To commemorate 325 years of family distilling excellence at the Nolet Distillery, where Carl Nolet Sr., 10th generation Master Distiller, first created Ketel One Vodka, a beautiful, new limited-edition bottle is being launched. Portraying the family’s history in an exclusive and elaborate design, the striking copper bottle will be available to buy from Harvey Nichols from mid-March.
Dressed in copper matte plating as a nod to the important role copper pot distillation plays in creating Ketel One Vodka, the commemorative bottle draws inspiration from traditional Dutch spirit bottles. Eleven coins decorate the bottle, representing each of the 11 generations of Nolet distillers. In addition, and for the first time, 11th generation distillers Carl Nolet Jr. and Bob Nolet will have their signatures featured on the back of the bottle.
Bob Nolet, 11th Generation of the Nolet Distillery, which produces Ketel One Vodka, said: “Ketel One Vodka is a marriage of old world pot still craft and modern distilling techniques. We wanted to reflect this and commemorate 325 years of our family’s dedication to distilling excellence in this special and limited edition bottle.
“The design of the bottle honours the Nolet family’s unique distilling heritage, from the colour and the coins to the artwork and – of course – the Nolet family crest. We’re incredibly proud of our dedication to distilling excellence, which has been carefully passed down through 11 generations of the Nolet family over the past 325 years and inspired my father to create Ketel One vodka. Even now we personally taste each and every single production of Ketel One Vodka before it’s bottled, ensuring perfection every time. Here’s to the next 325 years!”
Additional features on the limited edition bottle include the ironwork-inspired design featured across the front and back of the bottle, which signifies the real-life ironwork design featured above the main entrance of the distillery and the Nolet family crest, which symbolises the values and characteristics, including courage, authenticity and wisdom, that each generation has displayed in building the family’s distilling business over the last 325 years.
In true Nolet tradition, the family will be celebrating the distillery’s 325th anniversary on May 14th 2016, with a large party at the distillery in Schiedam, and is inviting customers from across the globe to join in and send a ‘Proost’ photo to the Ketel One Facebook page at 3.25pm in Holland (2.25pm in the UK) to help celebrate the moment.
The Ketel One Vodka limited edition bottle will be available exclusively at Harvey Nichols nationwide for £45.
The “Zacanta”, from James Fowler, UK World Class Winner 2014, served at The Larder House Bournemouth
2 bar spoons of Christmas mincemeat
15ml Spiced pineapple puree
50ml Ron Zacapa 23
10ml Kamm & Sons
10ml Lime juice
Pop all in a shaker and shake with good ice, then strain into goblet filled with fresh ice. Garnish with “Hot date foam” – a hot foam flavoured with dates (recipe below). Garnish finally with shards of orange zest.
Date Foam –
Boiling hot water 150 ml
Heat the above until dates become very soft and form purée
2 bar spoons pro espuma hot (thickening stabiliser agent)
Put into espuma gun
Keep hot until use (water bath) All the dates, none of the hassle
The ‘Ron de Replay’ Zacapa 23 cocktail at iconic London venue BOUNCE
This winter, ultra-premium rum brand Ron Zacapa has partnered one of London’s most iconic and talked about venues, Bounce to launch the game stopping new – Ron de Replay
Sip on this perfect serve as you practice your table tennis serve in Europe’s first premium ‘Social Ping Pong Club’. Taste the rich and smooth flavours of Ron Zacapa 23, aged 2,300m above sea level in the ‘House Above the Clouds’ in Guatemala, perfectly combined with orange liqueurs and chocolate bitters in this new signature cocktail. And in a final touch befitting a creation from these two aspirational brands, the drink is crowned with a bespoke luxury Rococo chocolate ping pong ball, especially created for Bounce.
