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National Coquito Day – December 21

National Coquito Day - December 21

December 21 is National Coquito Day

Rum has long played a role in celebrations and gatherings in Caribbean culture. The tradition of sharing coquito, a festive libation during the holiday season, continues to expand beyond the region with many home-grown recipes.

National Coquito Day is December 21

It’s a day to celebrate Holiday Coquito, a creamy rich and delicious rum concoction often compared to eggnog. Meant to be shared with family and friends, coquito is most often associated with the rums of Puerto Rico.

While there is no specific data as to the exact date of the creation of the first Coquito, historians place the birth of this drink around 1900. The first published Coquito recipes appeared in the Puerto Rican cookbooks, “Cocine a Gusto” and “The Puerto Rican Cookbook,” between 1950 and 1970.

Holiday Coquito - National Coquito Day

a glass of holiday coquito

The Coquito has since evolved from its original version of rum and cream of coconut to include an array of flavors, ranging from almond to pistachio to chocolate. Puerto Rican Rum is always featured as the main ingredient in this distinctive cocktail.

It seems that every family has their own recipe with myriad variations on the theme of a creamy, tropical coconut inspired punch. Holiday Coquito is easy to make. It’s fun to share. It’s a seasonal delicacy that signals a return to simple pleasures and family gatherings.

Let’s start with a traditional recipe from the Serrallés family of Ponce, on the south shore of Puerto Rico. Known for making Don Q rums, they are one of America’s oldest family-owned businesses with a rum making tradition that spans six generations and more than 150 years.

The Serrallés Family Coquito Recipe

  • 3 cans evaporated milk
  • 1 can cream of coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups Don Q Cristal rum
  • add cinnamon to garnish

Method: blend the liquid ingredients at high speed for two minutes, pour into empty bottle and refrigerate for at least four hours. It’s even better after two or three days). Serve in a small glass and sprinkle with cinnamon.

More recipes follow. Enjoy the variations on National Coquito Day. Happy holidays.

Be sure to share your favorite National Coquito Day recipes on social media and use the hashtag: #NationalCoquitoDay


Santaella Restaurant Coquito, San Juan

  • 3 cups fresh coconut milk
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 15-ounce can cream of coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups Don Q Gran Añejo

Method: combine the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum in a blender and process on high speed until the mixture is foamy, about 2 minutes. Pour the coquito into a clean glass, bottle, or pitcher and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (It will keep, refrigerated, for at least 3 weeks.) To serve, pour into individual glasses and garnish with more cinnamon.

Silvia Santiago, Don Q’s Master Blender

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 lb sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla
  • 5 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
  • 5 10-ounce cans coconut cream
  • 6 cinnamon sticks with 6 lime peels (about 1 cup)
  • 1.75 liters Don Q Añejo rum

Method: boil the cinnamon sticks with the lime peels in one cup of water. Let it cool and strain before adding to the mix. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients. Yields about 5 liters. Keep refrigerated.

Chef Mario Pagan, San Juan – Pumpkin Coquito

  • 14 oz cream of coconut
  • 25 oz coconut milk
  • 15 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 6 oz steamed and pureed pumpkin
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 star annise
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced Rum to taste

Method: heat up the milks with the spices in a heavy bottom pan, stirring constantly to prevent burning. When a rolling boil is reached, shut off heat and let steep with a properly fitting lid. After 20 minutes, remove spices, add the pumpkin and process in a blender until smooth. Add the rum to taste, cover and let chill from 6 to 24 hours.

Chef Wilo Benet, San Juan

  • 3 cinnamon sticks (ground finely)
  • 7 star anise pods (ground finely)
  • 2 pints of premium vanilla ice cream
  • 5 cans of coconut cream
  • 3 cans of condensed milk
  • 3 cans of evaporated milk
  • 1 750ml bottle of Don Q Cristal rum
  • 1 cup of Baileys
  • 1 cup of Cognac

Method: mix all the ingredients with an immersion blender thoroughly and refrigerate. Serve cold with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Chef Jose Enrique, San Juan

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can cream of coconut
  • 3 ounces Don Q Cristal
  • 3 ounces Don Q Añejo

Method: mix in blender, and add cinnamon stick. Place in fridge and enjoy!

