Tito’s Spirit in a Bottle Review

Let’s start off by saying I never get tipsy on Monday afternoons, but when the iconic Austin distillery, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, comes calling with an epicurean invitation, one would be remiss to refuse. Texas Tasty was privileged to be invited to an exclusive preview of Tito’s newest ancillary concept, Spirit in a Bottle: Tales and Drinks from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a suave cocktail recipe book that draws inspiration from their unique Austin heritage and offers an inside look into the brand. On Monday afternoon, I along with several other guests gathered at the Austin Proper Hotel to celebrate the book’s launch and explore the new recipes with a plethora of cocktails and our d’oeuvres. Thus, here are my impressions on Spirit in a Bottle.

Spirit in a Bottle: First Impressions

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is seminal to local drinking culture in Austin, quenching everyone from college merrymakers, to dashing wranglers, to barflies all across the country. Tito’s is locally produced in Austin at Texas’ oldest legal distillery. Distilled from corn, Tito’s features a slight sweet note that is favorable amongst American drinkers. It’s inexpensive, relatively smooth, and clean. For Texans, and particularly Austinites, it’s evocative and familiar; thus, Spirit in a Bottle is an ode to these feelings. The book is a fun play on connecting Tito’s Vodka back to its eclectic hometown, Austin, with themed cocktails that emphasize the brand’s Texan roots. Scattered throughout the book are anecdotes that tell the journey of the company’s humble beginnings as a small business into a leader in the vodka market, selling just shy of 12 million 9-liter cases in 2022

As a cookbook, Spirit in a Bottle is thorough, colorful, and detailed. It features a variety of chapters that cover everything from mixology basics, to classic beverages, to simple yet elevating infusion recipes to take your bottle to the next level. I recently purchased a Tito’s fifth and infused it with some sweet peppers, as recommended by the book, which lent to a delicious result. Many of the sections are inspired by various aspects of Austin culture, like live music, nightlife, and local ecosystem. The evening of the book launch, I sampled various drinks that played on these themes, including The Mockingbird–a tribute to Texas’ state bird, and to Mockingbird Distillery where Tito’s got their start. The drink was an herbal, aromatic beverage that utilizes elderflower and violet liqueur. Another favorite of the night was The Grackle, named after the characteristically aggressive bird species that has terrorized picnics and local restaurant patios since time immemorial. Living up to its name, The Grackle is a spicy and rather rousing drink. It features strong notes of jalapeño and citrus, lending to a bright, invigorating cocktail that is balanced both by the hint of aromatic bitters and the sweetness of its blackberry garnish. 

Overall, Spirit in a Bottle is a delightful glimpse into Tito’s as a brand, while also serving as a utilitarian yet stylish recipe book. It covers all bases, breaking down bartending and vodka anatomy for even the newest mixologists, all while telling the story of how From classics to contemporary cocktails, Spirit in a Bottle has it all. Pick up your own copy at any bookstore or on the Tito’s official website today!

Alana Anh

Alana Anh contributor at TexasTasty is an aspiring journalist, researcher, and PR professional at the University of Texas at Austin, holds a deep passion for food, literature, culture, and music. Her writing aims to explore the intersection of these interests, uncovering intriguing stories to share with the world. Whether delving into the history of a beloved dish, analyzing the impact of literature on society, or spotlighting emerging artists, Alana's focus remains on informing, inspiring, and entertaining readers.