Premium Vodka line NEFT, challenged seven Chilled 100 bartenders from Texas and Florida to create dynamic cocktails.
Each bartender was gifted a NEFT barrel of their choosing – white, black, or the now permanent Pride barrel. The content of each barrel is the same high-quality vodka, but the brand has added the new container to their permanent rotation after its initial (and continued) popularity. Not only is the unique container more sustainable than glass or plastic alternatives, it helps protect the spirit and keeps it cold for up to six hours.
We caught up with the four bartenders from Texas to check out their cocktails, and what inspired them.
Austin, Texas – South Austin Beer Garden
“Heavenly View’s inspiration begins with my Mom. I was honored to be chosen to represent Austin, TX. When I saw the three different NEFT Ultra-premium Vodka barrels to choose from the pride barrel jumped out at me. My mom being my teacher, my support and my rock has helped me to develop my love for music and going to shows. The most noteworthy was our road trip to Dallas, TX to see Coldplay perform back in August 2016. Music has been something we have always bonded over and she was the one to introduce me to this great band we now both love. She just turned 65 years old, and I recently had the opportunity to surprise her on an impromptu road trip at her home in Goodyear, Arizona.
We don’t get to see each other much due to the distance, and the pandemic we have been facing has really disrupted travel and seeing family for all of us. It made me extremely happy to be there on a milestone in her life as she has always been there for me and has always shown me so much love. A turning point happened when I got back home to Austin, Texas when I received a phone call from her letting me know she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This hit me hard as it hits everyone hard; cancer at any stage of life is difficult, and even more so with all the challenges we all face at this time in the world. So, when I was asked to create a cocktail with NEFT Ultra-Premium vodka my mom was my sole inspiration.
My cocktail is pink to help promote breast cancer awareness. Thanks to a common inspirational bond which we both have through our love for Coldplay I wanted it to be viewed upon as I view her. One of our favorite songs from this band, Sky Full of Stars popped straight into my head as it was one of the last songs played at the last concert we were at together. It was followed by Up & Up, which is fitting as that’s where we have to go from here. Thank you NEFT Ultra-Premium Vodka, Chilled Magazine, the band Coldplay, and most importantly my Mom for inspiring me to bring this cocktail to life for you. Please enjoy responsibly and remember wherever you are there is a sky full of stars, and you are the Heavenly View.”
- 1 1/2 oz. NEFT Ultra-Premium Vodka
- 1/2 oz. Aperol Aperitivo
- 1/2 oz. Bénédictine liqueur
- 3 dashes of Angostura Cocoa Bitters
- Topped with a Strawberry Lavender Lemon Foam*, and a toasted Lavender spritz**
Preparation: In a chilled coupe fill it about half-way full with Strawberry Lavender Lemon foam. Combine NEFT Ultra-premium Vodka, Aperol, Bénédictine, and Cocoa bitters, in a mixing tin then vigorously shake. Double strain into from filled coupe and watch as the foam rises. Fill any holes left for the pour with additional needed foam. Express the atomizer through an open flame over the cocktail.
*Strawberry Lavender Lemon foam
- 1 cup Fresh Finely cut Strawberries
- 4 oz. Water
- 4 oz. Sugar
Preparation: Heat strawberries with water, and sugar at 180 degrees for approximately 6 minutes. Add dried Lavender and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Fine strain and cool the syrup.
- 6 egg white parts
- 4 oz. Strawberry Lavender syrup
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz. water
Preparation: Add all ingredients, shake, double charge, then chill.
**Toasted Lavender Spritz
Fill an atomizer with any high proof spirit on your choice and lavender bitters at 4:1 ration, spirit to bitters.
