Uh yeah. That’s the dude’s real name. Go figure. If you’ve read my other vodka posts #1 and #2, you may have heard mention of this guy and his hooch. I’m a sucker for an underdog, a great rags-to-riches story, and most of all – thumbing my nose at the mainstream. I’m continually rolling my eyes and internally fuming, each and every time someone asks for Ciroc or Goose. Help me – please.
I again blame the greedy French and their Madison Ave public relation goons for selling out to “brands” like Diddy, P.Diddy, Puffy, Puff Daddy, Spiffy, P.Combs, No Combs, No J.Lo, or whatever Prince-inspired name change he comes out with tomorrow. I’m a firm believer that there is an inverse relationship to quality and quantity once a product turns extremely popular and mass-market.
The short of it is again, vodka – by law – is supposed to be tasteless, odorless and colorless. This is why I just about never order or drink the stuff. Why bother? If I’m going to drink, I want something bold, memorable, refreshing as well as flavorful. I get huge kick, and a bit of disgust, at folks who sip vodka only to bust into their best sommelier descriptions on how “Earthy, light, clean, front of the palate, berry’ish, peachy, fruity..” etc., their libation of choice is. Give me a break! If you mix the stuff, OK I guess. It will get you feeling nice just like any other spirit.
That said, in general, the greater the frequency with which vodka is distilled, the “purer” the end product. That typically translates into more and more impurities being removed with each distillation. Some claim that greater purity translates to less of a hangover – partially true. The problems with numerous distillations are (1) time (2) cost (3) taste. The first two caveats are obvious. Regarding taste, the more you run your hooch through the distillation process, the more it tastes like bland rice cakes – again, in general. It’s a bit more complicated than that in practice.
So, let’s get back to Mr. Beveridge’s product for a bit. I was first turned on to Tito’s Vodka through fellow barkeep Dave, down in D.C. After searching high and low for a bar that carried it, I finally found one. My eyes lit up and I promptly ordered a drink. It was a Vodka Soda, if you’re interested, with a lime wedge on the side. I have to be honest, I really can’t discern between vodkas – nor do really give a crap. I ordered this stuff so I could see what the fuss was about and be able to provide a first-hand opinion. If you ask me, just about all (unflavored) vodkas taste the same with the exception of the dregs of crap – namely, Georgi, Crystal Palace, McCormick, and even Smirnoff and Absolut. Stay far, far away from these Newtown Creek water poisons lest you revel in being extremely sick the next day.
Tito’s was a good drink but, again, I’m no vodka connoiseur and prefer something entirely different. There you have it: my “fantastic” review. Now look… for my own house, I’ve bought Stolichnaya Gold for years as a party vodka for guests. It’s triple or quadruple distilled – can’t remember and has a crisp smooth finish, for a vodka. I’m switching to Tito’s though, going forward. As far as vodka goes, I like the stuff – a lot! It’s simply hard to find.
This is our boy Tito on the left. He’s a geologist by trade and kind of stumbled into the vodka business accidentally. Weird, eh? You can read his whole story here. Anywho, his drunk sauce has since won a myriad of awards both domestically and internationally. What’s even weirder, is that this is an American made vodka, going up against the old guard, the kings of the European industry: Grey Goose, Ketel One, Stolichnaya, Absolut, Chopin, Belvedere, etc! I love that! I heart seeing the small guy make a better widget and kick all kinds of ninja ass! Unlike most of those other manufacturers, Tito’s Vodka is made from good old American corn. Most other vodkas are wheat or potato based. I guess this should thrill those crazy gluten fearing folks. Tito’s distills his stuff 6, yes six, times. He claims that’s the max you can go on the purity side while still maintaining drinkability and taste. I’ll take his word for it.