“It was interesting for me to create a drink that complements the garnish, usually it is the other way around. The orange and chocolate flavours in the drink are designed to enhance the flavours of the chocolate ping pong ball, and are best enjoyed together.” Jacek Czekaj, bartender, Bounce
Stir ingredients over a cocktail jar to blend and achieve perfect density, before pouring into a rocks glass over cubed ice. Garnish with orange rind pinched to release the oils, and finish with the luxury Rococo chocolate ball. Enjoy, order another, and repeat!
Or how about some of these simple Christmas creations?
• 60 ml Ron Zacapa Rum
• 8 tablespoons of watermelon
• 2 dash angostura bitters
• 15 ml Mint Syrup
• 5x mint leaf
• Muddle the watermelon in a cocktail shaker
• Shake all the ingredients together
• Double strain into a chilled Martini glass
• Garnish: mint leaf
• 30 ml Ketel One
• 20 ml fresh lemon juice
• 25 ml basil-strawberry syrup
• 1 kg crystal sugar
• 50 gm of fine chopped basil
• 10 large mashed strawberries
• Boil 1 litre of water with the crystal sugar, add chopped basil and mashed strawberries
• Cool down for 24 hours in your refrigerator
• Shake the ketel one, syrup, lemon juice and 1 barspoon chartreuse vert with ice for about 15 seconds
• Pour in Collins glass with ice cubes and top with champagne and crushed ice
• Add mint covered in powdered sugar and some rose water bitters to top off
• Garnish: mint sprig covered with powdered sugar and a strawberry
• 60 ml Don Julio blanco
• 20 ml fresh lime juice
• 15 ml Agave water
• 5 fresh blackberries
• 2 grinds of black pepper
• Agave and black pepper rim
• Muddle blackberries, add the rest of the ingredients,
• shake hard and double strain into a rimmed rock glass over ice
• The black pepper and agave nectar lifts up the natural character of blanco tequila (Don Julio), balanced with fresh lime and some fresh blackberries for some extra depth and a fruity feel
FESTIVE RUM BUTTER PUNCH
Ingredients (Per serve)
• 50 ml Ron Zacapa
• Small fingernail of butter
• Pinch of any spice including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cardamom
• 10 ml honey or Agave nectar
• 30 ml hot water
• Add all ingredients to a Punch bowl, stir and serve
Fever-Tree’s Hot Ginger Punch
– 150 ml Havana 7 Year Old (or suitable alternative)
– 600 ml Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
– 200 ml Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
– 15-20 cloves
– 6-10 Star Anise
– 1 vanilla pod
– Orange peel.
Gently heat the rum, ginger beer and ginger ale in a suitable pot for 5-10mins. Do not bring to the boil. Meanwhile, slice vanilla pod from top to bottom and add to the pot along with the rest of the spices and stir. Keep pot on a low heat.
Add a few twists of orange peel and gently stir to taste. Heat for further 5 minutes gently ensuring liquid does not come to boil.
Ladle punch into a small glass tankard along with spices and peel.
Maybe a tasty recipe for rum and food?
Edible Stories Zacapa Reserva Christmas Beef
Ask your butcher for a three inch cut short rib cut, also know as the Jacobs ladder.
Make up your Zacapa Reserva marinade, for 1 kilo of meat mix 300 ml of the rum with 200 ml of water and a table spoon of salt and teaspoon of cinnamon. Take your whole piece of beef and place in a deep tray with the marinade ensuring the fat side of the meat is face down in the marinade. Cover with cling film to make air tight to keep the aromas in and leave in a fridge for 48 hours.
After the marinade has soaked in to the meat, drain the left over marinade into a deep baking tray add 700mls of red wine, four bay leaves, 500gms of sliced carrots and 500gms of slice white onions. Then place the beef bone side up to ensure the meat is in you rich revamped marinade. Cover with foil (double layered) again ensuring it is air tight. Place in an oven at 130 degrees and leave for 7 hours to braise slowly.
After the braising carefully take the foil off and drain the juices passing your well cooked vegetables through a sieve giving you your rich Zacapa reserva sauce. Cut your beef into the desired portions which should be so succulent and tender the bones should be falling off the meat which for presentation can be used as a base for your meat on.
