Robs Rum Guide

your guide to the world's finest rums

Tag: Florida rum

NJoy Distillery Tour – Florida Mermaid Rum

You’re sure to enjoy a visit to NJoy Distillery, the producers of Florida Mermaid Rum.

Just beyond the bustling modern suburbs, remnants of the pioneer era of west central Florida remain hidden in plain sight. Several miles down a sandy dirt road, an old hunting cabin has been transformed into the paradisaical home of NJoy Distillery.

Persistence pays off as you near the entrance to this large ranch property just north of Weeki Wachee’s famed clear springs and mermaid shows, hidden within a massive undeveloped state park.

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NJoy Distillery Tour

You’ll be surprised and delighted to discover what Natalie and Kevin Goff have created in this rustic environment. It’s more than a craft distillery, artfully tucked into a barn. It’s a working spirit production facility that begs to be seen and admired by rum enthusiast visitors from near and far.

N-Joy Distilery - the hand-hammered copper pot still

the hand-hammered copper pot still at NJoy Distillery

As you gaze off in the distance of this large farm, beyond the old water wheel, past the horse stables, six acres of tall green sugar cane — featuring seven different varietals — grows in long rows.

A small stream running from the picturesque waterwheel leads to a large pond with a tall fountain. This is old Florida revisited. This is a special place.

Kevin gives us the tour of the works, established in 2012, starting with the crusher, fermentation and distillation sections of the barn. They’re collecting rain water — filtered three times — for the mash and proofing.

This still is a beauty — a classic 300 liter (80 gallon) hand-hammered alembic-style copper pot still from Portugal.

Florida Mermaid Rum

Their popular Florida Mermaid Rum — with a nod to the local Weeki Wachee natural attraction — features their own boutique rum blended with a special Caribbean pot still rum, bottled at 100 proof, without colorings or flavorings.

NJoy Distillery - Florida Mermaid Rum

NJoy Distillery – Florida Mermaid Rum

Only steps away, the blended rum rests in 25 large Wild Buck Whiskey barrels in an outdoor shipping container for 90 days.

The nose begins with bold aromas of black banana, flowers and butter. Next, vanilla and almond emerge over oak with a big funky fruit basket.

On the palate, complex esters offer a delightfully fruity astringent entry that evolves to big warmth in the mid-palate. Wood and brown butter dominate before some baking spice as the finish slowly fades.

Florida Mermaid Rum is the recipient of many awards and accolades from numerous competitions, including Best In Class in the boutique rum category at the 2018 International Rum Expert Panel tasting competition at Rum Renaissance Festival.

Mermaid Rum is now available in many Florida locations, including ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wines & More, distributed by Republic National Distributing. The 750ml bottle retails for $39.95.

NJoy Distillery Products

NJoy is also home to Wild Buck Whiskey, made from 401 black rye grown on the farm, plus Ryes In Shine moonshine.

The farm also hosts 600 bee hives for pollination, as well as a source for delicious honey for sale. A local baker delivers fresh rum cakes every weekend, adding a delightful element to the visit.

The NJoy Distillery is open for free tours and tastings every weekend from 11am to 3pm, with tasty cocktails to imbibe on the shady deck by the pond. Take home a bottle of Florida Mermaid Rum, Wild Buck Whiskey, Ryes In Shine, some local honey and a rum cake.

The address is 7237 Wild Buck Rd, Weeki Wachee, FL 34613. Call 352-592-9622.

https://www.wildbuckwhiskey.com/mermaid-rum


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

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View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Sugar Sand Distillery near Lake Placid

Hidden in the midst of a cane field, on a road that’s far from any highway, an open-air boutique distillery is attracting the attention of rum enthusiasts with their classic plantation method of turning sugar cane into rum. Sugar Sand Distillery crushes their own cane, ferments the fresh juice daily and uses their wood-encased copper pot still to make small batches of rum — the same way it was done centuries ago.

Sugar Sand Distillery - Lake Placid, FL

Sugar Sand Distillery features an open-air copper pot still hidden in the midst of a tall cane field.

The result is a simple and delicious cane spirit.

Some of the rum is maturing in small oak barrels to be bottled as golden aged rum.

Rum’s Natural Environment

Way out on Henscratch Road, near the town of Lake Placid, Florida, we found Don Davies and Jessica Giffin (the Distillery Queen) busy hosting folks in their tasting room and overseeing the craft distillation equipment they use to make fresh rum.

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In the background, tall green sugar cane stalks are swaying in the gentle breeze of a former citrus grove, cleverly fed by a hydroponic system that delivers water and nutrients directly to the base of each plant. It’s a modern and efficient method for raising cane (pun intended) in the sandy soil of south central Florida, a by-product of Don’s decades of experience in the fertilizer industry.

Sugar Sand Distillery Philosophy

“We didn’t know what we didn’t know when we started,” Don tells us. “Apparently no one else does it this way in Florida. We want to grow our own cane, rather than use molasses. We have a special device that peels the cane before crushing for a cleaner juice. And, we want to make each small batch by hand so we can control the process. It’s about quality, not quantity at Sugar Sand Distillery.”

There’s plenty of enthusiasm in the tasting room, as visitors savor the rum made only 20 feet away in a still that looks like something borrowed from a Willy Wonka movie. It tastes like cane, with a bit of smoky flavor from the heavily charred oak barrels. The sense of discovering something new and unique is a delight to those that make the journey.

Sugar Sand Distillery Rum - Lake Placid, FL

Sugar Sand Rum from Lake Placid, Florida is a limited edition authentic boutique craft spirit.

Distribution is a challenge, but they’re making steady progress throughout Florida. Sugar Sand Distillery also sells a moonshine and a vodka product made from cane. Almost everyone buys a bottle or three when they visit the distillery and that makes a big difference to the bottom line for this emerging production facility.

Visiting Florida Rum Distilleries

It’s great to see small Florida distilleries like Sugar Sand popping up all over the sunshine state. It’s a movement that benefits consumers by having more and better choices for unique styles of rum to enjoy.

Visit Sugar Sand Distillery for free tastings on Saturdays between 11am and 6pm. The address is 264 Henscratch Road near Lake Placid, FL 33852. Call 863-449-0470. https://www.facebook.com/sugarsanddistillery/


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

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.

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