Introduction to Ketel One Vodka
Nolet Distillery is the business behind the name of Ketel One Vodka, operating out of Schiedam, Holland since 1691. Over 300 years ago, the company got its start by producing a type of Dutch gin called “jenever,” soon after its invention.
This is significant because the Nolet family’s experience with making the hard alcohol is similar to that of Ciroc’s. Specifically, Ketel One is made differently from other vodkas in that it is distilled using pot stills rather than column stills, which are the distillation devices of choice for the majority of distilleries of this spirit. And the connection to Ciroc? Well, Ketel One is heavily marketed as being different for being produced like a gin, just as Ciroc is marketed as an outsider for using grapes instead of the usual (wheat or potatoes) for producing its vodka.
As with Ciroc, the creators of the drink promise that this makes it smoother and tastier on the rocks than other vodkas, but this claim is highly debatable. At the end of the day, many people would still say that all vodkas are similar and their greatest strength is the subtle taste that allows them to be mixed more easily.
Ketel One Vodka Prices
Ketel One Vodka
Ketel One 325th Nolet Anniversary
Ketel One Citroen
Ketel One Oranje
Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit and Rose
Ketel One Botanical Cucumber and Mint
Ketel One Botanical Peach and Orange Blossom
The Original Ketel One Vodka
The purportedly smooth finish will cost you significantly more than rougher drinks, with the liter tending to go for at least $30.00. This is comparable in price to the 750 mL bottle of high-end vodkas like Ciroc or Grey Goose. Consumers often consider the quality to be similar to these premium brands, however, and the vodka enjoys the second-strongest level of loyalty among vodka labels, coming second only to Grey Goose.
Still, Ketel One is a far cry from popular discount brands which go for less than $10.00 for the liter. It’s even far removed from recognizable brands of medium-expense like Smirnoff and New Amsterdam. Ketel One seems to occupy a level of its own, and its success may partially hinge on its image of offering a higher standard of taste than economy vodkas at a better price than other luxury Western European offerings.
Flavored Ketel One Vodkas
The upper management in the Ketel One family is reportedly very resistant to change, only adding two new flavors of vodka between 2000 and 2010 despite the growing market for fruit-flavored offerings. Today, they have an orange flavor and a lemon flavor, dubbed “Oranje” and “Citroen” respectively.
These two vodkas are priced at the same mark of about $20.00 a bottle, which is a standard price for the non-budget flavored vodkas. While your interest in these Ketel One offerings may depend on your taste, the flavors are quite standard, with scores of companies offering the same. If you want to get your orange fix for a lower price, brands like Smirnoff or Sobieski offer the same flavors and alcohol content for almost half the price.
Ketel One shocked the vodka world in 2018 when it introduced its “botanical line” which was marketed as a diet vodka. In reality, there is not much difference between this line and any other flavored vodka line, except that the distillation technique is slightly different, but the Nolets and their new business partner, British alcohol giant Diageo, highlighted the fact that such vodkas have fewer calories than regular vodka.
Of course, they do not mention that the calories in vodka come from alcohol. It follows that most flavored vodkas, having less alcohol and being granted flavor through extracts and flavoring, will have fewer calories than plain vodka.
While the marketing move was intelligent, it appears that the associates are using the labels for more recognition rather than to increase prices, as the botanical line tends to cost no more than the regular Ketel One flavored vodkas at around $20.00 per 750 mL.
Ketle One Botanical Vodka Flavors
The distillery offers three distinct botanical flavors. The first is Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint which is crisp and refreshing with a delicate mint finish. Next is Ketel One Botanical Peach and Orange Blossom which bursts with lush and juicy white peaches followed by floral aromas of fragrant orange blossom. Their third and final of the botanical lineup is Grapefruit & Rose infused with zippy, mouthwatering, ruby red grapefruit and delicate rose petals.
The company does not put out many new products, but in 2015 they released a special commemorative edition of their vodka. This vodka is more expensive than the plain variety, but this is because it comes in a better bottle.
The bottle is filled with regular vodka, so it is more of a collector’s item than anything else.
Common Recipes: What to Mix With Ketel One Vodka
Many vodka recipes involve the use of citrus fruits or cranberry juice, which are better at masking the taste of hard alcohol than most others. But here’s one for the apple lovers. Mix the following in a shaker filled with ice and make sure to serve cold:
If you’re trying to make it look good, you can also garnish it with a bit of real apple.
Again, this is an original twist for a vodka, as the central ingredient here is tomato juice rather than lemons or cranberries. Mix the below ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker:
For the adventurous, this cocktail is also often made with some hot sauce. This can be added to taste, depending on your particular taste for the spicy stuff. Some variants also call for the use of Worcestershire Sauce, which can give it a slightly meaty taste.