From today until Sunday 3rd August, the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition World Class, will open its doors to consumers for the very first time. For the whole week the World Class House will host a series of immersive, engaging and inspiring brand experiences in each room of the five story Georgian townhouse everyday from 5.30pm – 11.00pm.
Located at 33 Fitzroy Square the World Class House will act as the Central London hub, as the 49 most talented bartenders in the world compete to win the much-coveted accolade of World Class Global Champion.
This one-week luxury pop-up will delight and surprise guests with a host of bespoke drinking experiences, World Class cocktails and a selection of very special guests. It is available for £20 to those who register at http://www.definitivedrinkingguide.com/worldclassevents and includes you two tokens that can either be redeemed for two welcome cocktails or put towards one of the experiences – each experience will have a token value. Additional tokens can be bought
at the Hub in £5 denominations.
Comprising of five floors and a stunning rooftop terrace, the World Class House will have something for everyone, from the cocktail beginner to the most discerning drinker and will include the following experiences:
• The World Class Hub – a stylish bar and lounge at the heart of the World Class House, hosting lively seminars and the world’s best mixologists
• Alexander & James – discover the perfect mixologist-at-home package whilst learning about food and drink pairings with La Fromagerie and Allens of Mayfair. Join a cocktail master class and learn how to host the perfect party and pick up a bottle personally engraved with a message of your choice
• Don Julio Visit Jalisco and La Cantina – discover a taste of Jalisco, Mexico via this underground secret bar fronting as a Latin American traditional travel agency. Can you find the vintage telephone that allows visitors access to the backroom?
• Johnnie Walker Blue Label Screening Room – exclusive screenings of Johnnie Walker Blue Label’s new short film staring Jude Law, called The Gentleman’s Wager
• Tanqueray No.TEN Martini Cocktail Bar – the glamour, style and
sophistication of the Art Deco movement is brought to life in the Tanqueray No.TEN martini cocktail bar, where ten unique martini cocktails have been created to pay homage to the ultimate classic cocktail
• Zacapa experience – fully immersive journey where guests will experience the story of Zacapa through all five senses followed by a tasting created by a renowned guest chef.
• Ketel One Sonic Tastings – Ketel One has worked closely with sensory experts to create a selection of scientifically-proven soundscapes and lighting effects that bring the liquid to life in a revolutionary way. What’s more also discover how to make the perfect Bloody Mary
As well as cocktail master-classes from some of the world’s most famous bartenders, debates featuring Michelin starred chefs and intimate tastings of premium whiskies such as, Johnnie Walker, Bulleit and Mortlach, the World Class House is not to be missed. Explore the World Class House this summer to discover incredible cocktails and a new world of spirits.
The biggest cocktail master class came back in full force this year in the form of Cocktails in the City. Located within Manchester Town Hall, 15 of Manchester’s bars teamed up with 15 brands ranging from tequila to rum and vodka to create a cocktail that would wow the consumers and tempt them to part with their tokens. Not only that though, The Liquorists held tasters for all ranging from ‘The Taster’ which involved two cocktails, main stage demonstrations and a cocktail booklet to ‘The Connoisseur‘ which included a champagne cocktail reception, food from Almost Famous, three cocktails and a Liquorists tutored tasting session.
This year, I was lucky enough to be asked to judge, giving me the perfect opportunity to see what the bars and brands came up with.
