Fiesta A-listers should plan on seeing (and/or drinking) locally distilled Cinco Vodka at some of the season’s most exclusive celebrations ? The King’s Ball, The Queen’s Ball, The Order of the Alamo Garden Party, and The Town Club Party among them. But according to Trey Azar, Cinco’s CEO and co-founder, his company’s only in the middle of a soft launch.
Azar, an SA-native and self-described martini-lover, says the inspiration for Cinco struck when he realized the vodkas he favors (Ketel One and Grey Goose, distilled in the Netherlands and France, respectively) don’t have much stateside competition. “In the 1970s, fine wines came from Europe,” Azar said, before citing California’s current role in the premium wine market. “There’s no reason why we can’t make a high-end, wheat-based, European-style vodka in Texas.”
While Cinco (which is distilled near Calaveras Lake in Southeast Bexar County) may have been beat to first by Enchanted Rock Vodka, launched last year by Rebecca Creek Distillery (“the first distillery ever built in South Texas” according to its website), Azar and co-founder/Chief Marketing Officer Steve Dean seem prepared for the challenge of putting SA on the national liquor-distribution map ? something both brands seem likely to do.
Other than the amber wheat (which is shipped to Texas from Idaho), Cinco owes its “clarity, cleanliness, and unsurpassed smoothness” to Texas and the Edwards Aquifer, water from which is naturally filtered through Cordova Cream limestone and further refined by reverse osmosis before being added to the spirit in the final stages of production.
As for the name, which references star classification systems (according to Wikipedia, a five-star rating indicates “luxury,” while four only go so far as “first class”), Azar said, “Almost every American knows how to say or spell ‘cinco’ and knows its meaning. And it’s got versatility.”
But the versatility Azar was referring to has less to do with vodka’s ability to mix well with others than it does the sound of roll-off-the-tongue drink orders like “Cinco and tonic,” “Cinco and soda,” and, more importantly, “Cincotini.”
Cinco Vodka is available at area locations of Twin Liquors and Garbriel’s Wine & Spirits. A 750-milliliter bottle sells for around $27. For details, visit cincovodka.com.