6 Best Distilleries to Visit on Florida's West Coast if You Love Gin
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6 Best Distilleries to Visit on Florida’s West Coast if You Love Gin

Florida’s sunny west coast boasts more than just sandy beaches, diverse ecosystems and must-visit vacation destinations. The long strip of subtropical land is also home to a bounty of craft distilleries that produce some of the best Florida-made gin!

From Tarpon Springs to Fort Myers, here are the six best distilleries on Florida’s west coast to visit if you love gin.

Tarpon Springs Distillery

This is Henry, Tarpon Springs Distillery’s resident hot rod. (Photo: Tarpon Springs Distillery)

This craft distillery is located in Tarpon Springs, the Sponge Capitol of the World, and home to one of the United State’s largest Greek-American communities. Tarpon Springs distillery produces a variety of spirits from whiskey and moonshine to ouzo and, of course, gin!

This distillery’s hand-crafted gins include Anclote Gin (a classic expression made with juniper, coriander, black peppercorns and zest from lemons, limes and grapefruits), Anclote David Douglas Gin (rye mash base with pecan-smoked barley, sweet corn, juniper, Douglas Fir needles, rosemary and coriander) and Anclote Hot & Dirty Gin (juniper, coriander, green olives and spicy Florida bird peppers)

Also worthy of your taste buds is Tarpon Spring Distillery’s aquavit, made with caraway seeds, dill seeds and pickling spice. Aquavit, which means “water of life,” is a spirit of Scandinavian origin with a large appeal to lovers of gin thanks to its use of richly flavored botanicals.

Tarpon Springs Distillery hosts frequent live music events, tours and tastings. Tours must be booked in advance, run for 30 minutes and are complimentary.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 1–6 PM
  • Thursday: 1–10 PM
  • Friday: 1–10 PM
  • Saturday: 1–10 PM
  • Sunday: 1–6 PM

Dark Door Spirits

Dark Door Spirits frequently collaborates with local business to produce one-of-a-kind liquors. (Photo: Dark Door Spirits)

Dark Door Spirits is located in the bustling city of Tampa, home to a booming cigar industry, a gigantic aquarium — and Busch Gardens!

Dark Door Spirits’ gins include Demeter (a secret blend of citrus, spice, roots and berries inspired by the goddess of the fertile earth and the harvest), Spirit of Prohibition (a lavender-forward gin with zesty citrus and classic juniper) and Barreled Spirit of Prohibition (a two-month-barrel-aged gin highlighting notes of smokey vanilla).

Dark Door Spirits also produces Xander Gin, a collaboration with Bay Cannon Beer Company, made using its hoppy IPA with the addition of juniper, lemongrass and grapefruit. Beyond gin, this craft distillery produces whiskey, vodka, rum and liqueur. 

Dark Door Spirits offers tours, tastings, make-your-own-gin experiences and cocktail classes. Tours are recommended to be booked in advance and cost $15 per person for a one-hour experience. Discover how Dark Door Spirits crafts its award-winning spirits and then enjoy a tasting of all of them after the tour!

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 12–6 PM
  • Thursday: 12–6 PM
  • Friday: 12–6 PM
  • Saturday: 12–6 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

St. Petersburg Distillery

(Photo: St. Petersburg Distillery)

It may come as no surprise to you that this stellar distillery is located in St. Petersburg, the Sunshine City of the Sunshine State.

St. Petersburg Distillery boasts a range of hand-crafted spirits including orange liqueur, rum and artisanal vodka. The stars of the show are, however, the distillery’s gin duo, Tropical Gin (modern gin made with 11 secret botanicals, tropical fruit and green florals) and Sunset Gin (London dry “orange style” gin made with zesty, jammy oranges and juniper, angelica and cardamom).

St. Petersburg Distillery offers visitors a free immersive tasting experience that includes learning how each spirit is crafted, detailed tasting notes and cocktail recommendations.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10 AM–6 PM
  • Thursday: 10 AM–6 PM
  • Friday: 10 AM–6 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM
  • Sunday: 12–4 PM

Kozuba & Sons Distillery

Beyond tastings and tours, this distillery will happily host your next private event! (Photo: Kozuba & Sons Distillery)

Also located in Saint Petersburg, Kozuba & Sons Distillery is a quick six-minute drive from St. Petersburg Distillery. Take full advantage of these two neighboring distilleries and plan a day full of samplings and tours all in one big artsy city!

Kozuba & Sons Distillery offers gin lovers one carefully hand-crafted expression, Botanical Gin. This 40% ABV spirit is made using a secret blend of fruits and botanicals. Botanical Gin is a fresh, yet subtle spirit perfect for mixing in your favorite classic cocktails from martinis and Gin Rickeys to Bee’s Knees and Clover Clubs.

While you’re there, be sure to show a little love to Kozuba & Sons Distillery’s other spirits, such as its flavored vodkas, whiskeys, unique fruited liqueurs and Sunshine State agave spirits.

Tours of the distillery are completely free and start every 30 minutes. Discover the rich Poland-rooted history of this distillery and take a deep dive into the processes behind its range of American-crafted spirits.

If you crave more than a tour or tasting, Kozuba & Sons Distillery can also serve as a host location for any big events you have in mind.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: 9 AM–6 PM
  • Tuesday: 9 AM–6 PM
  • Wednesday: 9 AM–6 PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM–6 PM
  • Friday: 9 AM–6 PM
  • Saturday: 12–7 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Loaded Cannon Distillery

Loaded Cannon Distillery’s tasting room is decked out in pirate-themed splendor. (Photo: Loaded Cannon Distillery)

Loaded Cannon Distillery is located in Bradenton, home to the Village of the Arts and, oddly enough, horse surfing. This craft distillery produces vodka, rum, whiskey, limoncello and two gins — all made with ingredients sourced from Florida.

Loaded Cannon Distillery’s gins are inspired by Ben Margoza, an English Priest who curiously became a Floridian pirate during the mid-17th century. Each gin is made with an undisclosed list of 17 botanicals. One gin highlights the bright, floral tasting notes of hibiscus while the other is a tantalizing aged expression that spends time resting in American and French oak casks.

Visit Loaded Cannon Distillery to enjoy intimate distillery tours, immersive tastings and cocktail classes. Spirit flights cost $10 and include five 1/2-ounce samples. Tours cost $15 and include a spirit flight and a $5 reimbursement when purchasing a bottle. The distillery also hosts food trucks, frequent live music and venue rentals.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 12–6 PM
  • Thursday: 12–6 PM
  • Friday: 12–8 PM
  • Saturday: 12–8 PM
  • Sunday: 12–6 PM

List Distillery

List Distillery (Photo: List Distillery)

List Distillery is located in Downtown Fort Myers, home to some of the best bars in the city, a well-loved repertory theater and vibrant art and music walks.

This craft distillery produces sweet liqueurs, whiskey, vodka, rum and three gin expressions. List Distillery’s gins include a raspberry mint gin, ginger lime gin and a classic dry gin produced with a strong backbone of woodland spices, juniper and wildflowers.

List Distillery’s tours must be scheduled in advance and cost $10 per person. A tour includes a personal introduction to the distilling processes by the master distiller, tastings of both popular and new spirits and a behind-the-scenes look at how List Distillery develop its new flavors.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: 9 AM–5 PM
  • Tuesday: 9 AM–5 PM
  • Wednesday: 9 AM–5 PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM–5 PM
  • Friday: 9 AM–5 PM
  • Saturday: 11 AM–4 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping a Negroni while drawing or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.