Starting the night with the bar in the sky, Cloud 23 served up two cocktails in the form of what myself and fellow judge Keeley Watts described as a Starter and Dessert using rum brand Ron Zacapa. The ‘starter’ came with Ron Zacapa, sherry syrup, yuzu juice and whisky aged bitters that were served with bread, chorizo and feta cheese, whilst the ‘dessert’ was created using Ron Zacapa, maraschino, Tip Pepe sherry, sweet vermouth and came with smoked almonds. Pop-up bar specialists Escapade were next with their unusual takes of creation and glassware. The creations being their enthusiasm and team work to create a Blue Lagoon within a closed jam jar (check out the photos, link at the bottom, to see what I’m on about!) plus a Heinz Bloody Mary using Heinz tomato soup, vodka, lemon and spice mix – served in the Heinz soup can. Innovative, and it worked! 31DOVER,the premium online drinks retailer, collaborated with BarChick, the best bar guide on the internet, to come up with a signature cocktail for the evening named The 31 Dover – gin, lemon juice, honey syrup and topped with Champagne.
One of the new kids on the scene, The Liquor Store, collaborated with well-known tequila brand Jose Cuervo Tradicional to create the Maria Pickford which involved the tequila, lime, maraschino, pomegranate syrup and topped with pineapple foam and cracked pepper. A fantastic blend of flavours, and one that used the worlds first tequila in the best way. Chase Marmalade were partners with Harvey Nichols Second Floor Bar to produce Harvey’s Marmalade Fizz. Using the ever popular marmalade vodka, Campari, lemon and lime juice as well as egg white, sugar, Seville marmalade and topped with soda, the serving of it all in a jam jar complete with a dried orange wheel created one of the more visually stunning cocktails of the evening. A look that complimented its name went to Mojo’s and their cocktail with tequila brand Calle 23. The Pink Chihuahua had the simple ingredients of a healthy dose of Calle 23, pomegranate juice, lime, orgeat and egg white, served in the classic coupette glass.
Visiting one of the bars on the outskirts of the city next in the form of Chorlton’s Proof and their collaboration with Lambs Navy Rum. Two cocktails available from these guys – Any Port in a Storm used Lambs Navy, port, ginger, sugar and lime juice whilst the Mutiny on the Bounty had Lambs Navy, dark chocolate liqueur, crème de cacao and cocoa cream complete with a piece of Bounty for the garnish. Next to them were fellow rum brand Flor de Cana and Sandinista. Going for a ‘rum connoisseurs choice of drink’, they came up with Fat Like Buddha – Flor de Cana 7yr, Antica Formula, Benedictine, Cointreau and maraschino liqueur. Venturing back on to the outskirts soon after, visiting Didsbury’s The Violet Hour and Dutch gin Sloane’s, with their two options – Summer Picnic (Sloane’s, elderflower, lemon, apple juice, marmalade and vanilla) or a more Traditional Cocktail using Sloane’s, curaçao, sugar, lemon and Angostura Bitters.
Another new kid in Neighbourhood partnered with Absolut Elyx to create a Lavender Cosmopolitan. Using pre-steeped lavender and sugar mix to the Absolut Elyx, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice created what Neighbourhood called ‘a seductive zingy Cosmo twist’. The use of Whitley Neil and The Whim Wham Cafe to create the African Sky caught the attention of many an enthusiast, mainly for the loud toots of owner Alix and his African horn (take that how you will) but also for their creation of a cocktail that looks literally like the African sunset. Created using Whitley Neil gin, Cointreau, marmalade syrup, cranberry juice, lime and Peychaud Bitters. Dry ice bellowed from the next bar as Apotheca teamed with Ketel One and made full use of their copper kettles. Creating the Citizen Kettle, they used a double healthy dose of Ketel One, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, white grape and Peychaud Bitters.
Northern Quarter guys Dusk til Pawn went with white grain spirit Bootlegger to create the aptly named One Old Boot. Using Bootlegger, whisky barrel bitters, sugar, marmalade and ginger, they created a stirred drink with a nod to the Prohibition styles. Cross back into Europe and Belvedere vodka created a twist on the Bramble with Epernay. Using Belvedere, poppy liquor, sugar and lemon, the short yet powerful drink set us up nicely for the trip across the corridor to the The Lord Mayor’s Parlour and three of Manchester’s tiki bars.
