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Cape Coral distiller releases ‘Shine’ series

By Staff | Oct 3, 2014

More than a century ago, people in the Florida Everglades began to take some of that sugar cane it had and turned it into “shine.”

Today, not too far away in Cape Coral, a local distiller drew inspiration from those forefathers and created a new series of rum.

Cape Spirits, which has created the Wicked Dolphin Rums, has released a new spirit series called RumShine!

Owner JoAnn Elardo said she got the idea from reading books on the Gladesmen and was so inspired by their stories.

Around the turn of the last century, Gladesmen, who worked in the swamps with snakes and alligators, supplied the east coast with cane juice sugarcane.

“I thought there was a cute story, but also a product. We’ve all had moonshine and many of them are rather smooth,” Elardo said. “This is what they fermented and I thought we needed a Florida spirit.”

Elardo started her business when a friend suggested she was too young to retire after she had sold her old business in 2008.

“I was reading the financials and 50 percent of our sugar is within 40 minutes from our door,” Elardo said. “I started making rum and liked it.”

Cape Spirits opened in 2012 and has grown to become one of the largest craft brewers in South Florida, Elardo said, available at about 1,200 locations, including all the area Publix and most Winn-Dixies.

“Things are going very well. We’re creating a name and it’s put Cape Coral in the front of people’s minds,” Elardo said.

Tours to the distillery bring in up to 200 people per day.

Now, Cape Spirits is introducing three flavors – apple pie, strawberry and blueberry – which it has been testing in the market with positive results over the last month.

If you like your rum straight, you might not want to have more than one. The strawberry and blueberry RumShine is 100 proof. The apple is 70 proof.

Strawberry RumShine infuses strawberries in an award- winning rum made with sugar cane – creating a flavor of creamy, sun-ripened strawberries ending with a cool sweet refreshing finish with a kick.

Blueberry RumShine features a berry taste with sweet notes throughout. A great spirit to enjoy on its own or with a mixer, while the Apple Pie is reminiscent of having just that with an apple taste that is sweet and delicious and the spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and other homemade spices, according to a press release on the product.

“They’re great spirits to take for a barbecue or tailgating. The strawberry is great with some lemonade and a little club soda,” Elardo said. “We make it so you can enjoy a nice cocktail while looking at the Caloosahatchee or a football game.”

Cape Spirits Inc. is located in Cape Coral and produces Wicked Dolphin Rum and RumShine. Wicked Dolphin is distributed by Republic National Distributors Corp.

Visit the distillery at 131 S.W. 3rd St., Cape Coral. For free tours and tastings, book a visit on the business website at www.wickeddolphin.com