Tito’s Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas’ oldest legal distillery. We make it in batches, use old-fashioned pot stills, and taste-test every batch. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is designed to be savored by spirit connoisseurs and everyday drinkers alike. Our process, similar to those used to make fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs, requires more skill and effort than others, but it's well worth it.
and I’m the founder and owner of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. I’m from San Antonio, Texas. I went to Vanderbilt for a year then to UT, University of Texas at Austin. I graduated with degrees in geology and geophysics. I got into the oil and gas business and did that in Texas and then down in Venezuela and Colombia and ran heli-portable dynamite seismic crews down there and came back and started a drilling company in Houston, got tired of chasing the buck and decided to move back to Austin, TX.
I did ground water geology here and got in the mortgage business and it was when I was in the mortgage business that I started making flavored vodka for my friends for Christmas presents. That was in about I guess ’92, ’93. I was at a party one time and a stranger came up to me and said ‘Hey you’re the vodka guy’ and I was like no, contraire, I am the mortgage guy. And that’s when I kinda started thinking that this guy’s telling me I need to go sell my flavored vodkas and this was the first time I really started thinking seriously about it.
We bought every vodka that was on the shelf, we put them in little kerr jars and tasted all of them and came up with the two best ones. When mine beat the other two best ones then I figured that I had my formula right. My friends were all kinda my guinea pigs.
I tried to get some financing a couple of times and it didn’t work out because they said I’d never get my permits, there’d never been a legal distillery in Texas and they said I’d never get a distributor. So I ended up just taking the money I’d saved up while working overseas and I racked up 19 credit cards to the tune of about $88,000. I built a one man distillery and built a production still and just kinda got myself into business. I’d go out and make it and sell it and come back and make some more and you know I was sleeping next to the still and you know just kind of boot-strapped it up.
And then at one point we’d gotten a phone call to come to the World Spirits Competition and I was fixing a boiler so I just sent a couple bottles there and we ended up getting the double gold medal, the unanimous judges choice. And that was up against 72 vodkas around the world including flavored vodkas. That kind of you know, helped spur things along.
I appreciate ya’ll supporting Tito’s Handmade Vodka. It’s really been a dream come true for me and it’s really due to all the word of mouth that we’ve gotten. It’s all pretty much just been from people going into liquor stores and bars and asking for it. So if you are in a bar and they don’t have it, ask to speak to the bar manager. If you tell 20 of your closest friends we’ll just keep this thing rolling. Thanks a whole bunch, I try to make it good. You know my theory is you make the best vodka in the world and charge a reasonable price, so I’ll keep doing my part of it and I sure appreciate you doing yours. Thank you very much.