and now, on the third anniversary of her sinking, a new signature product emerges as her legacy continues to grow.

Started in 2012, Wicked Dolphin Distillery is located in Cape Coral; just miles from the fertile sugarcane fields of Florida. Wicked Dolphin Rum was born out of an idea to create true Florida rum. Using 100 percent Florida sugar and local ingredients, the rum is handcrafted in small batches using an American copper pot still — the largest in South Florida. The family-run distillery produces award-winning rums available throughout Florida and the Southeastern United States.

Mai-Kai Restaurant joins National Register of Historic Places

Certainly an iconic stand-out venue from the heyday of Polynesian themed restaurants and bars that thrived across America from the 1930s to the 1960s, The Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale was recently recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as a worthy addition to its esteemed list of historic locations.

Mai Kai Polynesian Dancers

The world-famous Mai Kai Polynesian restaurant and tiki bar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was recently inducted into the official National Register of Historic Places.

Some 58 years ago, this Polynesian bar and restaurant opened  — on December 28, 1956 — in what the National Register describes as an undeveloped area with no other buildings nearby. This dream come true cost about $400,000 — a small fortune at the time. But the restaurant, decorated with thousands of authentic artifacts collected from Polynesia, made a profit in its first year for forward thinking investors Bob and Jack Thornton.

Over the years, as other Polynesian theme restaurants and tiki bars came and went, the Mai Kai and its dedicated staff remained intact — steadily and enthusiastically provided an adventurous dining, drinking and showplace environment for tourists and locals.

In the 1960s, the famous Fire Dance tropical review was initiated with the utmost care and research to develop authentic dance routines for each of the featured Polynesian cultures integrated into the show.

With a resurgence in the popularity of tiki cocktails and culture, the Mai Kai is once again thriving while being recognized as one of the great authentic venues of its genre left in the world.

On November 18, 2014, Mai-Kai was officially entered into the National Register as a property associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history, stating:

“The Mai-Kai Restaurant is locally significant under Criteria A in the areas of Commerce and Entertainment/Recreation. It is significant as an intact, still operating, Polynesian-themed restaurant. The period of significance is from 1956 to 1964 when it largely achieved it present appearance. The Mai-Kai reflects national broad patterns of entertainment that began in the 1920s and thrived in the mid-20th century. The Mai-Kai is one of the few remaining Polynesian themed restaurants in Florida. The building, landscaped garden, interior decor, and the operational elements make the Mai-Kai an exemplary of an exotic themed restaurant and tourist destination. In addition to its decor, the Mai-Kai maintains a Polynesian-Asian influenced menu, as well as the mandatory cocktail menu. While the Mai-Kai’s food menu has adapted to changing culinary tastes, its drink menu, including the quality ingredients, has not changed since 1956. As a result, the restaurant is renowned for its expert tropical drinks. A review of the Mai-Kai’s drink menu indicates over a dozen registered trademark cocktails. The Mai-Kai has a permanent place in a holy trio of old-school holdouts dedicated to the careful construction of their libations.”

Guy Harvey Spiced Rum debuts in Florida

The iconic lifestyle guru most often associated with the ocean, beaches, fishing, boating and scuba diving — Guy Harvey — today announced a new spiced rum expression: Guy Harvey Spiced Rum, developed with Shaw-Ross International.

Guy Harvey Spiced Rum - A new spiced rum from ocean lifestyle guru Guy Harvey debuts in Florida.

The new Guy Harvey Spiced Rum, produced in Puerto Rico reflects this famous marine artist’s ocean lifestyle, with funds going to protect marine wildlife.

Initial distribution of the new product is scheduled to begin in Florida immediately.

This renowned marine wildlife artist, scientist and conservationist visited the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival last April to study the expanding market for flavorful expressions among the burgeoning population of rum enthusiasts.

“Given the rich heritage of rum with sailors, boaters and fishermen, adding a quality rum product like Guy Harvey Spiced Rum is a logical extension of my lifestyle brand,” said Guy Harvey.

The Rum

Distilled in Puerto Rico, Guy Harvey Spiced Rum is an amber colored rum that contains spices and warm flavors of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon at 35 abv (70 proof). The 750ml bottle will retail at approximately $15.

Plans to take the product to markets outside of Florida in 2015 are currently in the works. A second Guy Harvey branded rum offering — an aged blended Jamaican rum — is in development, expected to be introduced in the spring of 2015.

The Man

“The Guy Harvey name is a perfect fit for spiced rum,” notes Bruce Hunter, Managing Director of Shaw-Ross International Importers.”

Guy Harvey marine artist

renowned marine wildlife artist, scientist and conservationist Guy Harvey

Additionally, rum is a growing category and spiced rum in particular is the driving force behind this growth so the timing is right for the launch of Guy Harvey Spiced Rum. We are very excited.”

Guy Harvey’s depictions of marine life, especially of sportfish such as marlin, are very popular with sport fishermen and have been reproduced in prints, posters, t-shirts, jewelry, clothing and other consumer items.

