This past weekend at the world's biggest bartender competition, Ketel One unveiled some possibilities that could make the drinks world a more sustainable and better place. While the world is catching on to sustainable straws, the family-made vodka company believes there's much more the drinks industry can do.
At the World Class competition, hosted in Berlin, a bar made from reclaimed wood and recycled furniture; chairs made from repurposed plastic bottles, old DVDs and scrapped mobile phones once destined for landfill; tables made from pressed yogurt pots; and a Ketel One Bloody Mary made with locally sourced ingredients encouraged people and bartenders to think about how preparing their drink can help them do better.
Ketel One said it aims to inspire bartenders around the world to rethink the recipes of their most popular drinks to have a more positive impact on their communities. Espresso martinis, Bloody Marys, Vodka and sodas and Dutch Mules are all reimagined using reduced waste, natural ingredients and locally sourced garnishes to enhance their flavors.
The move reflects a wider shift in culture that has seen people drinking less but drinking better, seeking out brands that are sustainable or endeavoring to have a positive impact on the world around them.
"Cultural consciousness has been at the heart of Ketel One, that's why we decided to help inspire bartenders and bars around the world about how they can offer an even better drinking experience," he added
Bob Nolet, the 11th generation of the Nolet family—the creators of Ketel One—explained why he is so passionate about inspiring bartenders and bars on this movement.
"My family has been distilling spirit since 1691, and from that moment, we have always sought the perfect balance between a commitment to taste, a commitment to bartenders and a commitment to the world around us,” he said in a statement. "We built the world's largest windmill to help power our distillery, and our family still tastes and approves every batch of vodka before it leaves our distillery to ensure the highest quality standards. We want to encourage bartenders to have the same attitude: always deliver the best drinks they can while also having a positive impact on their communities—this is what motivates me and my family every day."
"Pentatonic collaborates with consumer brands worldwide. Whether it's consumer electronics, fashion or automotive, shifting to a circular model that avoids waste and reutilizes post-consumer materials is a high priority for all forward-thinking consumer brands,” said Johann Bödecker, Pentatonic founder and CEO, who helped co-create the Ketel One sustainable bar, in a statement.
"Together with our brand partners, we are making real progress by changing materials, processes and most importantly habits,” added Bödecker. “Working with Ketel One to do just that has been brilliant. The drinks industry is growing fast, and if we can take a lead in showing other industries how to turn waste into something that improves customer experiences and business practices, then we're starting to make a difference."