Bottle of Tito's vodka

How Many Times is Tito’s Vodka Distilled?

The number of times vodka is distilled is commonly linked to how clean of a spirit it is. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is distilled six times, a claim that serves as a direct link to how pure and premium the spirit is. 

In very simplified terms, distilling alcohol means taking an already alcoholic liquid and concentrating that alcohol. Vodka can be made from many different things, including potatoes or fruits, but is commonly made from grain. This means that before distillation vodka is like a beer in that it’s an alcoholic grain-based liquid. When that beer-type base gets distilled, the ethanol alcohol boils off into vapors first because ethanol has a lower boiling point than water. As the vapors run through the still, they eventually meet lower temperatures and convert back into liquid. That liquid now has a higher concentration of alcohol. The more times a spirit is distilled, the higher the percentage of alcohol by volume it will end up with. 

Some distillers believe more distillations also make for a purer spirit because you are continuously boiling off other compounds in the liquid that can yield unpleasant off-flavors. Others think purity comes entirely down to the quality of the ingredients being used: Grey Goose, for example, only distills its vodka once. Tito’s method of distilling its vodka six times is the brand’s approach to achieving that super-clean-tasting goal, and results in a 40% ABV.

Distilling six times is no mean feat for a handmade vodka brand

Copper still towers

Spirits can be distilled in either a pot still or a column still. The latter has plates that the spirits pass through; its vapors condense each time and more unwanted compounds get stripped away, leaving that more concentrated alcoholic solution. Some large distillers use these column stills because they can run continuously, producing large quantities of liquor with each plate offering its own mini-distillation. A true distillation means an entire run through the still, as in going through the distillation process two, three, or, as is the case with Tito’s, six times. 

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Distilling in a pot still as opposed to a column still gives spirits more flavor. While you want a spirit completely clean of impurities, that doesn’t mean vodka has no flavor. It’s a neutral and versatile spirit, perfect for mixing into cocktails — that’s why vodka is one of the liquors every bar cart needs. But distillers often pursue a unique profile with, say, subtle notes of grain. There are plenty of popular vodka brands to choose from, but Tito’s really sets itself apart not just with its six distillations, but in the way it runs those distillations. Tito’s uses a pot still for distinctive flavor even though this method is more labor-intensive. That means they manually run their vodka through the still six times, creating a clean spirit that showcases the sweet, salty notes of the corn it’s made with.

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