3:28 PM, Oct 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Victorino Matus, writing for the Wall Street Journal:
Is Tito ’s Handmade Vodka really handmade? Would it taste any less good if it weren’t anymore?
Type “handmade vodka” into Google and the first two pages of results are about one brand: Tito’s Handmade Vodka from Austin, Texas. You could say the “handmade” descriptive is essential to its identity, along with small-batch, craft-distilled, folksy even. The ads and website images show founder Bert “Tito” Beveridge in jeans and a button-down, standing proudly next to his potstill, sitting atop cases of his product, or beside his faithful dogs. On the label, aside from “handmade,” are the words “Crafted in an Old Fashioned Pot Still by America’s Original Microdistillery.”
But in the summer of 2013, Forbes published “The Troubling Success Of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.” As its author Meghan Casserly explains, “Tito’s has exploded from a 16-gallon pot still in 1997 to a 26-acre operation that produced 850,000 cases last year, up 46 percent from 2011, pulling in an estimated $85 million in revenue.” She also describes “massive buildings containing ten floor-to-ceiling stills and bottling 500 cases an hour.”
So it was inevitable: On Sept. 15, lawyers representing Gary Hofmann in California filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that Tito’s “manufactured, marketed, and/or sold . . . ‘Tito’s Handmade’ Vodka to the California general public with the false representation that the Vodka was ‘handmade’ when, in actuality, the Vodka is made via a highly-mechanized process that is devoid of human hands.”
Whole thing here.
Growth trumps (nearly) all.Sep 8, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 48 • By IKE BRANNON
In my quest to write an article about my family vacation to Turkey and thereby write off part of the cost, I came up with an observation I deemed worthy of David Brooks or Malcolm Gladwell. It turned out to be dead wrong.
11:26 AM, Jul 17, 2014 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Our affable colleague, senior editor Victorino Matus, is famous for his big head, big heart, big appetite—and encyclopedic knowledge of food, drink, the consumption of same, contemporary German politics, and the sociology of his native New Jersey.
3:24 PM, Jan 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with the New Yorker, President Obama says that he believes marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol.
From the lengthy article:
12:26 PM, Dec 24, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The daughter of incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio opens up in a YouTube video about her drug use, alcoholism, and depression:
10:22 AM, Dec 5, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Pessimists who believe that once a large piece of governmental malpractice is in place, it is there forever and immoveable, should to pay attention to this day and, perhaps, celebrate with a cocktail.
The taxpayer-funded Obamacare temperance league. Jul 8, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 41 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
When Prohibition ended in 1933, Pennsylvania governor Gifford Pinchot promised to make purchasing alcohol “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” To this day, Pennsylvania has some of the most stringent—and absurd—liquor laws in the country. Beer and wine can’t be sold in grocery stores, and you can only purchase six-packs of beer at delis or under the counter at bars and taverns, and no more than two six-packs can be purchased at a time.
11:46 AM, Oct 18, 2011 • By KEVIN R. KOSAR
My before-dinner drink almost inevitably is a martini or a whiskey on ice. Despite running an online booze review site for over a decade and tasting nearly every alcoholic beverage known to man (and liking many of them), I reflexively return to these stand-bys.
Why? Well, habits are hard to break. And there is the matter of ease--I can whip these drinks up in a jiffy, which is important to a man who is perpetually exhausted. (I have two young children.)
However, I recently tried something entirely different--an Aviation cocktail, and boy am I happy I did.
From the Scrapbook.Apr 18, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 30 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
We yield to no one in our admiration for Chris Christie, even though he’s from New Jersey. The candor and plain speaking that have made him a YouTube matinee idol have made him a Scrapbook favorite too. So it’s only with the greatest reluctance that we draw your attention to an incident in which, perhaps for understandable reasons, his gift for voicing uncomfortable truths failed him.
Alcohol.8:41 AM, Sep 10, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
One of the well-known effects of alcohol is that it reduces inhibitions. China’s top-ranking UN diplomat, Sha Zukang, experimented with the substance at a banquet at a UN retreat in the Austrian ski resort of Alpbach.
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