We get letters…(Thank you Stephen)

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In a northern Armenian village, surrounded by the landscape of
mountains and gorges, stippled by wheat fields and potato crops, I
immersed myself in a culture as old as civilization itself. Life was
simple, untouched, and fermented in century-old customs. One very
important practice within the culture, especially that of the village,
was the distillation of spirits. Here, I was taken under the wing of
my new-found comrades as an apprentice of the practice: We would
dedicate the time after harvest and before the first snow to that of
creating brandy and vodka. The finished product was potent, very
potent–and very delicious. Of course the many liters distilled would
only last the villagers a month or two (We had to keep warm during the
bleak winter somehow), and we would eventually all have to resort back
to the village general store for the Russian or Ukrainian imports. By
the time my service was over, I had tasted many different types of the
East’s finest vodkas including my own.

It was a little over two years ago when I came home from my two year
service in the Peace Corps; and my little sister welcomed me home with
a college party she put together in Ann Arbor. This night would
become historic.

I ran up to Village Corner to grab a handle of vodka for the many
friends coming over, and as I approached the counter I figured
something around twenty dollars would have to suffice. I was only
just a newly-retired volunteer. “I’ll take (giant worldwide brand) I guess,” I said
unenthusiastically to the cashier. I was thinking what I would do for
some of my home-made ambrosia. “You don’t want that,” replied
the cashier, “Trust me, try Tito’s.”

The night went amazing! The girls filling the apartment fell half in
love with me as I, the older brother, played bartender for the party
(and I was only making a simple vodka tonic). There might have been
many eyes looking my way, but my gaze was directed down to the gold I
had just unearthed. Tito’s! That night spawned a saying among that
crowd: Are you ready for some Tito good times tonight?

Truly, I have tasted thousands of vodkas from around the world, and I
have tasted some very fine ones too. But, this “cheap” vodka found in
a small corner store in Ann Arbor rivals all of them. I have since
converted many, many people all around Michigan (and to other states I
have traveled to since) to the goodness of Tito’s. My liquor stores
nearby now carry Tito’s because I have told them to order it. They
tell me their sales are growing. I have brought Tito’s to parties; I
have been a hit. My cousin who despises vodka finally took a shot
after I had to almost force it on him; he said, “Wow, that’s pretty
good.” As my friend puts it, I have become the unofficial spokesman
for Tito’s in this region. Everywhere I travel and enter an
establishment serving liquor, I discuss with the bartender or even
manager the reasons why they need to stock Tito’s. Of course, once in
awhile, I come across a fellow connoisseur who smiles widely when I
ask, “Have you ever heard of Tito’s?” I am writing this to let you
and your staff know that someone who has some vodka sense is up here
in Wolverine country putting bottles in people’s stockings for
Christmas and giving them cheer and a drink to cheer for.
Congratulations for creating a liquor worthy for the shelves of
America. It is a fine drink; one of the finest. And I will continue
to be one of your biggest fans and biggest unofficial spokesmen for
years to come. Cheers!

Stephen Manuszak