The Nolet family distillery was started in 1691 on the shores of the great Maas River in the town of Schiedam, the Netherlands. Carolus Nolet, a 10th generation family member, worked for years to perfect what became Ketel One Vodka, an iconic spirit on the global landscape, launched in the States in 1983. These days, making great spirits at an affordable price point doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, but developing a strong connection to those representing the product on the front lines—bartenders—is a great way to get there.
While cycling between appointments (as one does in Holland) and with wind blowing in the background, distillery ambassador Dennis Tamse explains Ketel One’s commitment to growing future generations of hospitality professionals through its support of different programs that build local knowledge of the industry. This includes its contribution to the Learning for Life training program, a project run by Diageo, Ketel One’s worldwide distribution company. Learning for Life provides young people from underprivileged backgrounds with the skills necessary to make a positive impact on their communities, specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean. The initiative provides them with training and opportunities, resulting in a higher industry level overall. “Ketel One is very proud to be involved with Learning for Life and to share its mission throughout our markets,” says Tamse. “Like any global initiative, it can take time to build, but one by one it’s helping youth enter rewarding careers in hospitality. It’s wonderful to see the program grow.”
Now spanning over 35 countries, Learning for Life offers a variety of programs to assist those who are willing and excited to integrate themselves into the world of hospitality. Providing the unique skills needed for success in bartending is part of the package, but just as important is building character and training in hospitality and tourism, as well as encouraging creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. Already an industry leader in the vodka category, its thoughtful stewardship of bartenders of all ages is where Ketel One truly makes its mark as a global partner in hospitality.
RECIPE: The Vod Von Tulip
Affectionately known as the “flower shop of the world”, it’s no secret that the Netherlands—home of the Ketel One distillery—loves its florals. The Vod Von Tulip is a fresh twist on a classic punch, evoking perfumed flavours including chamomile, rhubarb, and peach.
1.50 oz. Ketel One Vodka
0.50 oz. Aperol
0.50 oz. Fino sherry
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. chamomile flower syrup*
2 dashes Bittered Sling Clingstone Peach Bitters
Splash sparkling water
*Chamomile flower syrup (yield 1L)
20 g dried chamomile flowers
600 ml boiling water
600 g white sugar
Bring the water to a boil, and pour over the flowers. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain, and combine with white sugar. Stir to dissolve. Place in sterilized containers in the fridge for up to seven to 10 days.
Combine all ingredients (except sparkling) in a shaker, fill with ice. Shake contents for five to seven seconds, then double strain over fresh ice in a tall glass. Top with sparkling water, serve with a long grapefruit peel.
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Photo by MONTECRISTO Staff.