Roberto Berdecia from La Factoria (World’s 50 Best Bars), San Juan

  • 15 ounces coconut cream
  • 14 ounces condensed milk
  • 16 ounces evaporated milk
  • 16 ounces Don Q Gold rum
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 balls of malagueta (allspice)
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 2 drops of vanilla extract
  • grated coconut (optional to taste)

Method: in a pot, put the evaporated milk together with cinnamon, anise, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes stirring constantly, but do not let it boil. Remove from the heat, strain the spices and put the liquid in a blender with condensed milk, coconut cream, Don Q Gold rum, vanilla and optional grated coconut. Blend until all the ingredients are well mixed. Place in bottles and refrigerate before consuming.


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.

Alligator Bay Distillers in Punta Gorda

With a nod to the backwater regions of Southwest Florida, Alligator Bay Distillers is a family-run operation producing a line of boutique rum products from their production facility in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Alex Voss at Alligator Bay Distillers

Alex Voss with Robin and Robert Burr at Alligator Bay Distillers

Alex Voss grew up in Naples, a small town south of Fort Myers. In 2012, he moved to Maui, Hawaii where he learned to make rum. He started as an apprentice and worked his way up to distiller at Haleakalā Distillers.

Returning to Naples, Alex brought home his knowledge of cane spirit production, collaborating with family members to launch their own facility in 2015.

While Alex concentrates on rum production, brother Ben Voss leads the marketing efforts and serves as chief mechanic at Alligator Bay Distillers.

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon for a look around and a tour of the facility. Alex welcomed us and spoke of his process and philosophy of making rum at Alligator Bay Distillers.

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Starting with molasses from Clewiston — the legendary sugar town near Lake Okeechobee — Alex has perfected his fermentation process with an ideal active dry yeast strain that thrives in the warm humid climate of Southwest Florida. The fermentation process takes seven days and produces a rum mash with an alcohol content of 8%.

The distillation process involves double distillation in a traditional copper pot still to 70% abv, retaining much of the molasses and cane flavors in his distillate.

The aging room is completely filled with resting oak barrels. The aroma of rum and wood is enticing — and certainly whets the appetite for the next stop on the tour — the tasting room.

Alligator Bay rums

Alligator Bay rums

Indeed, the clear rum retains a true flavor of cane and serves as the base for the spiced rum. The Sun Gold rum is lightly aged and the addition of Black Mangrove honey offers a nice finish. The Saba Treasure offers a subtle hint of fennel.

The rum that brings home the most awards is the chocolate-infused Dark Rum. This boutique specialty took home a gold award in the 2017 RumXP international tasting competition at Rum Renaissance Festival.

With a motto of “cane to bottle,” the small batch rums made by Alex Voss at Alligator Bay Distillers are distinguished by his artisan hands-on approach to production.

The distillery is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 11am to 3pm, starting on top of the hour, at 25522 E Marion Ave. Punta Gorda FL, 33950.

Call 941-347-8419 or email: info@alligatorbaydistillers.com. Visit the web site at: http://alligatorbaydistillers.com/


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.

Stroh 160 Overproof Rum

An unconventional product by any standard, Stroh 160 Overproof Rum is a unique spiced and flavored rum liqueur from Austria that defies categorization. Like Germany’s Rum Verschnitt, it’s made of neutral grain distillate, loaded with strong essences and rich rum flavors.

In Germany and Scandinavia, the traditional holiday comfort flavor profile makes it a favorite for celebrations, but you rarely see it used to make cocktails — or be forewarned — enjoyed straight.

Every rum has a purpose. At 80% abv, Stroh 160 delivers a robust and potent spirit popularly used as a key ingredient in festive punch recipes, representing warmth, friendliness and good cheer. It’s also mixed with black tea to create a traditional warm Jagertee libation popular for after-ski festivities in Europe.

Stroh 160 is used to flambé table-side dishes, but perhaps it’s most popular use is for home baking, like old-fashioned holiday fruit cake.

Stroh 160 Legacy

Stroh 160 Overproof RumThe rum’s secret recipe was first developed in 1832 by Sebastian Stroh. Like Jägermeister, this “inlander rum” is sometimes perceived as a powerful manly elixir representing a wistful bygone era of old European spirit making.

