Words by: Marcelo Sant'lago
I was in Holland recently to visit the Nolet Distillery where Ketel One vodka is produced. But I was not alone: I was joined by a group comprising the most talented bartenders from all over Brazil who were inspired to create signature Ketel One cocktails.
Lying on the banks of the Schiedam canal, The Nolet Distillery is run by Bob Nolet, the 11th generation to do so since the distillery was founded in 1691. The distillation center of the Dutch genever, there were once 394 distilleries in Schiedam but 300 years later the Nolet Distillery is one of only four that remain.
During the visit, we were introduced to Ketel One's Ketel Kitchen concept. Bob told me that one of the inspirations came during a visit to Brazil, after seeing how we prepare the Bloody Mary, and the Dutch tradition of bringing together loved ones in the kitchen to have fun while cooking and drinking to whet the appetite. "It is a moment of intimacy, relaxation but also sharing and fun" he said. With that in mind, at the end of our visit, Ketel One prepared a long table with different types of ingredients you find in your pantry - from fruits to vegetables and spices - so that we could release our creativity and prepare our own Bloody Mary twists, as if we were in a large kitchen.
Inspired by our days in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the visit to the distillery in Schiedam, I challenged some bartenders from the group to create a cocktail with Ketel One:
by Alexandre D'Agostino (Apothek Cocktails, São Paulo)
Garnish: Lime zest twist
Method: Pour ingredients into an iced-filled glass, stir and top with soda.
- 1½oz / 45ml Ketel One vodka
- 1oz /30ml Dry vermouth
- 1/3oz /10ml Limoncello
- Top with Club Soda
Inspiration: "We had Ketel & Soda everywhere. This is my 2.0 version."
by Alice Guedes (Guarita Bar, São Paulo)
Garnish: Lemon zest twist & rose petal
Method: Stir first 4 ingredients with ice and strain into iced glass. Top with champagne.
- 2oz / 60ml Ketel One Citroen
- 2/3oz /20ml Vermouth bianco
- 1/3oz /10ml Dry vermouth
- 1/6oz /5ml Rose syrup
- 1 2/3oz / 50ml Brut champagne
Inspiration: "Inspired by Bloemenmarkt, the Amsterdam flower market."
by Chris Machado (Seen, São Paulo)
Garnish: Brownie & stroopwafel
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
- 1½oz /45ml macerated walnuts and nuts in Ketel One vodka
- 1/3oz /10ml roasted wheat malt syrup
- 4 dash Aromatic blend of oranges
- ½oz /15ml Espresso coffee
Inspiration: "So many sensations while walking through Amsterdam canals, streets, sidewalks...flavors, colors, love, respect...freedom."
by Diego Bastos (Ox Steak Bar, Curitiba)
Garnish: Shell stuffed with crunchy quinoa, oyster sauce and basil leaf with Jamaica pepper drop.
Method: Stir all ingredients to blend seasonings, throw with ice and strain into tumbler over chunk of block ice.
- 1 1/3oz /40ml Ketel One
- ½oz / 15ml Pisco Moscatel
- 3 1/3oz / 100ml homemade tomato juice with chichi dwelling and oyster sauce in Mediterranean herbal infusion
- ½oz /15ml panka pepper cream
- 1/3oz /10ml fresh Tahiti lime juice
Inspiration: "My Bloody Mary is inspired by the clash of cultures I've saw during our trip. I had the opportunity to talk to people and bartenders from the most diverse countries, cultures, religions. Therefore, I picked up European and South American spices and used throwing which is a technique currently spread all over the world."
by Gustavo Guedes (Nakombi, Brasília)
Garnish: Mint leaves & cucumber peel
Method: Shake first 5 ingredients with ice and fine strain into iced-filled glass. Top with cider and serve with a metal straw.
- 1 2/3oz /50ml Ketel Citroen
- 2/3oz /20ml peach puree
- ½oz /15ml honey syrup with pink pepper
- ½oz /15ml lemon juice
- 3 dash lavender bitters
- 2 2/3oz /80ml apple cider
Inspiration: "Inspired by the Fenix Food Factory, in Rotterdam, where we can find artisan ciders, flowers, spices, organic products from local producers, plus book stands and cultural activities. The cocktail takes advantage of Ketel Citroen freshness and citrus character which is perfect for the Dutch summer."
by Leonardo Massoni (São Paulo)
Glass: Double old-fashioned
Garnish: Fresh herbs, fresh celery, basil leaves, baby carrots
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.
- 1 1/3oz /40ml Ketel One vodka
- 1/3oz / 10ml herbs tincture
- 1/3oz / 10ml celery tincture
- 1/3oz / 10ml mixed shrub
- 1/3oz / 10ml citric acid solution
- 1/15oz / 2ml black pepper tincture
- 3 1/3oz / 100ml clarified tomato juice
Inspiration: "Bloody Mary was the first cocktail I ever had, a tradition in my family of Italian descent. When taking the helm at Trabuca Bar the classics cocktails have become a challenge. The idea of consuming a good tomato juice, even homemade, falls to the ground when at some point the place is much like a crowed club with a DJ playing loud music. That's why we decided to clarify the juice and turn the "meal" experience into refreshment."
by Luciano Guimarães (Pina Cocktails, Recife)
Garnish: Lime leaf with edible dye
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and fine strain into ice-filled glass.
- 2oz / 60ml Ketel One Vodka
- ½oz / 15ml Saint German elderflower liqueur
- 1/6oz / 5ml citric acid
- 2/3oz / 20ml juice of a fresh cashew
- ½oz / 15ml flowers tincture
Inspiration: "Inspired by the Amstel River with its flowering banks and crystalline waters."
by Ricardo Barreto (Brand Ambassador, Diageo Reserve portfolio)
Garnish: Oyster & star anise
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass. Serve with hollow pasta as straw.
- 1 2/3oz / 50ml Ketel One vodka
- 3 1/3oz / 100ml Tomato juice
- 1/6oz / 5ml Tahiti lime juice
- 1/6oz / 5ml maraschino liqueur
- ½oz / 15ml oyster sauce
- 2 pinch salt
- 2 pinch fresh grounded black pepper
- 2 dash Tabasco
by Ricardo "Puma" Fuenzalida (Cocktail Channel, São Paulo)
Garnish: Orange zest twist & float drops of bitters
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain back into shaker. Dry shake (without ice) and fine strain into chilled glass.
- 1½oz / 45ml Ketel One vodka
- 1/3oz / 10ml Lavender syrup
- ¼oz / 7.5ml Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
- 1 spoon Green Chartreuse
- 2/3oz / 20ml Red berry puree
- 1 fresh Egg white
- dashes Berry bitters
Inspiration: "My inspiration comes from my visit to Albert Cuypmarkt open market in Amsterdam. There I saw colors, flavors, aromas and a great and diverse blend of cultures.
I am passionate about fresh fruits and berries, and it was red berry season. I've spotted lavender in several balconies, mini gardens and small squares of the city."