Bob Nolet, the 11th-generation master distiller behind the most trending vodka in the world for 2015, Ketel One, will be in South Africa to demystify common misconceptions around vodka while the "Bloody Mary Revolution" comes alive at the World Class House at Roodebloem Studios, Cape Town, from August 28 to September 5. Read about Ketel One's recent launch in South Africa HERE.
Visitors to the World Class House will be taken on a tour of the Bloody Mary in an intimate setting, exploring and redefining the individual building blocks of the iconic cocktail, which is experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the US, Australia and many countries in Europe. Growing year-on-year by 17%, the Bloody Mary is now among the top 10 most ordered cocktails in the world.
More and more, cocktail aficionados are realising that tomato juice is no longer the final word on the Bloody Mary. In turn, Ketel One is investigating alternative ingredients in order to establish a wider set of flavour combinations, appealing to more palates – everything from orange for the citrus to a combination of lettuce, cucumber and celery for the body, to a little chilli and ginger for the spice.
The World Class House will serve as centre piece to the World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals, taking place in Johannesburg and Cape Town from August 31 to September 4. The competition marks a high point on the luxury drinking calendar and the House presents a gathering of global icons and authorities from the sphere of fine spirits under one roof for 10 days.
During World Class, Ketel One's master distiller, Bob Nolet, will address the global mixology community as he delves into the four Fs of vodka – fragrance, flavour, feel and finish - while demystifying myths around the spirit.
There are a number of common misconceptions around vodka – that it is only made from potatoes, that vodka has no taste and that it needs to be distilled hundreds of times, among others. As an expert in the spirit, Bob Nolet will dispel these myths to media and industry experts.
With the Nolets having produced quality spirits in the family distillery in Schiedam, Holland, for over 300 years, the concept of family lies at the very core of Ketel One's philosophy
"Family is more than just a name – it's a group of people who share a passion. Ketel One is passionate about investing in a global community, building lasting relationships and facilitating conversations around the art of craftsmanship," says Bob Nolet.
This dedication to community has inspired Ketel One to support Diageo's global Learning for Life programme in South Africa and around the world. Learning for Life is an innovative strategy that represents Diageo's commitment to offering promising talent the chance to reach their full potential and enhance their employment opportunities through training and education in the bartending profession, linking them with the world's best bartenders through the World Class platform in the process.
Indeed, bartenders are one of strongest pillars of Ketel One's success – they are the individuals whose talent and dedication is vital to the brand's prosperity by bringing the liquid to life in unique and engaging ways. This has, in turn, opened a conversation with bartenders and created a forum for them to share ideas and evolve as individuals while advancing the art of cocktail making.
"Bartenders tend to be a brand's biggest critics. My father understood this and spent time travelling around the United States speaking to bartenders and hearing their stories. We know that Ketel One relies on these masters of the craft to prosper. Even our bottle reflects this idea – the bottleneck is longer to better fit a bartender's hand," says Bob Nolet.
To further this commitment, Ketel One will be running a special concierge service during the World Class competition. The service provides a flexible space that caters to a bartender's every need 24 hours a day – from a common spice to the most specific fresh garnish – and is staffed by an expert mixologist and four support staff to assist the contestants prepare for the competition's challenges.