In a Scandinavian hunter’s cabin deep in the frozen woods, a shot of Stroh 160 might seem appropriate to provide a warm invigorating experience, but otherwise, it’s not advisable to attempt drinking it straight.

Stroh 160 Tasting Notes

The bold crimson vermillion color first gets your attention. Aromas of pound cake, butterscotch, assorted fruit jelly and baking spices belie its overproof nature. On the palate, an initial hint of cotton candy precedes a big explosion of overwhelming fruit flavors and high ester funk before the base of creamy butterscotch, vanilla, treacle and baking spices endure into the very long finish.

Stroh 160 Overproof Rum In The USA

In Europe, this product is known as Stroh 80, referring to the 80% alcohol by volume overproof rating. In the USA, the same rum is named Stroh 160 to underscore its 160 proof content. In simple terms, there is twice as much alcohol in this bottle than your average 80 proof rum, so a little bit goes a long way.

Among tiki enthusiasts, Stroh 160 has earned a reputation as a welcome component in Polynesian-style cocktails and topical libations that integrate a strong overproof rum into the recipe.

The 750ml bottle of Stroh 160 overproof rum sells for about $35.

http://www.stroh.at/en/


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.

Tanduay Silver Asian Rum

From the world’s largest rum producer, Tanduay Silver Asian Rum presents an outstanding premium cane spirit with a hint of straw color from time spent maturing in oak barrels.

Since 1854, Tanduay has been striving to perfect their methods for producing consistent, quality cane spirits for markets around the world.

Tanduay Silver Asian Rum

Award-Winning Tanduay Silver Asian Rum

Crafted from premium heritage sugarcane varietals, the volcanic soil and tropical climate of the Philippines offer ideal conditions for growing cane and aging rum.

This well balanced blend of rums have been aged up to five years before most of the color has been filtered out.

Tanduay Silver Asian Rum Tasting Notes

Aromas of cane and subtle peppermint are accented by a creamy butter note before a neutral mineral quality leading to a very subtle whiff of coconut husk. On the palate, a honeyed soft coconut opening leads to buttery wood, with a nice long warm, dry peppery finish.

Tanduay Silver Asian Rum makes a smooth and crisp base for premium cocktails, an upscale alternative to other affordable clear rums.

Tanduay Rums have received many awards, including a gold medal in the RumXP International Tasting Competition at Rum Renaissance Festival.

Tanduay Silver Asian Rum, at 40% abv in the 750ml bottle, sells for about $21.

https://www.tanduayusa.com/


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.

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.

Tanduay Gold Asian Rum from The Philippines

From the world’s largest rum producer, Tanduay Gold Asian Rum is a prime example of a high quality cane spirit well aged and blended with the intent to be accessible.

Since its arrival in the USA in 2013, Tanduay Gold has been recognized in numerous tasting competitions as a product of outstanding merit, including a Gold Award at the 2018 RumXP Tasting Competition at the Rum Renaissance Festival.

Tanduay has been producing rum in The Philippines since 1854, using legacy heirloom cane varieties. This rum is a blend of distillates aged up to seven years in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, designed to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or as a superior component in well-crafted cocktails.

Tanduay Gold Asian Rum from The Philippines

From the world’s largest rum producer, Tanduay Gold Asian Rum is a prime example of a high quality and accessible aged cane spirit.

Initial aromas of cedar and dried fruits are followed by hints of caramel and vanilla. On the palate, warm dry smoked honey and vanilla leads to buttery almond fruit pastry and floral notes, before a beautiful warm finish lingers with echos of toasted oak and cigar box much longer than expected.

Tanduay succeeds at delivering a fine aged rum for a competitive price. The 750ml bottle of Tanduay Gold Asian Rum, bottled at 80 proof, retails for $19.

Tanduay distinguished their brand by shipping product to a vast network of destinations throughout Asia. The company was acquired by Lucio Tan Group in 1988 paving the way for global growth — expanding into The Americas and Europe — to become the world’s largest producer of rum.


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.

Skotlander Rum aging in WWII bunker

An award-winning boutique brand produced in Denmark, Skotlander Rum will age some of its distillate in bunkers built during World War II.

