Before the 1950s, one rarely saw vodka in this country. By the mid 70s, it had overtaken bourbon as the number one spirit here. Its neutral flavor mixes with and complements other ingredients.
Vodka begins with the fermentation of a range of possible sugar/starch sources like wheat, corn, rye, potatoes, sorghum, and others. Multiple distillations then refine the product, concentrating the alcohol content and removing impurities. Most producers also filter the product.
At this stage, the product can be 90% alcohol or more (180 proof!). Producers add water to reach legally-defined and potable levels. In the US, vodka must be 40 percent alcohol (80 proof). The European Union sets the mark a little lower.
Plain vodkas are not strongly flavored, but that does not mean they are flavorless. Cleanness, purity, and smoothness mark the best vodkas. Tito’s stands as our case in point.
Tito’s Vodka relies on the handiwork of Tito Beveridge, of Austin, Texas. Trained as a geologist for the oil industry, he somehow entered the mortgage business. During this time, Tito began making vodka infusions for his friends. Starting a distillery proved the logical next step.
It’s the old story of working hard, learning through experience, and maxing out the credit cards. Despite lacking the backing of the big distributors, the brand grew. Wildly popular in the Austin area, Tito’s Vodka is now gaining a superlative national reputation. While unlikely ever to outstrip Smirnoff in terms of sales, Tito’s Vodka has made its mark. A Wine Enthusiast tasting gave Tito’s a score of 95, topping Ketel One (89), Grey Goose (84), and Belvedere (84).
No longer a one man operation, Beveridge’s operation remains small. He makes just one product: a corn-based, gluten-free vodka. Beveridge aimed to create one that can be sipped neat, without mixing or infusion.
The result of Tito’s effort shows exceptional roundness. Not harsh at all, it is a pleasure to sip. The flavor is clean and bright, with a faint sweetness. Adding something as simple as an olive or a citrus peel creates a magnificent cocktail. And that’s just the beginning.
- By itself. Chill the vodka in the fridge or ice bucket, or add ice. Serve with enough air space in the glass to allow you to enjoy the aroma. Add a strip of lemon, lime or orange peel, for that extra something.
- In cocktails. Vodka, especially good ones like Tito’s, blend beautifully in drinks. The flavor complements and reinforces those of the other ingredients.
- As an infusion. Infusion is simply a matter soaking flavoring ingredients in vodka until the flavor has been extracted. Be creative: spices, herbs, or fruit can all be used. Or try a vanilla bean, or coffee, chocolate… the possibilities are endless.
Tito’s website provides instructional videos, go here.
We carry Tito’s Vodka in numerous bottle sizes. This is a premium vodka at a mid-range price. Give it a try.