TOUCH 2.0.In the spring of 2015, Dr. Ram was approached by business partner Scott Conlon about taking over a craft distillery that had a super premium gin and an Artisan Vodka that was amazing but they were not doing much with the company. Scott was convinced it was the best tasting Vodka on the planet and was keenly aware of its potential. Touch was the only Vodka made from Honey. Scott challenged Dr. Ram to consider Touch Vodka and to take it over and to work his magic of creating a brand around it. Soon after sampling the Artisan Vodka he was also convinced, it was the best tasting Vodka; before long Dr. Ram was recruiting his longtime college buddy another Florida State University Alumni and Seminole Football standout the 30th pick in the 1990 NFL draft, Reggie Johnson about Touch Vodka. Reggie spent 10 years, after retiring from the NFL working for Southern Wine and Spirits as an executive, he was the expert on spirits. Soon after, Dr. Ram and Reggie were sitting around his pool sampling all the Touch Vodka flavors; they quickly realized they were on to something special.Local boys sharing their passions for FSU, Football and their love for local craft spirits, Dr. Ram was already making his own local craft beers with another partner for his charity events, so embracing the Florida centric component of the Touch Artisan Vodka (using only the best locally sourced honey, key lime, orange & grape fruits) they were convinced that they could make the Touch brand even better by using better ingredients and implementing higher standards in the production process.
However, they quickly realized there was a missing piece of the team, Dr. Ram was a turn around specialist and Reggie was an expert in the spirit industry and distribution market but the missing component was the retail liquor market, that’s when Dr. Ram’s other long time friend Raj Patel got the call to come on board to build the retail side. After tasting the orange and Artisan Vodka he was sold, it took very little convincing. Raj owned several larger retail liquor stores in Florida and was running an online retail wine company. Raj was the trifecta! Now complete their wives referred to their Touch team as the brain, the muscle and the hustle, Dr Ram, Reggie and Raj.
Touch was originally started by Nick Carboni an investment banker, who had a passion for making vodka. He started out with a tiny distillery in historic Ybor City, in Tampa, Fla. back in 2003. He wanted to make a craft spirit that was unique to Florida by using local ingredients. Hence, he utilized Florida blended honey to make the first Artisan ultra premium vodka, and he then later on added Florida blended Grapefruits, Key Limes, and Valencia Oranges flavors since these fruits have significant presence in Florida.
While he started out making only 500 bottles a month, selling them himself to bars and restaurants. Today TOUCH Vodka is available throughout Florida. His ambition was to make the smoothest and best tasting vodka and to give it a regional character, rich enough to drink straight, not as a mixer. Nick came up with the idea of utilizing the Florida wildflower honey from the pine forests and the everglades, (not from the fertilizer and insecticide loaded citrus groves) and is fermented with a special yeast that gives it that unique flavor. Distilled in small batches in a pot still (an important distinction when you are looking for flavor but much more labor intensive than a column still) and then NOT filtered -a major departure from virtually every other vodka on the market. It takes a high degree of care to be able to do this. The Florida wildflower honey is then converted to a 190 proof distillate like a very high-octane mead, then mixed to perfection with the highest quality organic high proof grain spirits giving our TOUCH artisan signature Vodka a unique and ultra smooth taste. It’s beautifully, clear as a tear drop or morning dew. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear oily coat (sign of nice body) on the inside of the glass with some transitory legs developing then rolls and slides back in an even coat.
Its lightly oily on the tongue, it tastes like a sweet French Brut Champagne. Crisp yeasty, toasty notes, pleasant mild bite/drying at the tip of the tongue according to spirits review.
Nick quickly realized that his honey formula and process was a game changer, with honey it was always consistent and it made his vodka extra smooth and tasty. You can’t taste the honey as a flavor but as a sweetness in the aroma and smoothness is in the body.
We use only the finest Florida Wild Flower honey free from pesticides that come from the pine forest and the everglades to ensure a chemical free ingredient that is used in our fermentation process for our Touch original ultra premium vodka. We use only raw honey which has never been heated or filtered, simply taken off the hives and packaged which will crystallize quickly locking in its natural taste and benefits. This honey has a delightful taste and has a light amber to amber color.