South Florida Distillers, makers of Fwaygo white rum, are selling bottles of their limited-edition grilled pineapple Fwaygo, available this week at their Fort Lauderdale distillery. According to cofounder Joe Durkin, the specialty release is one of many he and founding partner Avi Aisenberg plan to launch moving forward.
"When Avi and I first started talking about starting a distillery, moonshine was very popular," says Durkin, who was inspired by the Discovery Channel's docudrama Moonshiners, an American television series that documents the people who produce illegal moonshine. "So we decided we were going to be Sunshiners and make legal rum."
During that time, Durkin says he began experimenting with a number of recipe ideas, including a South Florida version of apple pie moonshine. "I came up with the idea for a grilled pineapple rum, and I searched everywhere to find locally grown pineapples."
In search of organic, local fruit, Durkin sought out Treehugger Organic Farms in Davie as well as several other small, urban South Florida farms. Sourcing organic local pineapples turned out to be harder than expected, however; their limited run was made using just under 30 pineapples, yielding a truly "small batch" product.
The pineapples were coated in cinnamon and sugar, grilled over an open flame, and soaked in rum for three months. After, the resulting infusion was blended with South Florida Distiller's barrel-aged rum. The first run yielded 170 bottles, half of which has already been presold.
"When creating a flavored rum, I always want the first flavor to be rum," says Durkin. "As a result, the grilled pineapple Fwaygo is sweet and smoky with hints of pineapple and cinnamon, a perfect complement to our tropical winters."
Interested in getting your hands on a bottle? To reserve, call 954-541-2868, or email [email protected] Bottles will go on sale at the distillery at noon on Thursday, October 29. The cost is $50 per bottle, and there is a one-bottle limit per person.
If you can't score a bottle this time around, try for one of the distillery's bottles of single barrel Fwaygo (aged in virgin American oak barrels), which will be available sometime next month. The best part: the distiller's notes are listed on the website so you can look up how your rum was aged, including what barrel it was aged in, the char level the of barrel, when it was filled, when it was emptied, and at what proof it was aged.
Looking for something a little more exotic? While you'll have to wait until next year's grilled pineapple release, the next specialty batch will be available much sooner. Durkin says he is currently working on his latest creation, a spicy coconut Fwaygo that will be aged in sriracha barrels (yes, barrel aging in sriracha containers is actually a thing).
To keep tabs on what South Florida Distillers is up to, and for updates on limited run and special release products, follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. South Florida Distillers is located at 1110 NE Eighth Ave., Fort Lauderdale (Unit 3C). Visit southfloridadistillers.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.