Premium vodka brand, Ketel One, celebrated King’s Day (the biggest day in the Dutch calendar) by launching The Ketel One Vodka Kitchen at The Folly. This saw an area of the venue transformed into a traditional Dutch kitchen, decorated with ceramic tiles depicting windmills and made to house a large rectangle table, laden with all manner of ingredients. Our inauguration into the space came from David Beatty – UK Brand Ambassador for Ketel One – who welcomed us to “his kitchen” with a bespoke Bloody Mary Masterclass.
David guided us through a brief history of Ketel One: it’s heritage at the hands of distilling family the Nolets; the copper stills that gave it its oily texture and full mouthfeel; and how it has become well-known in the spirit world for having a distinct personality all of its own which made it a great base for cocktails. We were then taken through the stages of what makes a Bloody Mary. David surprised us all by stating that similar drinks could be made using mixes that differed from the expected tomato juice, presenting us instead with a cucumber base, an apples and pears one, and a bold beetroot mix. We were instructed on which blends paired well with which citric acids (derived from the use of fresh oranges, limes or lemons) before being encouraged to “make a mess” as we selected from an array of spices to create our own bespoke cocktails.
The results were varying in their success but David tried each one, giving us his valued opinion and remarking on how in each, the fresh, crisp yet full profile of the Ketel One provided the perfect base. Whilst not all of our creations were a success, the experience was fantastic fun and we were able to console our palates with The Folly’s Ketel One menu of classic spicy Bloody Marys, balsamic spiked Tomatinis, and the overly sweet yet fresh Mary’s Apples & Pears.
Ketel One Vodka Kitchen Masterclasses at The Folly are available in bookable forty minute sessions, running on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm until late. At weekends, the Ketel One Vodka Kitchen will offer the ultimate brunch experience for cocktail lovers. Guests can enjoy a full Bloody Mary Masterclass and choose from the selection of new brunch dishes ranging from avocado on sourdough with chilli and poached egg, to blueberry pancakes with lashings of maple syrup, all to be enjoyed in true Dutch style around the kitchen table.
Bloody Mary Masterclasses (from £20 for two cocktails, £25 for three cocktails) and Weekend Brunch Experiences (from £15) are available to book through The Folly.
Vicky Ilankovan – Lifestyle Editor