Skotlander Rum - Cask Aged RumBut why? Isn’t the best location for aging rum the tropics? Anders Skotlander, owner of Skotlander Rum explains: “The cold climate in Denmark offers us something different. Previously we have tried aging rum at sea on an old schooner — the movement of the sea and the difference between summer and winter gave us a really interesting rum. Now let’s try the complete opposite — this rum is being kept still and the temperature in the bunker is 10˚c night and day, all year round. I think we’ll spend much longer ripening the rum, maybe twice as long as the tropics, but in turn, the taste may be much more refined.”

This limited edition Skotlander Rum begins with a slow four-week fermentation in the cold Nordic climate to develop complex flavor components. The distillation in pot stills ensures the majority of these flavor compounds remain. Continue reading

Stolen Overproof Rum launching in key U.S. markets

Known for their clever approach to marketing, Stolen Spirits announces the release of their Stolen Overproof Rum across the United States in key markets.

Discovering Stolen Overproof Rum

Stolen discovered this rum at a historic, family-run distillery in Jamaica that’s over 250 years old.

Stolen Overproof Rum

Stolen Spirits’ Overproof rum from Jamaica is produced in a traditional pot still from a legacy distillery.

In their time-honored Jamaican style, the mash ferments for seven days in a selection of 50 different cedar vats, developing a bold, rich and complex flavor profile. Traditional copper pots are used to distill the rum in a rustic manner, before a six year maturation in used whiskey barrels.

Stolen Overproof Rum is bottled at 123 proof (61.5% abv) and presented in half-size 375ml bottles with a suggested list price of about $20.

Tasting Notes

Stolen Overproof Rum offers aromas of bold charred oak and pepper over ripe banana, leading to funky juicy fruit. On the palate, a bold entry of butter, vanilla and oak develops a bouquet of fruit in the dry mid-palate with hints of tart citrus, soft pear, black banana and a touch of treacle in the long finish.

A Handcrafted Rum

“We consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate to have discovered this remarkable product. It’s rare to find a handcrafted rum of this proof and quality that’s been aged for six years,” said Samira Seiller, Global Managing Director of Stolen Spirits.

Stolen Overproof Rum is a limited release, with only 60,000 of the half-size 375ml bottles available.

About Stolen Spirits

Other notable releases from Stolen Spirits include the Stolen Smoked rum.

The brand began in 2010 when two rum fanatics gave up the corporate grind to pursue their passion in Auckland, New Zealand.  Stolen Spirits products are currently available in Australia, New Zealand, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Tennessee, with more states coming online soon.


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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.


To stay informed of the latest rum news from Robert Burr, subscribe to Robs Rum News email list.

2016 St. Croix Rum Festival set for May

The Flavor Of Rum is the theme of the 2016 St. Croix Rum Festival to be held at the historical Fort Frederik in Frederiksted, St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands on May 29 of this year, from 3pm to midnight.

St. Croix Rum Festival - Flavor of Rum is the theme of the 2016 St. Croix Rum Festival on May 29 in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The St. Croix Rum Festival “Flavor of Rum” is scheduled for May 29 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, featuring a tasting of fine rum, as well as music and island cultural activities.

The event overlooks the magnificent backdrop of the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility, the main cruise ship port in St. Croix, nearby to Frederiksted Beach.

Since the early 1800s, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been producing some of the world’s most notable rums, including the popular Cruzan brand.

In addition to many fine rum samples to taste, the festival features the best local food from some of St. Croix’s finest cooks and restaurants, with live music from local and international entertainers, a Bikini Contest, a BBQ Rum Contest and a Flair Bartender Show Competition. Also on hand will be artists displaying handmade crafts — a celebration of Virgin Islands’ unique lifestyle and culture.

According to event promoter Mr. George Moore, “the St. Croix Rum Festival is about the celebration and appreciation of numerous rums — a treat for both tourists and locals.”

In addition to the Sunday rum festival, a schedule of St. Croix tours on Friday and Saturday, May 27 and 28 will be offered to participants.

Visit the official St. Croix Rum Festival “Flavor of Rum” website for complete details and to purchase tickets.

The St. Croix Rum Festival “Flavor of Rum” is produced by George Moore Productions.

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.

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