Skip to main content

20 Years Strong: Tito’s Handmade Vodka Enters its Third Decade

tito's handmade vodka bottle
Image used with permission by copyright holder
When Bert Butler “Tito” Beveridge II started playing around with vodka in the early 1990s, there were only a handful of small distilleries around the country.  At the time, he was working for a mortgage business in Austin, Texas and was infusing vodkas with whatever he could find in the store as what was just really a fun side project. What Tito made, he gave to friends and family and became known as “the vodka guy.”

You can probably guess where this is going. Looking for the next step he was going to take in life (and with some inspiration from a PBS motivational speaker he saw on TV), Tito decided to make vodka his next big step. He continued working toward this dream, financing the distillery himself. In 1995, he was granted his permit and in 1997, the first case of Tito’s was sold.

Since that first case, Tito’s has grown exponentially. In 2016, Tito’s sold 3.7 million cases (up 33.3% from 2.8 in 2015) making it the fifth-best selling vodka in the country. In addition to growth, Tito’s has won a slew of awards, including The 2016 Market Watch Spirits Brand Of The Year.

While the growth has been astronomical, the mindset behind it has not changed, according to Nicole Portwood, VP of Brand Marketing for Tito’s.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“We still make our vodka using pot stills and brew in batches, still taste-test every batch, and still use those same stock bottles so the value is in the liquid, not in the package,” Portwood said, adding, “Tito’s entrepreneurialism and pioneering craft approach date back to a time when there was no such thing as a micro-distillery. Our process hinges on human involvement, and we still have no flavors or line extensions. We do one thing and we do it well.

Another part of Tito’s success, Portwood said, is the word-of-mouth marketing that they employed at first and have since transitioned into social media marketing. “Tito’s family and friends used to come to the distillery and help him bottle the vodka and at the end of the day he’d send them home with a case and ask them to pass it along to their friends.”

With so much success (power), some might say, comes great responsibility. (Yes, we went there. Get over it.) Part of Tito’s mission since the beginning—aside from making a great-priced and tasty vodka—is its dedication to animals.

What started as a way to feed the neighborhood stray dogs (they would come to the distillery to eat Tito’s dog Dogjo’s food), turned into much, much more. Soon, Tito worked to get the strays spayed and neutered at a low-cost clinic called Emancipet that was located nearby. Over the years, that partnership grew into what is now called  Vodka For Dog People.

“Among many other fundraising and awareness-building activities, we sell leashes, collars, dog bowls, toys, and clothing. All of the net proceeds from the sales go directly to Emancipet. In addition, Tito’s hosts Yappy Hours that raise money for Emancipet and other dog-related nonprofits all around the country,” Portwood said.

Okay, we know, we’ve talked a lot about the history of Tito’s already, but we’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel. Now that you know about Tito’s, it’s time to do what we do best here: drink! Below, you’ll find two Tito’s recipes to mix, raise, and toast to twenty more years of Tito’s.

Tito’s Texas Tea

  • 1 1/2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz freshly brewed tea
  • 3/4 oz Orange Curacao Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz fresh sour mix
  • Dash of honey

Method: Combine all ingredients in glass with ice.  Stir well to combine.  Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

Fountain of Youth

  • 1 1/2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz Mionetto Prosecco

Method: In cocktail glass add Tito’s, St. Germain, lemon juice and the leaves from 1 mint sprig. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over crushed ice. Top with Prosecco.  Garnish with remaining mint sprig and orange wheel.

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
A huge Le Creuset Cyber Monday sale just started — from $10
Carrots in the Le Creuset Signature cast-iron skillet.

Cyber Monday deals all over the place right now, with many of the biggest retailers discounting some popular products. You’ll appreciate this if you’re in the market for some holiday gifts for the chef in your circle, or if you're looking for something new for your own kitchen. Amazon is having Cyber Monday Le Creuset sale, with all sorts of high quality cookware seeing discounts and prices as low as $10. Skillets, Dutch ovens, mugs, and other kitchen items are available in this sale, so click over to Amazon and add something by Le Creuset to your kitchen.

Why You Should Shop the La Creuset Cyber Monday Sale at Amazon
Le Creuset is a premium cookware brand. It makes high quality cookware that both looks great and cooks great. It’s one of the most sought-after brands when it comes to a discount, as its premium reputation brings with it premium prices. But with this Le Creuset sale at Amazon you can save on cookware across the board. The Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Oval Dutch Oven regularly costs $445, but

Read more
Slow cooker recipes: Cincinnati chili is easier than you think
Put it over spaghetti, we dare you
Cincinnati chili

This time of year, everyone loves good slow cooker recipes. You want one that warms, comforts, and greets you with a delicious scent the moment you walk through the door after a long, chilly autumn day. The slow cooker is a beautiful thing for that very reason - not only does it provide a nearly prep-free meal, but it's the gift that keeps on giving with its delicious promise of a warm and hearty meal through tantalizingly exquisite aromas filling the house all day. And while we all love common slow cooker recipes - a meaty pot roast or Kung Pao chicken, sometimes what we're craving at the end of the day is something a bit out of the ordinary. That's why we love this recipe for Cincinnati chili.
Cincinnati chili is tremendously unique in the world of varying (sometimes competing) American chili dishes. Its flavors are warmer and more exotic, which makes sense as its origins aren't American at all, but Greek. In the early 20th century, Greek-Macedonian immigrant brothers John and Tom Kiradjieff opened a restaurant in Cincinnati. Their chili was flavored with traditional ingredients like chili pepper and cumin but also included more familiar Mediterranean ingredients such as allspice and cinnamon. The deliciously comforting dish caught on, and Cincinnati chili quickly became a regional favorite.
This spicy chili is traditionally served over spaghetti with a generous topping of shredded cheddar on top. Depending on the locals you happen to ask, the best way to enjoy this chili is over spaghetti, with or without cheese, kidney beans, and/or grated white onion. Within these barriers, one cannot go wrong. Just make sure to always, always use your fork to cut the pasta into bite-size portions. Twirling is absolutely out of the question.

Cincinnati chili recipe
While spaghetti is the traditional choice for serving Cincinnati chili, another popular option is pouring a generous heap over hot dogs. If you ask us, this is the absolute best way to make chili dogs.

Read more
Ice cream bread is the lifehack your internal fat kid needs
You like ice cream. You like bread. Why not mix them together?
ice cream bread recipe 6289263 1920

Social media's hottest new recipe trend that's floating around is one that we deeply, truly approve of. Naturally, things like butter boards and new coffee concoctions are always appreciated by those of us who love a fun culinary trend. But there's something about this one that just really tickles us pink - ice cream bread. Maybe it's the tempting simplicity of the name that combines two of the most wonderful things in the world. Maybe it's the fact that the recipe itself is almost simpler than the name. Maybe it's the sprinkles. Whatever the reason, ice cream bread is our new favorite trendy treat.

When we saw this video making the rounds, we decided that we needed to give ice cream bread a try, and the results were pleasantly surprising.

Read more