Craft distilleries are taking off in Southwest Florida and this time it’s all about something sweet on your palette!
Wicked Dolphin Artisan Rum hit the scene in 2012 and has taken the industry by surprise with top awards in the American Distilling Institute taste-testing event.
Owned by JoAnn Elardo and distilled by Dan Termini, this family-operated rum distillery is serving up tasty, premium spirits made with the finest Florida ingredients. It’s about 100 percent Florida sugar from the Clewiston area that’s processed in a Palm Beach County refinery. The table-grade sugar is then mixed with City of Cape Coral water and other Florida products for a premium flavored rum and left to age in once-used bourbon barrels.
We caught up with Elardo about how Wicked Dolphin came to fruition, how they got their name and what’s distilling in their barrels. This is what she had to say:
YD: Tell us a little about Wicked Dolphin and how the idea came to fruition.
JE: “In 2009, I was reading about the Florida Sugar growers and how our state grows almost 50% of the sugar in the US. When I tasted the cocktail I was having, it was not very good– I looked at the Rum and it was produced in Canada! Why are we not making a Florida rum if 50% of the sugarcane is grown here? I found a great recipe and started making rum, and then my husband Bob and I decided to make the investment and start a distillery.”
YD: How did the distillery get its catchy name?
JE: “The name Wicked Dolphin came about because everyday my dogs Junior and Casper run after the Dolphins on the banks of the Caloosahatchee. One night, we brought them in and went to bed. At 3 am, I wake up to a low growl – I woke my husband and said, ‘Someone is in the house.’ He said, ‘It’s that Wicked Dolphin the dog is growling after.’ And the name stuck.”
YD: Why the interest in making rum?
JE: “Love Rum! It’s a great Spirit and adds a lot of flavor to other spirits and drinks. Think of it as the other White Spirit!”
YD: Let’s chat about what you all are currently serving up.
JE: “We are currently serving up two National Award-Winning rums— Wicked Dolphin Silver and Wicked Dolphin Spiced.
“The Wicked Dolphin Silver is a White Rum with a hint of barrel-aged rum added to it to give it extra flavor. Upon drinking it, one will notice hints of vanilla, caramel and butterscotch. Wicked Dolphin Spiced has our barrel-aged and Florida Spices added to it to give it a nice citrus finish. This rum has hints of Florida oranges, cinnamon, Florida Honey, nutmeg and a hint of oak.”
“We also just released a new product called “RumShine”. This product was developed after I started learning about Florida’s history. In the early 1900s, sugar farmers started to clear the Everglades and started to form small towns and villages. They cleared the land, made clothing and a life and also made their own Shine. They used rum for their Shine, so we decided to pay tribute to these hard working men with RumShine, sold in Apple Pie, Strawberry and Blueberry flavor. This premium high proof rum is flavored with real Florida Fruit and is a new category in the Spirits industry.”
YD: Craft distilleries have really taken off in recent years. What is Wicked Dolphin trying to bring to the Southwest Florida area?
JE: “I think Wicked Dolphin Rum brings a great local Spirit. Our ingredients are from Florida and it is made here by people in our community— rum with roots and support from our area.”
YD: How can rum enthusiasts get their hands on your tasty product?
JE: “Wicked Dolphin is available in over 1,000 locations throughout Florida, specifically Publix Liquor Stores, ABC Liquor Stores, Total Wine and most independently owned stores or on our webpage www.wickeddolphin.com.
“We also have free tours at the distillery three days a week, during season, and two days per week plus 1 Saturday per month in the summer months. Tours and Tastings are free, and the schedule is available on our website! The tour is approximately one-hour long and we show and tell patrons how we distill our rum from the field to the bottle.”
- Cheers to Wicked Dolphin Artisan Rum, located at 131 SW 3rd Place in Cape Coral, FL. For more information or to schedule a tour, call (239) 242-5244 or visit www.wickeddolphin.com!
Summertime is winding down and the Redneck Yacht Club’s End of Summer Beach Party will bid goodbye to the Southwest Florida heat with one heck of a party!
On September 19 – 21, bring out your ATV, your truck, buggy, or your biggest, baddest beast and ride all weekend long. Then, when it gets too hot, cool down all day Friday and Saturday at Bikini Beach, where the days will be filled with bikini contests, water games, volleyball, and much more.
Your favorite DJ’s will spin music to party to at the water’s edge while the sun is up and then come to the stage when night falls for contests, music and all the usual Redneck Yacht Club craziness. Camping is also included in the ticket price, and patrons can bring their own food, drink and camping equipment. It’s a weekend full of hot rides and cool music, topped off with bikinis, riding, partying, and FUN.
“Our next big Redneck Yacht Club event was supposed to be Trucks Gone Wild in November, but over the summer, or fans have made it clear – they simply can’t wait that long! So, we’ve put together an event that combines the best of the Redneck Yacht Club experience – muddin’, music, and all the end of summer craziness that one can handle,” says Redneck Yacht Club Sales and Marketing Director, Dave Kelly.
To help ensure that all visitors experience a fun, carefree and safe event, park officials routinely execute a comprehensive safety and security plan that is robust for a venue of its size. This includes ID verification and age-identification bands for all park visitors; park regulation postings onsite and online; no glass containers, no pets and no firearms or weapons.
- Make sure you don’t miss the South’s biggest party of the summer! Discount tickets are available at www.showclix.com/event/3867396, or it’s $60 at the gate. Join the fun at the Redneck Yacht Club located at 44570 Bermont Road in Punta Gorda, FL. For more information, call (239) 410-6282.