Starting with The Liars Club and El Dorado, they created a Liars Club Party Punch using ingredients such as El Dorado 5yr, Prosecco, apple and grapefruit juice, Yorkshire tea and sugar. It came complete with an El Dorado cake courtesy of rum lover North West Nosh! Keko Moko were up next partnering with Chairman’s Reserve to create The Keko Fizz – both Chairman’s Reserve and their Spiced variety as well as cloudy apple juice, egg white, lime, passion fruit liqueur and ting. Described as ‘definitely tiki’, the next and last bar of the evening, Hula, had its work cut out with Havana Seleccion de Maestros. Creating an El Presidente using Havana Club, sweet vermouth, Cointreau and grenadine, the classic went down way too easily.
The winners haven’t been announced yet, but I can tell you that it was no easy task to narrow it down for best cocktail, best bar and best personality. If you can, try each of the above cocktails at some point in the bars, they’re definitely worth a try and maybe you can decide for yourselves who you think should be the winners. While you at it, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for next year, a fantastic atmosphere is not to be missed!
The Nolet Distillery in Schiedam, Holland has been producing quality spirits for ten generations. ‘The who?’ I bet your asking. The Nolet Distillery is home to Ketel One vodka, a brand that you may see in many a bar in the UK and indeed the world, but from a country that predominantly creates genever, vodka isn’t its calling card. But Ketel One must be doing something good to be well-known that a drinks giant like Diageo would pick it up to continue its success. So what made it so attractive to them?
In 1691, a gentleman named Joannes Nolet founded a distillery in Schiedam, Holland after perfecting his unique distillation method. Four generations later, 1794 saw the distillery under the control of Jacobus Nolet. His family members built the Nolet Distillery windmill, known as ‘The Whale and in 1867, the family acquired an interest in shipping and began focusing on exporting its spirits. The turn of the Century saw the Nolet family open a distillery in Maryland, USA but later withdrew from the American market during Prohibition. However in 1983 they were back in the US with the launch of Ketel One by Carolus Nolet, Sr.
With the momentum created by the popularity of Ketel One in the US, Nolet Spirits USA was founded in 1991. It was during this year that Carl Nolet, Jr. made the decision to move to the United States, dedicating himself to the growth of the company. The new Millennium saw the release of its first flavoured vodka, Ketel One Citroen, and the next year saw sales annual sales reach 1,000,000 cases even though advertising was done by word-of-mouth. 2010 saw the next flavour come into force – Ketel One Oranje.
So with success mounting off word-of-mouth, how is something like this developed?
It all begins with the selection of European wheat that, once harvested, it is ground and blended with water to form a mash, then allowed to ferment. After fermentation, the mash goes through the column distillation process. A part of the wheat spirit is re-distilled in small batch copper pot stills, including the original coal-fired Distilleerketel #1 or Pot Still Number 1. After discarding the heads and tails of the pot still distillate, the remaining hearts, including those from Pot Still Number 1, are individually filtered to create a Master Pot Still Blend. The Master Distiller oversees the marrying of a portion of the Master Pot Still Blend, a portion of the ultra wheat spirit and water to create the final product. Each final production run is approved by a member of the Nolet family.
So how does this family owned brand fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on some of the range –
Ketel One – 40%
Slight citrus aromas on the nose leading to a smooth offering of wheat with a slight sweetness following. A developing hint of spice near the end creates a long, crisp finish.
Ketel One Citroen – 40%
A nose of fresh citrus aromas with a slight sweetness following. The freshness follows onto the palate with hints of honey dicing through the sharp finish.
As mentioned, there is also an orange variant to try too, but before you do, how about enjoying one of these –
Ketel One Old Fashioned
50ml Ketel One Vodka
1 sugar cube
Few dashes of orange bitters
Garnish with orange zest
Soak the sugar cube in the orange bitters and crush. Take a measure vodka and slowly add, while stirring so the dilution happens slowly. Add a little more ice as you are adding the vodka. Once the sugar has mostly dissolved garnish with the orange zest.
