Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wicked Dolphin Rum: Rum, For the Gold

wicked dolphin rum distillery

“naplesWhat a display at Wicked Dolphin Distillery. Here, you will rub elbows with the owner, JoAnn Elardo or her hardworking family and staff producing the highest grade of natural Florida rums. There are the silver rums, dark rums, flavored rums and variations of many series of special editions. One popular and easy-to-drink cocktail is the RumShine. It comes in three fruit-driven flavors; Strawberry, Blueberry and Apple Pie. Perfect for beloved summer activities and parties. Just add ice and/or club soda.

Once you step inside the distillery’s main entrance, the guide will take you through the steps of how the distillery sources their ingredients, cook, ferment, distill, and then to the majestic barrel room to get insider knowledge on how rum gets its unique color and taste.  Their rum is aged in American White Oak barrels once used for making premium aged Kentucky Bourbon. The bourbon was matured up to 14 years and offers a wonderful spiced flavor and caramel aroma.

Most wouldn’t guess that it takes about 3 weeks from beginning to end for this extraordinary process. Some rums are aged even longer in their barrels for the producing of limited editions such as Smooth Barrel Reserve or Cigar City Brewing Brewer’s Series. The Cigar City Brewing imperial stout is aged in Wicked Dolphin Rum and bottled, then returned to the plant for a new rotation of tasty aged rums. The rum cycle doesn’t stop with only Bourbons and beer. There are new casks on site from Alaris, Spain that once held 30-year-old sherry. Keep an eye out for the release of some extraordinary new rums by 2018 using these Spanish barrels.

The location of Wicked Dolphin Distillery is key because one of its main ingredients, sugar, is super easy to obtain in its raw state. Fertile sugarcane fields are just 35 miles away, meaning that no overstocking is necessary. The rum is handcrafted in small batches using an American copper pot still introducing the optimum in freshness and best tasting rum on the planet. Over half of the sugarcane produced in the United States is produced right here in Florida, and Wicked Dolphin is capitalizing on it.

JoAnn had an idea while she was relaxing in her back yard, sipping on a mainstream cocktail. She decided that the liquor was way too processed and unnatural, and she wanted to know why. JoAnn was on a search for a true Florida rum with pure and natural ingredients. It was ultimately discovered in 2012 when she began developing it by her own hand – Wicked Dolphin Rum. Since that day, Wicked Dolphin Rum has expanded and is now sold thorough out Florida and the Southeastern United States. Besides using 100% Florida Sugar, JoAnn uses local ingredients like molasses and Cape Coral’s own water. It is constantly tested and unbeknownst to many, is home to the best water quality around.

What’s the other secret to producing sensational rums? The Florida weather. It has plenty to do with the acceleration of the aging process. Warm weather opens the pores of the cask and releases the spirit quicker bringing the rum to finish with a flavor of intense aging.

Wicked Dolphin Rum has quite an impressive display of awards! They are recognized in several related rum competitions and festivals – holding three gold medals and dozens of silver medal and notable Craft Prize awards.

No need to jump through hoops. The tour of the Wicked Dolphin Distillery in Cape Coral, Florida is free, It’s best to call ahead and schedule the time of a public tour complete with a small rum sampling at the end for those who over 21 years of age. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Friday nights and Saturdays.

Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery

131 SW 3rd Place, Cape Coral, FL 33991

Phone: 239-242-5244


© 2017 Naples Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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