Cape Spirits, a new rum distillery in Cape Coral, is set to open in May 2012 and will have its spirits in stores, restaurants and bars sometime around October.

The new distillery will produce liquors such as rum, vodka and whiskey and the first will be Wicked Dolphin Artisan Rum.

Cape Spirits is said to be the first and only rum distillery in Southwest Florida, second distillery in Gulf Coast in recent years after Drum Circle Distilling, which produces Siesta Key Rum.

An old garage will be turned into the production facility for Wicked Dolphin Rum.

Cape Spirits president JoAnn Elardo said the ‘artesian rum’ will be produced in small batches, making it more personalized.

The rum will be made completely from pure Florida ingredients including molasses, sugar, water, yeast and aged oak barrels.

Cape Spirits partner Chris Spiro said an amber rum will be produced following the white rum, which will be aged on site in 52-gallon oak barrels.

Spiro said that the cost per bottle hasn’t been decided yet and no tastings and sales are allowed on the site, as per the law.

Elardo plans to transform a building between Nicholas Parkway and Santa Barbara Boulevard into a distribution center, from where bottles will be shipped to stores and restaurants nationwide.

Once the distributors are signed Wicked Dolphin rum will be sold in 750ml bottles featuring the words ‘Florida Rum’ in raised letters.

"We have a lot of ideas and a lot of possibilities. It just seemed that we needed a little manufacturing in this area," Elardo said.

"The dolphin is very important, I think for Florida, the sunshine, Florida, the blue skies Florida," she added.

Besides rum, Cape Spirits will offer products made with rum, including chocolate, barbeque sauce, rum sauce, and rum cakes.