ORLANDO, Fla. – Shopping local is a concept that many are turning to, supporting businesses and workers in the Central Florida community.
If you have a drink at a local bar or restaurant, you may be doing just that: supporting a new business that creates vodka.
“I went to UCF and majored in Aerospace Engineering. I wanted to fly fighter jets,” said P1 Vodka CEO Mitch Patel.
Patel’s path led him to the spirits world. He’s now the owner and CEO of P1 Vodka. The bottle designed with gold and black detailing, celebrating the University of CEntral Florida, the college he and many of his colleagues attended.
“The bottle is black and gold to pay homage to where it all started,” said patel.
Patel said the name ‘P1′ represents his family and culture. The P is the first initial of his last name.
“The number one has a very special meaning in Indian culture. In gifting of monetary value we always give 21, 51 or 101. The one signifies the start of an unlimited amount of prosperity to the receiver,” said Patel.
Patel has been in the spirits industry for more than 20 years running a liquor store in Orlando, debuting P1 Vodka less than a year ago.
“The fact of the matter is, Florida loves vodka. Moreso than whiskey, rum and tequila and they’re buying it from all over the world,” said Patel.
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 US every year. Vodka accounts for nearly 30% of all volumes. In 2021, DSC reported 78.1 million nine-liter cases of vodka were sold in the United States, generating $7.3 billion in revenue for distillers.
Patel is hoping 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.
“Vodka’s pretty easy to make. We use three ingredients: Non-GMO organic corn, champagne yeast and also Appalachian Mountain water,” said Patel. “You let it sit and ferment, then drop it into our stills. We do a propriety distillation process, charcoal mellow it and then it’s bottled and shipped out.”
Patel said P1 is something he’s worked on for years, building the brand. He encourages others to follow their dreams.
“Once you set your eyes on something, go for it,” said Patel.
If you own a local business or use a local brand, News 6 would love to hear about it. Share your experiences in the comment section or the form below.
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