The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2017

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DEPARTMENT HEADER DEPARTMENT HEADER august 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  127 Don't Mess with Success: TITO'S HANDMADE VODKA Maintaining the success of a brand like Tito's Handmade Vodka can become difficult in a marketplace with ever-changing tastes. Many brands choose to stay relevant by expanding their portfolios, but Tito's has taken a different approach: standing by its original, well-crafted spirit. As founder Tito Beveridge himself said when asked about making new expressions: "Why? If you like a flavor in your drink, say grapefruit, just cut a fresh one in half and squeeze it in your glass of Tito's. It's a much better-tasting drink when it's made with fresh ingredients!" It's all about producing a superior spirit and enabling the accounts and consumers to incor- porate it into exquisite, innovative creations. Many establishments began serving the Tito Rita (some call it Tito's Vodkarita), a light, sessionable Margarita with Tito's and fresh lime juice. Others have Tito's on tap in cocktails like the Tito's All- American Mule or Tito's and Lemonade. "There are a few consistent themes we continue to hear from accounts," notes Frank Polley, Tito's VP of Trade Marketing. "The one we hear most often is that consumers are looking for Tito's, asking for it by name, oftentime as part of their favorite cocktail, i.e. Tito's and soda. Our research has shown that when Tito's is part of the name of the cocktail, we see a 20-percent-plus increase in sales, versus Tito's just being in the cocktail." To help accounts keep it top-of-mind and bring more on-premise awareness to the brand, Tito's has re-photographed 50 cocktails and developed new creative tools that the brand will release this fall. "We feel we have a lot of room to grow, and a lot of consumers and bartenders yet to reach," continues Polley. "We'll just keep doing our thing—making the best vodka we can make!" Tasting Notes For those who dream in vanilla, marshmallow and red licorice, the aromas from Tito's Handmade Vodka will surely lure you in. The palate, however, will wake up the senses with a black pepper underlying the sweeter notes. Texturally round and silky, this 80-proof pot still spirit is elegant and refined. 92 —Meridith May you American when just Tito's Texas Sipper ◗ 1½ oz. Tito's Handmade Vodka ◗ ½ oz. elderflower liqueur ◗ 1½ oz. grapefruit juice Combine Tito's Handmade Vodka, elderflower liqueur and juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain over fresh ice in a double rocks glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with mint sprig.

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