The sunshine state specializes not only in sugar white sands, but also flavorful, full-bodied liquors. There’s a growing distillery scene here in Florida with hundreds of small to large shops pumping out all types of alcohol. From a rye whiskey to a dark rum, the options are endless (and delicious).
If you’re looking for a smart way to protect a sun burn, or just spend a day away from the ocean, consider a trip to one of Florida’s top distilleries. We’ve narrowed down all of the state’s options to this group of 11 FloridaRentals.com award-winners. They were selected based on tasting rooms, liquors produced, customer service, and more. Congratulations to all that made our list, and to you future Florida travelers, stop in and sip at any of these choices on your next visit.
In their own words: “The Timber Creek Distillery is located on a family farm just north of Destin, Florida. Our vision is to take the best local fruits and grains from the Florida Panhandle and turn them into the finest Craft Spirits. We take great pride in hand making every batch and hand bottling every bottle. We have custom designed our distillery to take the greatest care of the fruits and grains to preserve and extract the purest flavors. We have a custom designed pot still, “thumper”, and copper worm condenser to allow the bold favors of our raw ingredients to shine through.”
In their own words: “Founded in 2005 in Poland, Kozuba & Sons is a family-run distillery that produces premium craft spirits. Now at home in St. Petersburg with over 11 years of experience, the Kozubas are focused on sharing their passion with the American market, beginning with Florida. Kozuba & Sons hand-crafted, small batch spirits are made from the finest ingredients, using meticulous processes. Each bottle possesses the trademark Kozuba essence: a striking combination of quality, craftsmanship, and taste.
The distillery building, located in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District, was built in the 1950s. A former seafood warehouse, it has been completely updated and utilizes many green technologies. The space is a sprawling 20,000 square feet, housing 2 top-of-the-line 600-liter hybrid copper stills, with plans for a third soon. The company employs the “Grain-to-Glass” philosophy, handling every part of the production process including milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling, aging, blending, and bottling. Over 300 53-gallon American oak barrels currently reside in their warehouse, with a capacity of 1,000 barrels. The building serves not only as the production headquarters for Kozuba & Sons, but also includes a tasting room and shop to purchase bottles. Distillery tours and tastings are offered and give guests the opportunity to experience the process through all of their senses. The family hopes to not only become the choice of locals, but also a must-visit destination for tourists.”
In their own words: “The Winter Park Distilling Company was founded in 2010 by Paul Twyford and Andrew Asher. Both hometown boys, raised in Winter Park, they were later joined by Andrew’s wife, Francesca, a transplant from Palm Beach County. Starting with just a handmade 50-gallon still and a few old recipes for whiskey, they established the Winter Park Distilling Company as the first and finest craft distillery in Orange County, Florida.
A little community tucked away just north of Orlando, Winter Park is more known for its tree-lined lakes, Venetian canals and mossy live-oaks planted over a century ago than anything else. It is a place far removed both in distance and state of mind from the beach lifestyle traditionally associated with Florida. And, as it turns out, Winter Park also has the perfect climate for barrel aging Florida’s first bourbons and its finest dark rum.”
In their own words: The Florida CANE Distillery is a micro-distillery located in historic Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. We offer free tours and tastings of our award winning Flavored Vodka, Moonshine, Gin, and Whiskey lines Thursday through Sunday.
In their own words: “We create high-quality, small-batch spirits, combining the expertise of generations with the artisan spirit of St. Pete. Our community celebrates the creative spirit, and we’re proud to count ourselves among the St. Pete artisans and businesses building a vibrant city. We love our hometown, and we want to take the spirit of St. Pete all over the country and the world. People from everywhere come to visit Florida, and when they return home, we hope they bring back memories of sunshine and a taste for our high-quality spirits. We’ve built careers we love on our team’s collective, lifelong passion for quality spirits.”
In their own words: “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 for a true Florida Rum. Using 100% Florida Sugar and local ingredients our rum is handcrafted in small batches using an American copper pot still, the largest in South Florida. Our award winning rum is then aged in American White Oak once used bourbon barrels that held premium aged Kentucky Bourbon for a minimum of 3, and up to, 14 years.
The family run distillery produces award winning rums available throughout Florida and the Southeastern United States. The plan from the outset was to make rum to be proud of, using the best ingredients available. Florida’s rich and fertile Sugarcane fields are 35 minutes from the distillery, and over half of the sugarcane produced in the United States is produced right here in Florida. Using only local, natural ingredients, Wicked Dolphin is “Florida’s Rum.””
In their own words: “A unique experience combining local craftsmanship, superior Florida ingredients and our distinct aging process – “Infused with Music” – to create a smooth, “Ultimately Mixable” flavor profile that brings people from all over the world together!”
In their own words: “At our Sarasota, Florida distillery our spirits are hand-crafted in small batches using only the finest ingredients and hands-on distillation in a copper pot still. We take our time and carefully watch over every step of the fermentation and distillation of Siesta Key rum. This allows us to produce a delicious rum that harkens back to a time before mass production and the bottom line determined the quality and flavor of rum. We put the rum first and it makes a difference. We are passionate about our spirits and are inspired to bring you a remarkable experience. We hope you enjoy the Spirit of Sarasota… from Drum Circle Distilling. Thanks for trying our rum!”
In their own words: “For centuries, Distillers have been making the sweet libation…Rum. Some legal, some not so legal. One common task shared by rum Distillers and Chefs alike is cooking sugar cane in big kettles or “stills.” We are Chefs first and Distillers second, so our process is called Chef Distilled! This combination of skill brings out the best flavors in our original white rums, made with Florida sugar cane and with infusions of Coconut, Vanilla Creme Brulee and Real Key LIme. Our 6 times distilled specialty rums are sure to twist your taste buds on an adventure! We are still “Chefs,” so we jar rum cakes, fresh fruits and savory vegetables. Why is our craft different, you ask? Because homemade has no preservatives! Taste History at the First Ever Legal Rum Distillery in Key West Fla. Chef Distilled means a whole new way to craft food and drink!”
In their own words: “South Florida Distillers Inc. is a craft distillery in Fort Lauderdale that produces rum and other spirits using Florida ingredients. We also provide a number of services for liquor entrepreneurs including contract manufacturing, co-packaging, recipe development, label design, distillery construction, and barrel storage.”
In their own words: “We wanted to bring something special to St. Augustine; something that could take root and grow. Craft distilling was happening all over the country, but not in Florida. So we talked to some people and found they shared our vision. After 18 months (and a lot of coffees and lunches), 28 brave, beautiful local people signed on to help us build this dream. Three years later we are standing here together in this historic building, proudly taking our place in this city’s rich history.
We were fascinated with the idea of making craft spirits. Utilizing local ingredients to produce whiskey, rum, vodka and gin challenged the way we thought about a cocktail. Some of us have spent a signiﬁcant portion of our adult life in pursuit of the perfect adult drink – so we knew this could be fun. And so we did what we do best: talked to people. We talked to the smartest people in the industry we could ﬁnd. Farmers, distillers, engineers, bartenders, consumers—we talked to them all. Armed with great advise and insights, we designed and built what we think is the most beautiful and well-designed craft distillery in America. In these stills we are making some of the best spirits in the country.”