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Oklahomans eager to taste locally made vodkas

Sales of Twister Vodka, made in Moore at Oklahoma's first distillery since 2009, have exceeded expectations, and the company is adding several products — including moonshine — to satisfy customer demand.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: April 23, 2013

Since introducing its vodka to consumers earlier this year, Twister Distillery has discovered the thirst Oklahomans have for locally made liquor.

Demand for Twister products has been strong, owner Garrett Janko says. Twister vodka and sweet tea vodka first hit liquor store shelves in February. In just two months, sales exceeded the Moore company's first year goal of 500 cases. The products can be found in about 300 liquor stores across the state, and Janko is hoping to extend that reach, though it's been a challenge.

“Trying to get somebody to put in a new vodka, even though it's made in Oklahoma, is like trying to get a Chevy dealership to carry a new car,” he said.

Janko said Twister Vodka is on par with Stolichnaya and costs about $13 a bottle. It's also carried at several restaurants, including Cafe Nova and Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill.

The distillery, in a Moore industrial park, is the state's first to produce spirits since 2009, when Old Russia — Oklahoma's first legal distillery — ceased production. Another distillery, Prairie Wolf Spirits, has begun production from its Guthrie location and expects to release its vodka May 1.

Janko, whose great-grandparents operated a distillery in the Czech Republic, uses family recipes handed down for generations for his products, which will include gin, rum and whiskey once the spirits have aged.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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