The story of Tweaked Spirits began (like so many others) at a bar.

The year was 2013. The place — Slick Willie’s on South Lamar (may it rest in peace.)

Old friends Mike Marintzer and Mark Aurora visited the South Austin pool hall regularly to take part in their local pool league. But on this particular night, a major liquor distributor had dispatched its street team to walk around and hand out shots.

Never ones to turn down a free drink, the guys partook — and immediately regretted it. This stuff was terrible. (Brand name retracted to protect the not-so-innocent.)

As is often the case in situations like these, Mike and Mark started to chat about how they could do better. The drinks continued to flow, and enthusiasm mounted with the idea of a new venture. It could be a true Austin distillery, with products made from scratch.

A liquor company, instead of a marketing company that produces booze. High-end spirits for cocktail enthusiasts, but with an “everyone is welcome” vibe. As engineers by trade, they were sure they could figure out the intricacies of liquor production.

Of course, in the cold light of day, Mike and Mark laughed off their idea. What did they know about distilling?

But the dream wouldn’t die. And over a year later, the pair decided they had to give it a shot.

Since that fateful night, Mike and Mark have spent weeks, months, and years testing recipes, ingredients, and distillation methods to make their ideal vodka and gin. Without big corporate funding, it took five years to develop their first batch of spirits. But it was worth the wait.

Today, Tweaked Distilling spirits can be found in liquor stores across central Texas. A tasting room in west Austin is in the works where we’ll be able to share samples with our visitors and show you the process from start to finish.

It’s been a long journey, but we’re just getting started.



mike's signature
  • Michael Marintzer

    Founder and President

mark's signature
  • Mark Aurora

    Founder and Vice President