Getting over the hump of the work week might be a little more fun than usual today. Bars and restaurants across Southwest Florida are honoring the day with rum specials and tempting cocktails. However, the party is extra special for one local distillery. They are celebrating National Rum Day with a new distiller at Cape Coral’s Wicked Dolphin.

wicked dolphins master distiller

Wicked Dolphin’s new Master Award Winning Distiller, Eric Robinson. He has over 12 years of distilling for large distilleries creating Rum, Whiskey, and Bourbons.

Eric Robinson is the new man of the hour with some 12 years of distilling experience. Wicked Dolphin was established by JoAnn Elardo in 2012. Starting small, she and her family hand peeled citrus and other ingredients needed for their small batch rum. Local sourcing has always been important to JoAnn. Florida sugar cane is used in the distilling process. The distillery has gone on to win numerous awards and accolades, nationwide. When she first started the distillery, she fought to change Florida laws when it came to crafting, tasting and selling alcohol in one space. She is considered to be a pioneer in the state when it comes to craft spirits and family distilling operations.

You can take a tour of the Wicked Dolphin Distillery at their facility on SW 3td Place. Tours include tasting some of the most popular spirits as well as those being created. Be sure to try the Wicked Dolphin Rumshine, their version of moonshine. It comes in blueberry and strawberry flavors.

In addition, many local bars carry a range of the local spirits. The rums are low sugar and gluten free. In addition to celebrating National Rum Day with a new distiller at Cape Coral’s Wicked Dolphin, I’ve put together a few recipes to try at home. Cheers.

Please drink responsibly.

  • Wicked Dolphin Beach Punch

    It’s a classic rum punch.  Find lots of recipes on the Wicked Dolphin website.

    Wicked Dolphin rum and cocktail

    1 oz Wicked Dolphin Vanilla Rum
    1 oz Wicked Dolphin Black Rum
    1 oz Amaretto
    1 oz Orange Juice
    1 oz Cranberry Juice
    1 oz Lemon Juice
    2 dashes of bitters

    Shake to combine. Strain over ice and garnish with fruit.

  • Macadamia Piña-Jito

    This comes from rocker Sammy Hagar. Not only does he have his own line of rum but also a book of recipes. This one comes from the Splash of Aloha chapter, page 46 to be specific. It is colorful and festive looking.

    Macadamia Pina-Jito cocktail

    4 fresh mint leaves
    1⁄2 ounce of fresh lime juice
    3 ounces of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
    4 fresh pineapple chunks
    1 ounce of Sammy’s Beach Bar Platinum Rum
    Soda water, as needed
    1 ounce of Sammy’s Red Head Rum
    2 or 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
    Garnish: toasted coconut, a fresh pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry

    Add the mint leaves to the bottom of a hurricane glass. Using a muddler, gently (yet firmly) muddle the mint, add the lime juice and set aside. In a bar or kitchen blender, add a couple handfuls of ice along with the cream of coconut, pineapple chunks, and Sammy’s Beach Bar Platinum Rum.

    Purée until blended, then pour into the hurricane glass that contains the muddled mint and lime juice, and top with soda water. Float the Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Rum on top, along with two or three dashes of bitters. Garnish with toasted coconut, a fresh pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.

  • Passionfruit Coconut Mai Tai

    This one comes from Lee Corbett, a recipe developer, food blogger and food photographer. Her blog, is The Rogue Brussel Sprout. It’s a fun spin on the classic Mai Tai. 

    Koloa Tai Cocktail

    • 1 ½ oz Kōloa Kaua`i Coconut Rum
    • 2 oz pineapple juice
    • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
    • Seeds and pulp from a passionfruit
    • ½ oz Kōloa Kaua`i Dark Rum

    In a cocktail shaker, combine Kōloa Kaua`i Coconut Rum, pineapple juice, lime juice and passionfruit. Shake well with ice. Pour into a chilled glass through a strainer coarse enough to allow the passionfruit pulp to pass through. Add Kōloa Kaua`i Dark Rum floater. Garnish with your favorite tropical fruit and a toasted coconut chip.

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