ORLANDO, Florida. – Local shopping is a concept many are turning to, supporting businesses and workers in the Central Florida community.
If you’re grabbing a drink at a local bar or restaurant, you might be doing just that: supporting a new company that creates vodka.
“I went to UCF and majored in aerospace engineering. I wanted to fly fighter jets,” said P1 Vodka CEO Mitch Patel.
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Patel’s path led him into the spirit world. He is now the owner and CEO of P1 Vodka. The bottle, designed with gold and black details, celebrates the University of Central Florida, the university he and many of his colleagues attended.
“The bottle is black and gold to pay homage to where it all started,” Patel said.
Patel said the name “P1” represents his family and culture. The P is the first initial of his surname.
“The number one has a very special meaning in Indian culture. In cash value gifts, we always give 21, 51 or 101. One signifies the beginning of an unlimited amount of prosperity for the recipient,” Patel said.
Patel has worked in the liquor industry for more than 20 years and runs a liquor store in Orlando, launching P1 Vodka less than a year ago.
“Fact is, Florida loves vodka. More than whiskey, rum and tequila and they’re buying it all over the world,” Patel said.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the spirits industry is the second largest market in the world, generating $200 billion in the United States each year. Vodka accounts for nearly 30% of all volumes. In 2021, DSC reported that 78.1 million nine-liter cases of vodka were sold in the United States, generating $7.3 billion in revenue for distillers.
Patel hopes P1 will become Central Florida’s hometown vodka brand. It’s already being served at local bars and restaurants like Rocco’s Tacos in Orlando.
“The vodka is quite easy to prepare. We use three ingredients: organic, non-GMO corn, champagne yeast, and also Appalachian water,” Patel said. “You let it sit and ferment, then you drop it into our stills. We do a proper distillation process, the charcoal sweetens it, then it’s bottled and shipped.
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Patel said P1 was something he had been working on for years, building the brand. He encourages others to follow their dreams.
“Once you’ve laid your eyes on something, go for it,” Patel said.
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