You won’t find many Old Fashioned cocktails with vodka as its base ingredient, but just give this one a go, and definitely one to make at home.
Toast your red carpet success with the newest cocktail in town from Wyld, W London – Leicester Square’s exclusive destination bar. The ‘Gold Narcissus’ cocktail, the club’s very own golden statue, will complete any look and celebrates the best of British film this season.
Created by Wyld cocktail connoisseur and mixologist Eric Le Pape, the show-stopping drink is a glittering combination of Pommery Champagne, Ketel One Citroen vodka, Limoncello, Crème d’abricot and Cherry Bitters. Peppered with flecks of gold, one for each star gracing the awards podium this year, the ‘Gold Narcissus’ contains accents of citrus and soft fruits for a fresh and sophisticated taste.
Topped off with champagne, the delicious bubbles long-associated with celebration, and finished with a lemon and cherry garnish, this cocktail is odds on favourite to take the top accolade this awards season.
With its stunning views of Leicester Square, the epicenter of the British film world, Wyld is giving guests the opportunity to make a red-carpet entrance and raise a golden glass to the best of British talent.
Last night was the final installment of the year in The Liquorists busy calendar, the seasonal spirits trail! Following the same concept of their Vodka trail last month, we were to be enjoying 5 different spirits, 5 different cocktails in 5 different bars accompanied by 5 different light bite appetizers. Sound daunting? Challenge accepted!
Starting the night in the 5* Lowry Hotel and The River Bar & Restaurant in Manchester’s Chapel Wharf, we gathered in the bar’s Library, a quietly tucked away part of the bar which is perfect for events like this. Barry, of Epernay fame, would be our host for the evening, and after a brief introduction, explained to us why we had a shot of Bacardi in front of us. Whilst guiding us through the history of this well know rum, Pear and Cinnamon Martini’s were handed out along with soft vanilla cheesecake. No sooner had we finished the lychee in the bottom of the glass, we were hopping into a taxi to our next venue, Apotheca.
Southern Comfort was the choice of spirit and one of my personal favourites dating back to my teenage years! Making our way to their basement bar with some fantastic canvases of the Manchester skyline, we enjoyed a shot of Southern Comfort with pieces of 80% dark cocoa that blended well, but became truly amazing with the cocktail ‘Southern Jam’, made with apricot jam, lemon juice, Chinese five-spice, cranberry juice and a double helping of Southern Comfort.
24 Bar & Grill was the next port of call, with this stunning conversion of the previous namesake Obsidian, offering us the Dutch Ketel One Citron vodka to sip while their Christmas offering ‘Long Winters Night’ were being hand crafted for our pleasure. Lemon, cinnamon sugar syrup, cherry Cognac, Amaretto, sweet Vermouth and a dash of Bitters created a rather long and refreshing cocktail, all whilst munching on mince pies. From Barry’s homeland of Holland, to Cuba, Havana and their Barrell Proof was next to showcase themselves at Sandinista, with a Christmas classic Eggnog cocktail being served (mixed spice, cream, Havana Barrell Proof, sugar) while we munched on roasted chestnuts. All that was missing was a roaring fire!
Our last bar for the night was in one of Manchester’s pop-up bars and venue to the winter ice-rink, The Moose Bar. The French orange liqueur Grand Marnier was sipped, while Grand Tommy cocktails were brought over to us amid pea and ham soup, ham hock terrine, pheasant and beef stew and sausage, crouton and cheese fondue.
A great night was had, with a round of applause given to Barry by all in attendance. And it truly was. My friend came with me last night as a fan from the last trail, and he’s now raring to go back to all 5 bars again, with The Moose Bar and Sandinista his highlights. As for me, I’m already looking forward to January as The Liquorists announced their rum trails, with bars including Keko Moku, Hula, MOJO Rhum Room, The Liars Club and Sandinista on offer!
Check out The Liquorist’s website and Facebook page for more information and tickets.
Click on my Links page for links to all the bars and brands mentioned in this article