A significant portion of the net proceeds from Guy Harvey Spiced Rum will be used to fund the various projects of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, a non-profit that funds scientific marine research and conservation programs. In particular, the proceeds from Guy Harvey Spiced Rum will fund marine science and outreach programs.

The new spiced rum will be actively promoted in a version of a traditional rum cocktail known as the Shark Bite.

Shark Bite

3/4 oz Guy Harvey Spiced Rum
1/4 oz light rum
1/2 oz blue Curaçao
1.5 oz sweet and sour mix
3 drops of grenadine

Wicked Dolphin presents new Florida coconut rum

Award-winning Florida craft rum producer Wicked Dolphin has now released their long anticipated Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum, available at retailers across Florida through Republic National Distributing Company and at Wicked Dolphin Distillery located in Cape Coral, Florida.

Wicked Dolphin Coconut - The newly released coconut rum from Wicked Dolphin Distillery of Cape Coral, Florida has already proven to be a big hit with consumers and bartenders.

Wicked Dolphin distillery in Cape Coral, Florida is producing a delicious new coconut rum using fresh natural ingredients.

Consumers are enthusiastically embracing this authentic American rum with real coconut ingredients and a great tropical taste.

With sales of more than 260 cases within the first week and a half at the distillery, Wicked Dolphin knew instantly their new new coconut rum would be a hit.

“We have worked on our Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum for over 2 years getting the taste just right,” states JoAnn Elardo founder of WD. “I started by using natural ingredients from Florida and the coconuts in my backyard to come up with great tasting rum. We were looking to get rid of that suntan lotion taste and smell associated with other products on the market.”

Wicked Dolphin Coconut Cocktails

They are now engaging with many restaurants and bars in Florida to come up with some fresh cocktails to compliment their drink menus.

Wicked Florida Colada: combine Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum, Wicked Dolphin Crystal Rum, Cream de Coconut, pineapple juice and a splash of fresh Florida orange juice.

Wicked Dolphin’s Punch: Wicked Dolphin Coconut, Wicked Dolphin Crystal, cranberry juice, pineapple juice with a squeeze of lime, shaken.

Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum is available in 750ml bottles at 30% ABV (60 proof) at a suggested price of $22.99.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery and Tasting Room

Wicked Dolphin Distillery is the largest craft rum distillery in Florida, using only the finest ingredients and Florida sugarcane. The company produces an assortment of award winning rums, including Silver, Spiced, Coconut, Crystal — and soon to be released, Amber. Wicked Dolphin is also the producer of RumShine, a truly premium Florida Shine.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery has free tours and tastings at their distillery in Cape Coral, Florida.

Florida’s Wicked Dolphin debuts RumShine flavored spirits

Florida craft distiller Cape Spirits today announced the addition of three new expressions to their portfolio of artisan spirits in the form of Wicked Dolphin RumShine — made with locally-sourced produce and award-winning rum.

An homage to the pioneers that built Florida's sugar industry from the wilds of the Everglades, Wicked Dolphin's new RumShine flavored expressions are infused with local apple, strawberry and blueberry flavors.

The new Wicked Dolphin RumShine flavors from Cape Spirits of Cape Coral presents a delightful infusion of fresh Florida delights — flavored with apple, strawberry and blueberry — in locally produced rum.

In addition to the new Apple Pie, Strawberry and Blueberry RumShine products, the company produces numerous cane spirits at their craft distillery in Cape Coral, Florida.

An homage to the pioneers that built Florida’s sugar industry from the wilds of the Everglades, Wicked Dolphin’s new RumShine flavored expressions are a reflection of a lost era of home-made spirits.

The tropical Everglades was worked by a rough bunch of hard-working laborers, known as Gladesmen. They worked tirelessly in the sweltering heat of the vast swamps infested with venomous snakes, battling savage alligators as big as boats.

Wicked Dolphin Rumshine Flavors

These flavored rums won’t be confused with the sweet syrupy style flavored rums offered by other brands. They’re full of natural fruit flavor — and they pack a bit of a punch.

“We take a lot of pride in using as many fresh, Florida ingredients as we can.” says company president Joann Elardo. “Today, we are introducing three flavors: Apple Pie, Strawberry and Blueberry. We’ve been testing these in the market and have seen great response. People are looking for something a little different, and our new RumShine fits that bill.”

Strawberry RumShine features fresh Florida strawberries infused in their award-winning clear rum made from the very best Florida sugar cane, creating a profile of creamy, sun ripened strawberries with cool, sweet, refreshingly complex flavor, finishing with a bit of a kick at 100 proof.

Blueberry RumShine offers fresh Florida blueberries with a similar clear rum base. A nice bright full-bodied berry taste with sweet notes in perfect balance creates a great 100 proof spirit to enjoy on its own or with a mixer.

Apple Pie RumShine, at 70 proof, is reminiscent of having a warm slice of apple pie –- with a fresh clean apple taste that is wonderfully accented by a hand-made bouquet of nutmeg, cinnamon and homemade spices.

Wicked Dolphin rums are distributed by Republic National Distributors and available in most retail and restaurant locations throughout Florida. Visit the distillery located at 131 SW 3rd Street in Cape Coral, Florida for free tours and delicious rum tastings.

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