In an exclusive interview with Cheddar, Ketel One Botanicals announced the launch of the company's new Vodka Spritz canned cocktails.
"The opportunity that we're seeking here today, and that we're seeing, is a big gap in the ready-to-drink category," Carl Nolet Jr., an 11th generation distiller, said. "The ready-to-drink category is fantastic. It is blowing up. It is incredible. But nobody has created a [ready-to-drink] bar-worthy cocktail."
The spritz enters a market full of canned competitors. Hard seltzers are still seeing a massive amount of popularity, even during stay-at-home orders. When it comes to picking up a spritz over a hard seltzer, Carl's younger brother Bob Nolet, another 11th generation distiller, doesn't think they'll have a hard time convincing customers. He believes the family-run company's 329-year history of creating spirits will be the ticket. "That's where it starts."
"We're missing our bars and our restaurants. It is something that none of us have ever experienced in our lifetime," Nolet Jr. said. "But what we have created here is that time when you go to the beach, when you have a picnic, when you want to be with friends and yes six feet apart, etc. This is the perfect opportunity to relive that experience."
Nolet Jr. added that this beverage answers a question that's definitely been asked amid pandemic-related closures.
"Why does it taste so much better when you're in a bar than when you make it at home?" he posed. "We have really studied the drink and in this can right here... When you open it up, the incredible bubbles in there, everything, the taste profile is so unique and different."
The Nolets also contend that the vodka spritz option will appeal to health-conscious consumers. The beverage is 73 calories and contains no carbs, no added sugar, no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and is made from 100 percent non-GMO grain.
"Everyone is looking for less calorie intake," Nolet Jr. said, laughing, "Including for myself. My wife is after me every single day about my intake so I'm happy we have this."
The drinks will be available in three flavors: Peach & Orange Blossom, Cucumber & Mint, and Grapefruit & Rose. The Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritz launches on September 1 in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, and Illinois.