Made in America Holiday Gift Guide — Tito’s Handmade Vodka

made in the usa tito's handmade vodkaIn my Made in the USA miniseries, I’ve been trying to focus on items that would be appropriate for holiday giving — and of course, a bottle of the good stuff is almost always welcome. Here is an award-winning American brew that I just learned about, and it looks good, indeed: Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Actually, I think I’m late to Tito’s party, because using their “where to buy” thingie, I see I can buy it at the (upscale) liquor store one block from my house. Sounds like it’s easy to get your hands on: Wrap some sparkly red-white-and-blue ribbons on the neck, pair it with Anne Taintor’s cocktail book (manufactured in China, alas), and you have the best hostess gift ever. Or, that pony would make a fun little stocking stuffer for the parental units.

Before you buy, though, be sure to check out Tito Handmade Vodka’s website — it is a hoot and a half — very well done! There is a Tito — Tito Beveridge, I’m not makin’ that up. On the About page, we get the back story — it is a lot of fun — yes, fun! — to read. Just a snippet from Tito:

made in the usa certified labelI 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… At that point I went and started trying to learn about how to distill and you know it was pre-internet and so there really wasn’t any information about how to make it. It was almost like there had been a book burning at the library. I got a bunch of pictures of old moonshiners and looked at a bunch of those photos and then kinda from looking at all those photos kinda just built a still that kinda looked like those stills. And then just kinda started cooking in that and just trial and error’d. I just kept messing with it until I got to where everybody liked my vodka better than the other stuff you could buy at the time. I basically just kinda kept working at it and working at it.

berkshire brewing company

I found Tito’s Handmade Vodka via the website usa-c.com, which offers a certification process for USA-made products. I continue data-mining that site, and others, for American-made nifty gifties.

Of course, while we’re talking Made in the USA booze, you can for sure also buy Kentucky whiskey, California wines, locally made beers and goodness knows what else is out there. DH and I went out to dinner at our favorite Italian dive on Saturday night. Hyped up by my Buy American stories, I made him order the IPA from Berkshire Brewing Company of Deerfield, Mass. It was fabulous, the 22-oz. bottle was perfect for us to split, and we were keeping a few extra dollars local. Doesn’t that photo at the right just make your thirsssssty?

  1. JKaye says:

    I have to put in a plug for Kentucky bourbons, of course. But I also want to recommend some other Kentucky-made treats — candy! Here are links to two different candy companies that were started by women in Kentucky back around 1920, both of which make liquor-flavored candies and other confections.

    The Ruth Hunt company is in Mt. Sterling, a quaint town located where the flatlands meet the foothills of the Appalachians. I love their Blue Monday candy bars, which chow.com included in a list of the top 10 candies to cross state lines for. It comes in several flavors, but the best is the original, which is dark chocolate over a creamy white center, rather elegant, actually.


    The Rebecca Ruth company is in Frankfort, our capital, and be sure to click on the link labelled the Ruth Booe story, to learn the history of the company. I’d like to have that woman’s spunk.


    Got my mom a box of Rebecca Ruth assorted liquor-flavored candies for her birthday in October, and they were delicious. I loved the mint julep flavor.

    Both of these companies give factory tours, and we plan to go on one as a Christmas activity.

  2. Ravens Girl says:

    hands down, tito’s is the BEST vodka ever! it is my favorite vodka, it is so smooth and makes me happy. cheers to tito!

  3. Edwardo Hahn says:

    I can vouch for Michigan’s Leileneau peninsula grape wine, it is excellent and has a rich flavor that seems to be missing from CA wines, which are also excellent.
    I just returned from a month long RV trip through Europe, drank a lot of their fine beers and discovered quite a few not so good supermarket cheap beers and can say that the USA has the best beers made in the world. Amazing variety and the finest quality.
    I think one of the best is called “Pliney the Elder” from Chico, CA. An amazing hoppy, extremely fragrant beer that has about 4 different taste layers.

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