Austrian based NEFT Vodka Challenged seven Chilled 100 bartenders from Florida and Texas to create a unique cocktail after choosing their favorite NEFT barrel.
Austrian based Vodka producer, NEFT, recently challenged seven Chilled 100 Bartenders in two markets to create cocktails with their premium vodka. Made from four ancient grains of rye and water drawn from the Rhaetian Alps, NEFT is crafted slowly to ensure it’s always the best possible quality. Recently, the brand announced that its limited edition Pride can will be a permanent addition to the collection. Each bartender in the challenge choose the container that best spoke to them and their aesthetic and then crafted a totally unique cocktail.
We caught up with the three bartenders from Florida to check out their cocktails, and what inspired them.
Palm Beach County, FL – Tiki ‘Ono
“The reason I chose the Pride Barrel is because of each of the colors of the pride flag stood out to me and my life. Red is for Life, Orange is for healing, Yellow is Sunlight, Green is Nature, Blue is Harmony and Violet is Spirit. I am a very spiritual person and one with nature. I take pride in who I am today because of situations I have conquered and overcome. To this day I am confident in my own skin. I chose the pride barrel because one color stood out to me and that was Red. Red symbolizes action, strength, energy, and passion as well as courage, desire, and confidence. Since I was 7, I have overcome abuse, bullying, and addiction, and for that I take pride in who I am and am proud to be where I am at today. I have lost a lot of loved ones in the past, and for them I am strong and will always continue to keep going in life
What I loved about mixing with NEFT was how it’s served from a metal drum. It’s not in a glass bottle and it protects the vodka from the heat. It was very fun playing around with the vodka while creating drinks, because I got a little hint of sweet vanilla and it was so smooth like no other vodka I have tasted before. Each time I created a cocktail, it mixed so well with other juices, liquors, and puree’s.”
“The Tell-Tale Heart”
- 1 oz. NEFT Pride Barrel vodka
- 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
- 1 oz. Watermelon Juice
- 1/2 oz. Strawberry Puree
- 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1 oz. Ginger Beer
Garnished with a Strawberry and Watermelon
Preparation: Shake first 5 ingredients with ice, double strain over fresh ice in collins glass. Top with ginger beer.
Miami, Florida – Blue Ribbon Sushi
“I picked the white barrel because it reminded me of Florida- light bright and clean. I liked mixing with NEFT as it played nicely with the complex flavors that I used in this cocktail. My inspiration for this cocktail is what I like to drink after work. I live in Miami and there’s delicious mango and pineapple everywhere- they’re also two of my favorite fruits. I love light refreshing cocktails, especially if it involves sparkling wine. This cocktail represents where I am physically (Florida) and mentally in life. I like easy drinking, delicious cocktails chock full of my favorite flavors for a some night time after work relaxation.”
- 2 oz. NEFT vodka
- 1/2 oz. aperol
- 1 oz. Mango, blended*
- 1 oz. grilled pineapple, blended**
- 1/2 oz. vanilla cinnamon simple syrup
- 1/2 oz. Meyer lemon juice
- Fill with 2 oz. dry rose sparkling wine
Preparation: Put everything but the sparkling into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Fill with sparkling wine. Garnish with dehydrated mango.
*Fresh or frozen mango:
Simply blended in blender.
Cut spears from fresh pineapple. Very Lightly brush with olive oil. Grill over medium heat 6-8 minutes per side until nicely charred with good color. Blend in blender.
***For vanilla cinnamon syrup:
1 cup sugar to 1 cup water. Add 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 1 cinnamon stick, the insides of one vanilla bean plus the vanilla pod to mix. Bring to a boil and then slow to a simmer for 8 minutes. Strain with fine strainer. Let cool and use as needed.
Miami, Florida – Beaker and Gray
“What I liked about mixing with NEFT is its versatility in cocktails. Most people think vodka is just some odorless spirit with no flavor but NEFT shows completely otherwise. The vodka really stands out and brings a bold flavor to the cocktail. As for the barrel I chose, when I had to choose between black and white (and pride), I think the white barrel represents the daytime and the cocktail I made is a daytime style cocktail. Refreshing & light. If I would’ve gone into a more spirit forward, robust cocktail then I think the black barrel would’ve matched it more. Flavors are perceived by color a lot of times.
NEFT Vodka is not only a premium spirit that was founded upon the premise of using the highest quality of ingredients, but they are also a company that has a high focus on sustainability, something that I’ve recently taken into account when creating cocktails. I wanted to build a refreshing cocktail that is all about sustainability. Nothing in this cocktail goes to waste. I’m using the citrus stock recipe from Trash Tiki, using the extra lime husks from limes after juicing them, I made a citrus stock to add more complexity to the cocktail and blended it equal parts with fresh lime juice to make Stuice! As for the garnish aspect, after straining out the raspberries I used to make a syrup, I lay them flat on a sheet and leave them to dehydrate overnight. What’s left is a really cool raspberry fruit roll up candy! Cheers!”
From Husk Til Dawn
- 2 oz. NEFT Vodka
- 1 oz. Stuice (Equal parts lime juice & citrus stock*)
- 3/4 oz. Raspberry Syrup**
- 2 oz. Ginger Beer
Preparation: Shake all ingredients minus ginger beer in a tin & strain over fresh crushed ice in a Collins glass. Top with soda water & garnish with raspberry fruit roll up.
*Trash Tiki Citrus stock
- 51 oz. Water
- 2 1/5 lb. Citrus husks (halved and juiced)
- 1 Large strainer (such as Superbag or chinois)
- 33/100 cup White sugar
- Citric acid*
- Malic acid*
Preparation: Add the water and husks to a large pot and let boil for 5 minutes. Remove the husks (your stock will go bitter if you leave any longer), giving a quick squeeze back into the mixture as you pull them out. Remove the liquid from heat quickly and measure. (Accounting for some loss in heat evaporation and absorption from the husks, it should be 44 fluid oz, give or take). Place back on high heat until liquid is reduced by 50 percent, then add the sugar. Add the citric and malic acid according to ratio based on citrus type.*. Remove from heat, filter, bottle and refrigerate.
*Acid ratios by based on citrus varieties
Lemon and lime: 3% citric, 2% malic
Orange and grapefruit: 2% citric, 1% malic
Mandarin, etc.: 1% citric, 2% malic.