In the fall of 2012, the all-new $400 million Circuit of the Americas purpose-built Formula 1 track in Austin, Texas just happened to be the backdrop for our introduction to America’s latest obsession: Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Take a hard right from motorsports for a moment and you’ll quickly see that the history of Tito’s is quite enduring in and of itself. Tito Beveridge (we don’t have the birth certificate to prove it, but we’re told this is the founder’s real name) was a former engineer who used to brew vodka for his friends. They loved it, so he started doing a little research.
Did you know that vodka is the biggest seller in the spirits market? Yes, was the answer — so Tito tried making a go of actually starting a vodka distillery. Because he thought his concept a winner, he racked up nearly$100,000 in card bills to begin production. The story goes that he was fixing a boiler one morning when the company got a call to send some of the Texas elixir on over to the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco, California.
Not unlike Niki Lauda walking into Ferrari and shaving 2.3 seconds off of the car’s lap time, Tito’s beat out 72 other vodkas from around the world and took home the double gold.
Every bit of hard work that goes into this stellar distill is evident the first time you taste Tito’s.
So what’s the secret? “Tito’s is brewed in copper pot still, just like a top-shelf single malt scotch,” says Nicole Portwood, Tito’s brand manager. She adds that although the Austin company’s handmade product has grown exponentially in the last three or four years, the owner’s focus “has always been on production.” Now that the company has distribution across all 50 states it’s looking to ship to Puerto Rico sometime in the future.
WHY WE LOVE IT
You had us at “handmade.”
Today, it seems we’re all trying to better ourselves. Our instant-gratification nation is loving everything top shelf and healthy. From wheat grass to yoga to the new Stingray, we suddenly crave the best of everything. We want to look good and feel good doing it (whatever it is we’re doing).
Tito’s serves all of these vices. Made with only the purest ingredients, Tito notes on his website that his vodka is also gluten-free:
Tito’s is made from 100% corn and as a distilled spirit, is completely gluten-free. Some producers add a little bit of mash back into the spirit after distillation, which would add gluten content into an otherwise gluten-free distillate (if using wheat as the base), but I don’t do that regardless. It’s an important thing for us, and we actually include “GLUTEN-FREE” in lots of our materials and on the website so people can make informed choices. But, I am a vodka man, not a doctor, so if you have more questions or concerns, you should definitely talk to your doctor about it!
Simply put, with a last name like Beveridge, it was fate. Don’t try and deny it! Seriously, though, there are no cons with this one. Especially when the pros include:
- Tito’s tastes amazing
- It’s made by hand
- It’s less expensive than those other brands
If Tito’s Vodka continues to break records, it looks like the company will have to buy another building just house its awards.