By: Sarah Finkel By: Sarah Finkel | January 20, 2023 | Food & Drink Entertainment
Miami’s burgeoning cocktail scene has attracted the country’s top bartenders, mixologists and spirits aficionados, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Our city has a drinking den for everyone, it seems, except for a location where such liquors are made on site—until Tropical Distillers filled the void with its arrival in the neighborhood of Allapattah, home to Superblue Miami and the Rubell Museum. The 8,000-square-foot facility is outfitted in palm trees and pastels, a far cry from the drab, brick-walled distilleries that might initially come to mind.
A joint venture by NFL All-Pros Mike and Maurkice Pouncey and luxury real estate expert Kim Rodstein, Tropical Distillers is a colorful resort for both the beverage savants and the curious, offering educational tastings, tours, events and a 30-seat bar distributing J.F. Haden’s Liqueur, as well as an in-house cannery. Combining beverage education and Miami-esque indulgence in one destination, the distillery promises a future as bright as its vibrant surrounds.
"Tropical Distillers doesn’t fit any mold, we are one-of-a-kind in Miami offering locals and visitors alike a unique cocktail destination that is not only entertaining and tasteful, but also educational,” said Buzzy Sklar, former Bal Harbour Councilman and CEO of Tropical Distillers and J.F. Haden’s Liqueur. “Our distillery pays tribute to the city we love so much, from the all-natural ingredients we use to the decor.”
Upon walking in, you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a Florida fruit farm rather than a fermenting factory, an attribution to the all-natural mango and citrus liqueurs produced on-site. The mango liqueur is J.F. Haden’s first spirit from the Tropical Distillers brand portfolio to hit the market and is an entirely unique liqueur derived from 100% homegrown Florida mangoes without preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring.
It should be known that the inspiration behind this small batch and the J.F. Haden's brand dates back to the origin of the Haden mango in 1902, when the Haden family brought back four dozen Mulgoba fruits from West Palm Beach to harvest on their property in Miami. Soon enough, thousands of Haden mango trees populated Miami and the state of Florida.
J.F. Haden’s espresso liqueur is the batch of choice when it comes to an espresso martini rooted in South Florida’s Cuban culture. Made from the Cuban style espresso beans found in a Miami Colada, the espresso flavor is cold brewed for over 24 hours at Tropical Distillers and is one of the newest craft liqueurs to join the portfolio. The Cafecito and Floridian are additional martinis on offer from 5 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, curated by Amanda Perez.
Guests also have the opportunity to show their appreciation for the brand by sporting Tropical Distillers merch and gifting their loved ones with exclusive distillery-only products at the gift shop. An extension of the cheery island vibe, the gift shop is a visual delight all on its own with a palm tree sprouting from a central round table decorated with bottles. The guided tour begins here, which includes a walk-through of the distillery and a five-spirit tasting experience at $25 per person. Venture outside and you’ll even discover a 1,500-square-foot patio with additional seating and food trucks galore.
Fun fact: The Pouncey brothers whipped up their own take on a popular spirit, the "Twin P" whiskey, and it's currently in high demand at Tropical Distillers. Both brothers played college football at University of Florida before their professional careers (Mike Pouncey once played for the Dolphins).
Photography by: Courtesy of Tropical Distillers