Robs Rum Guide

your guide to the world's finest rums

Category: Florida (page 2 of 2)

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.

Citrus Distillers creating private label spirits near Palm Beach

Citrus Distillers, a small artisan distillery in Florida, operated by Dustin Skartved, is appealing to aspiring liquor brands and private labels by offering a complete solution to those wishing to initiate their own brand of spirits.

The facility includes three custom copper and stainless steel stills and a temperature controlled fermentation lab. The maturation section features various types of oak barrels, French barrels, Cypress and many other tank technologies.

Dustin Skartved is the master distiller at Citrus Distillers

Dustin Skartved is the master distiller at Citrus Distillers of Riviera Beach Florida, an artisan still operation creating custom spirits for private labels.

Offering to help start-ups build their brand of whiskey, rum, vodka or gin, Citrus Distillers offers payment plans and set prices — as little as $3,500 to get started, plus $4.30 per bottle. Premium and Ultra Grade spirits are priced at a higher rate.

The process of developing a unique recipe and producing the liquid might take as little as 30 days, but typically takes three to six months to develop a brand — taking great care with recipe testing and dealing with licensing issues.

Dustin Skartved is the master distiller at Citrus Distillers. His stated philosophy is to use quality products and processes in every step of the project, beginning with fermentation and distilling test recipes, graphic label design, licensing and label registration and bottling.

Dustin advises that marketing could be considered a critical part of this process and offers to help new entrepreneurs with product placement.

This master distiller believes the most important step is a proper fermentation. “The big difference in our fermentation process is the local ingredients like sugar cane, corn, honey and sweet Florida molasses,” said Dustin. “Our fermentation cycle takes 7 to 8 days, longer than most — and we use low ABV formulas to make our rum and other brands much smoother, with more flavor. A quick fermentation produces too many foul flavors. We’re in no rush.”

Among the private label brands working with Citrus Distillers are Arnolds Classic Vodka, Jello Fever pre-made jelly shots, Still No. 3 Whiskey and High Society Rum.

Another of the unique products produced at his distillation facility is Canes & Grains Citrus Flavored Rum, a dark, rich and robust spirit that evokes the style of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum from Bermuda, with an added element of orange zest. It’s a smooth rum that goes well with ginger beer to make a refreshing rum-and-ginger mixed drink.

Citrus Distillers also offers their own Distillers University classes with instruction ranging from calculating the perfect wash to distilling, bottling, marketing, licensing and spirit tastings.

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