Tampa Bay has its own Redneck Riviera. Next to Gandy Boulevard, ours is a sandy pulloff on the water that plays host to tailgates and other get-togethers calling for patio umbrellas, coolers and beach chairs. But country music star John Rich's Redneck Riviera, his lifestyle brand, is a whole 'nother deal, and now it includes a small-batch spirit.
On Friday, Rich — one half of award-winning duo Big & Rich — is comin' to your city to celebrate the launch of Redneck Riviera Whiskey. Your city being Tampa, where he's set to visit MacDill Air Force Base for a meet-and-greet, plus photo ops. (Please, someone ask him what "if you want a little bang in your ying yang come along" means, because I still don't know.)
The MacDill Air Force Base event isn't open to the public. However, from 3 to 5 p.m., locals are welcome to get in on the whiskey tastings and bottle signings planned for Gaspar's Liquor Shoppe in Temple Terrace, where Rich will be on-site. A percentage of the proceeds from each bottle sale benefits Folds of Honor, a nonprofit providing educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled U.S. service members.
Redneck Riviera Whiskey is a collaboration between Rich and the team behind Portland-based Eastside Distilling, including Travis Schoney and Mel Heim. The new spirit boasts "vanilla honey smoothness and a subtle oak finish."