Steel Tie Spirits

In the hip Warehouse District in West Palm Beach, Ben Etheridge and his dad, Clint, opened rum distillery Steel Tie Spirits in 2019.

Though his father passed away last year, his presence can be felt throughout. There’s even a plaque dedicated to him next to the long bar.

A working 1921 piano and a rocking chair from Henry Flagler’s mansion are just a few artifacts offering ambiance to the tasting room overlooking huge holding tanks. Private events and tours are available in the historic brick building for up to 73. The gift shop sells Steel Tie t-shirts, rum and all sorts of cocktail-making paraphernalia. 

Wicked Dolphin Distillery

Cape Coral’s Wicked Dolphin Distillery uses 100% Florida sugar from sugarcane fields 35 minutes away. The rum is handcrafted in small batches using an American copper pot still, the largest in South Florida. Guests can tour the distillery and learn the rum-making process: cooking, fermenting and distilling. The tour ends in the barrel room where they can sample several Wicked Dolphin rums.

[Related: Two Florida Group Magnets Share Dining Trends 2020]

Key West First Legal Rum Distillery

Housed in a 1903 building that was once a Coca-Cola Bottling Facility, this Key West distillery uses unique flavors in their original white rums to highlight the local area, like infusions of coconut, vanilla and real key lime. Tours of the distillery are free and a private room is available for up to 20.

American Freedom Distillery

This newly opened distillery in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Art District offers whiskey tours replete with the story of their distillers who visited Glenfiddich, Bushmills, Jim Beam, Macallan, Jameson, Wild Turkey, Makers Mark before opening their own 16,000-square-foot space. Their Rekker Silver Rum also uses sugar cane, and it’s distilled the way it was originally made in the Caribbean by the French.

Siesta Key Rum

This Sarasota distillery produces rums infused with toasted coconut, coffee and spices. Tours here are free and they include a short history of the company, an explanation of what makes their rum different and a crash course on the distillation process.  The tour ends with free samples of their award-winning rum. ​There’s a gift shop for those who want to take a bottle to go.

The meetings and events landscape is constantly changing in Florida. Read more about the latest updates in the 2020 edition of Meetings Today Florida.