Tito’s Handmade Vodka is smooth, tasty—and Texan
In 1997, a Texan geologist with a thirst for liquor and a vision for pure vodka fought the law—and won. It’s hard to believe, but there once was a time when liquor distilleries in America weren’t as common as they are today. Bert Beveridge (yes, that’s his real name) not only created the first legal distillery in the United States of America since Prohibition, but he also obliterated Texas’s rulebook, and achieved access by creating the first distillery ever in the Lone Star State.
According to legend, Beveridge financed his company with 19 separate credit cards and started his distillery with two Dr. Pepper kegs and a turkey-frying machine. He must have glanced into the future and witnessed the rise in popularity of the gluten-free lifestyle, because he used corn instead of wheat, and, with careful consideration, he distilled the spirit six times. He thought that five wasn’t enough, and seven would be too excessive. After successfully turning the corn into alcohol, Beveridge, nicknamed “Bertito” by his friends and family, called his vodka “Tito’s,” and began mass production.
Tito’s Vodka caught fire around the turn of the current century. In 2001, at the heavily contested San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the liquor took home the double gold medal for “Best Vodka,” with a unanimous victory. Tito’s won out against 72 other brands and established itself as the new kid on the block with the cool accent who steals everyone’s girlfriends.
The company’s reputation grew through word of mouth and, soon enough, the business that started with the ideal tools for Thanksgiving Day and recycled soft drink kegs, grew into a 26-acre operation producing 850,000 bottles per day. With coveted awards and fresh ingredients usually reserved for bank account-bouncing, high-end bottles of spirits, Beveridge slashed his prices in half and took on the competition. In 2012 alone, the company raked in nearly $85 million in profit. And yet, to this day, Beveridge insists his now-famous concoction be cooked in an old-fashioned pot still.
Along with risking everything for one great idea, and building up a company from scratch, Tito’s Vodka also prides itself on yet another true American value: dogs. The company loves it when their employees bring their canine companions with them to work, and encourages everyone to adopt rescue dogs.
For those with no knowledge of quality vodka, the idea of drinking vodka straight may be a bit intimidating. But Beveridge created a spirit with a smooth taste and a clean finish that doesn’t require a mixer. Sip, savor and enjoy.
As the spring days turn into summer nights, celebrate Bertito Beveridge’s success with a Texas Sipper. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that has to include their mixed drinks, right?
Pick up a bottle of Tito’s Vodka from your favorite local liquor store, mix it with your favorite elderflower liqueur, and add some grapefruit juice to this tasty and refreshing cocktail.
Top the drink off with club soda and decorate it with a mint sprig for aesthetic pleasure and toast the United States of America, where a man by the name of Beveridge can fulfill the huge burden created by his last name, and go forth to create a wholly original and affordable vodka that America can truly appreciate as its own.
Christopher Armstrong was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on a brisk morning in November when the stars aligned and Jupiter was visible with the naked eye. He enjoys the changing of seasons, vinyl records, books with lots of pages and beer that is too expensive for him to ever buy.