BIO: Nicki Petry has been a Chilled 100 ambassador since 2016, but his experience behind the bar has truly surpassed that. He has lived in multiple cities in North America including Laramie, WY, Las Vegas, NV, Seattle, WA and currently resides in Austin, Tx. Throughout his career in the bar world, he has had many great opportunities to be trained by some of the best bartenders and work at some of the greatest bars and restaurants. His drive for knowledge in the spirits industry has lead him to compete in many cocktail competitions, attain many certifications, and most importantly create lasting friendships throughout the many places he has lived and worked.
He was most recently behind the bar as a Bar Manager at South Austin Beer Garden since before their opening in 2019. He is now helping to consult on new and reopening bars while assisting with Covid-19 vaccinations to help us battle this pandemic. Once this pandemic is over, he looks to jump back behind the bar to serve up some new and refreshing cocktails and tell you all his quarantine cocktail wins and near misses. He would like to thank everyone that has helped him along the way to be the bartender he is and looks forward to seeing you across the bar very soon. Cheers!
Fernanada ‘Cubby’ Rossano
Dallas, Texas – Nickel City (Ft. Worth)
“During this pandemic I played A LOT of video games, with all my out of work friends. Then there were canceled trips. All I wanted was an escape, and really just day-dreamed about what an epic time I’ll have soon enough. Until then I’ll crush this cocktail and take myself there.”
Electric Wave 🌊
- 1 1/4 oz. NEFT Vodka
- 1/4 oz. Blue Curaçao
- Tbsp Passion Fruit Syrup
- 1 oz. Orgeat
- 3/4 oz. Lemon juice
*Passion Fruit Syrup
Equal parts (Goya) passion fruit purée, and (1:1) simple syrup
Houston, Texas – Three Lumps of Sugar
“This martini is inspired by a walk through the spring garden. Dill is very abundant and grows wild. Young onions are very pungent in the air. The smell is so strong you get the slightest taste of them in your mouth. I love savory martinis. I think they can be well balanced and a perfect pairing with foods.”
Lemon Dill Martini
- 1 1/2 oz. of NEFT Vodka
- 1/2 oz. of dry vermouth
- 1/2 oz. onion brine
- dash of lemon dill seasoning
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake until chilled. Double strain into coupe, garnish with lemon dill rubbed onions and dill.
BIO: LaShan is the selmelier (master of salt) and head bartender at Three Lumps of Sugar. They hand craft artisan sugars, salts, botanicals, and mixers for cocktails. As a former chef she brought her love of flavor profiles as she moved from the kitchen to the bar. Her ultimate goal is to enhance her customer’s cocktail experience.
Trinh Quan Huy-Philip
San Antonio, Texas – Vietmix
“When talking about vodka, it made me think about one person; that’s Wasikowska who gained worldwide recognition in 2010 after starring as Alice. The drink named Lassie Land was inspired by the movie “Alice in Wonderland”.”
- 1 1/2 oz. NEFT Vodka
- 3/4 oz. Fragola wild strawberry liqueur
- 1/2 oz. White Peach puree (Ravifruit)
- 3/4 oz. Lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. Orgeat syrup
- Mist with Absinthe on top
Preparation: Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass and shake with ice. Strain into a copper mug and filled with crushed ice. Garnish with slice of lemon and sprig of mints. Misty absinthe on top of the drink and serve with a straw.
BIO: Trinh Quan Huy-Philip started out as server at Chu Bar in Saigon-Vietnam, and it was there the mixology bug first bit. Captivated by the creativity and customer interaction involved in the role, he moved to the local hotel Sedona Suites at the age of 20 and enrolled in a bartending school. After qualifying, Huy-Philip stirred and shook his way through a number of the country’s notable cocktail bars, including luxury hotel Park Hyatt Saigon, where he gained the confidence to begin entering competitions across the globe.
Wherever he goes, he always shows his appreciation to those who are his mentors. This year is the anniversary of 10 years since Huy Philip left his country in Vietnam and travelled to Europe and then the United Stated just for bartending (Vietnam Travelling Mixologist 2011-2021). 2021 also marks his 20th year in the hospitality industry, building himself up from his first role as a waiter back in 2001.