Following successful launches in the US and Europe, Diageo has debuted Ketel One Botanical in Australia.
Crafted by 11th generation family distillers Carl Nolet Jr and Bob Nolet, the product has a lower ABV of 30%, with no artificial flavours, and contains 50 calories per serve.
It’s available in three varietals: Peach & Orange Blossom, Cucumber & Mint, and Grapefruit & Rose.
Bob Nolet (below) was on hand for its Australian launch and spoke to Drinks Trade about the passion that went into creating the product.
Can you explain how the product differs from flavoured vodka?
We are so proud of this revolutionary new product. It is not a flavoured vodka, it’s a new category inspired by the rise in popularity of summery cocktails and spritz-style drinks, Ketel One Botanical is best placed to truly meet the needs of the conscious and mindful consumer.
All varietals have their unique personality and a delicious light taste which comes from the distillation process with natural botanicals and also the beautifully infused natural fruit essences.
The biggest difference between Ketel One Botanical and flavoured vodkas is the innovative distillation of natural botanicals with the vodka, which delivers a fresh, natural, delicious taste.”
How has it been selling around the world?
We started selling Ketel One Botanical in the US in May last year followed by the UK and Netherlands, and we’ve seen unbelievable success so far. Surprisingly, 60% of our total sales have come from ‘non-spirit drinkers’.
Is the low-alcohol trend something you’re seeing as continuing globally?
Every day people are becoming more aware of how they treat their bodies, evaluating ingredients and asking important questions about how the ingredients in their food and beverages are sourced.
This shift into balanced living isn’t a trend – it’s a movement, creating an opportunity to create Ketel One Botanical.
With over 327 years of distilling expertise, passed down for 11 generations in the small town of Schiedam, Holland, myself and my brother set out to create a drink that would honour the cultural movement towards conscious and mindful living, while delivering the same great quality as Ketel One Vodka.
Ketel One Botanical, a spirit-based drink distilled with botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences created to meet the cultural shift towards people living well and with balance.
How is it competing against other new entrants to the market such as seltzer?
The Ketel One Botanical series is a new offering created for a growing segment of consumers seeking drinking alternatives. While anyone of legal drinking age is welcome to enjoy Ketel One Botanical, the Botanical series will have a specific appeal for consumers looking for alternatives to Prosecco, wine and high-calorie cocktails.
I believe what my brother Carl and I have created with Ketel One Botanical mixed with soda water is a delicious alternative to white wine.
How has the on-premise reacted to the drink?
We have always considered talented bartenders all over the world to be part of our ‘family.’ As gatekeepers of the Ketel One brand, bartenders are vital in building Ketel One Botanical. Bartenders who have tasted Ketel One Botanical are excited about the uniqueness of the liquid, it’s refreshing taste and mixability. We hope to continue to learn from the bartending community as there is great value in their knowledge and expertise.
In addition, we’re pleased to have teamed up with two of Australia’s most iconic summertime on-premise destinations to mark the launch of Ketel One Botanical.
In Bondi, the Icebergs Terrace has been transformed into the Icebergs Terrace x Ketel One Botanical, a beautiful oasis.
The Icebergs Terrace x Ketel One Botanical, is serving each Ketel One Botanical varietal as part of a spritz menu. Guests can enjoy Ketel One Botanical topped with soda from the unique soda range Icebergs has created especially for the Terrace.
In addition, in Melbourne, it will take-over Melbourne’s go-to summer destination, Arbory Afloat, creating a lush oasis on the venue’s upper deck to celebrate the launch.
Are there new flavours in the pipeline?
No, we’ve seen equal popularity across all three varietals – each have performed better than we could have expected so there’s no need!
The Icebergs Terrace x Ketel One Botanical will be open every day 12.30pm to 8pm until the end of March, and 12.30pm – 6pm, on Saturday and Sunday from April 2020 onwards.
In Melbourne, Ketel One Botanical Arbory Afloat will be open daily from 11am – 1am, 21 November until 23 February 2020.
Ketel One Botanical (30% ABV) is available now at local liquor retailers for a suggested retail price of price of $52.00 per 750ml bottle.