Florida Distillery offers taste of local vodka
Tucked behind a shopping center off Falkenburg Road, the Florida Distillery may be inconspicuous, but is anything but ordinary.
The distillery is home to award-winning vodka crafted from Florida-grown ingredients and offers the first distillery tasting room experience in Florida.
A unique bar, carved from a Sarasota-grown Monkey Pod tree, stands prominently on one side of the room, behind it a neat row of bottles filled with different amounts of shimmering clear liquid are on display. One bottle half-full of something bright purple stands out.
“It’s a muscadine grape,” said Lee Nelson, one of the owners of the Florida Distillery.
The purple vodka called “Gator Grape” is just one of the distillery’s nine different flavors. The Florida Distillery specializes in creating all natural flavored vodkas.
“We have new ones on deck, we’re going to do a jalapeno one called Fire Ant that should come out in a couple weeks,” Nelson said. “We’ve been messing around with what works on combination flavors. We have two that are pretty successful, which are our Beach Bum Berry — it’s the Raspberry and Blackberry — and then the Key West Lemon and Lime, which is key lime and lemon. We really like those combination ones, they’re kind of unique in the market.”
Nelson, who started craft brewing as a college student, but moved to creating moonshines as a challenge, said he prefers the “Orlando Orange” flavor.
“It’s our best seller and because all our products use natural ingredients there’s really nothing (like it) on the market,” Nelson said. “Absolutely nothing as fragrant or as flavorful as far as an orange or citrus goes.”
The color of the “Gator Grape” took a lot of work to achieve, Nelson said.
“The grape was the trickiest because one batch we would run would come off almost brown or black, and some would come off even more neon purple than that,” he said. “In the end, we squeeze muscadine juice and we add juice in order to get a consistent color base to it all.”
After taking a seat at the bar, guests must show their IDs to check in. After this, they are given a brief history of the distillery and are taught the proper way to taste vodka — first, smell it for the fragrance, hold it up light to see its gem-like quality and finally take a small sip and swish it around your mouth.
The tasting starts with a bottle of water, a bowl of oyster crackers and a small glass of the distillery’s premium vodka. A window behind the bar shows the glinting silver and copper tools used to create the vodka.
“We need to finish out our flavor line,” Nelson said. “We’re going to go into Nevada and California next with the vodkas. We’re looking at doing the four-flavored moonshines. We’re going to start some whiskeys and bourbons then we have some ideas about gin and gin cordial.”
The line of moonshines will be released sometime in May.
The distillery has had success with Groupon and Living Social deals, Nelson said, that offer 50 percent off a bottle of vodka to those who attend a tasting.
The free tasting experiences, which can be signed up for online, take place Fridays and Saturdays and are capped at groups of 20.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Empowering People to Regain Their Mobility
- On-Site Workplace Health Clinics Emphasize Chiropractic Care
- 5 Important Tips for Choosing a Medicare Health Plan
- Welcome Your Holiday Guests With Inviting Lighting
- A New Prescription for Finding the Right Doctor
- Be on the Lookout for These Invasive Species
- It's Official: Women Are the Decision-Makers Even When It...
- Where the Jobs Are: Why Relocating May Be the Best Option
- Value of Education Brings Success Among Unique Student...
- Is Faith Really a Good Thing?
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Renowned Engineer Ric Bradshaw Conducts Fujifilm-Sponsored Campus Tour on Tape Technology
- 5 DAYS ONLY! Semi Annual Consignment Sale!
- Leading Digital Strategists Transform Digital Marketing In Business and Academia
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR TO VISIT SEVEN CAMPUSES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, ENGAGING STUDENTS TO COMBAT DISCRIMINATION AND DATING ABUSE
- OH HONEY ARE “SINCERELY YOURS” WITH NEW EP // HONDA CIVIC TOUR