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Ketel One Oranje Vodka

Ketel One Oranje Vodka


By Robert Plotkin

Orange is the preeminent and bestselling flavor of vodka in the U.S. Popular as it may be, crafting a genuinely sensational orange vodka is far from easy as evidenced by the large throng of spectacularly mediocre orange-flavored vodkas on the market. Distilling a spirit such that it tastes like succulent sun-ripened fruit devoid of any artificial flavors or off aftertaste is rare indeed. For a nation that adores lip-smacking flavor, Dutch import Ketel One Oranje Vodka is a breathe of fresh air, a classy example of how absolutely marvelous a vodka can be.

The super-premium brand is made at the Nolet Distillery in Schiedam, Holland. Its underlying foundation is famed Ketel One Vodka, which is triple-distilled from select wheat and finished in centuries old, alembic copper pot stills. The all-natural flavoring is derived from Italian Mandarin oranges and Valencia oranges from Florida and Brazil. Artisanal extraction methods are used to obtain the highest concentration of essential oils, which are refined and skillfully blended together at a specialized flavor house in Grasse, France.

The orange essence is then returned to the Nolet Distillery where it's slowly infused into the vodka. It is an elaborate, labor-intensive process, but crucial to producing Oranje's true-to-fruit flavor. As is the case with all Ketel One Vodkas, a member of the Nolet family tastes and approves every batch before it's bottled.

Handcrafted Ketel One Oranje—pronounced "Oh-RON-yah" in Dutch—is an elegant treat for the senses. The vodka has pristine clarity, a gloriously round, oily textured body and a wafting, zesty orange bouquet. Its delectable palate fills the mouth with waves of crisp, fresh and slightly spicy flavors. The vibrant orange notes persist throughout the lingering finish. Like Ketel One Citroen before it, Oranje is an 80-proof franchise in the making.

In the hands of a skilled mixologist, Ketel One Oranje is a creative tour de force. Although loaded with drink making applications, the vodka deserves to first be sipped neat, if for no other reason than to fully appreciate its refreshing, ultra-sophisticated character.