ML - Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue - 2015 - Issue 8 - Winter - Sandra Lee

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 97 of 147

photography by gino van Meenen (faMily); Kent Miller (cocKtail) ingredients: 1 1 oz. Ketel One vodka 1 bar spoon apricot jam 1 oz. lemon juice 1 oz. cinnamon syrup Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Fill a rocks glass with ice and double-strain the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with a cracked sprig of mint. ToasTing Tr adiTion As the Nolet fAmily celebrAtes 325 yeArs of distilliNg some of the world's fiNest spirits, iNcludiNg etel One VodkA, they're keepiNg their feet plANted iN fAmily trAditioN—ANd their eyes squArely oN the future. by matt stewart Today the Nolet family, headed by Carolus "Carl" Sr. and his sons, Carl Jr. and Bob, is known internationally as the maker of the enormously popular vodka Ketel One. But Ketel One is just the tip of the iceberg for this family business, which for 11 generations has been distilling fine spirits in the Dutch town of Schiedam, adjacent to the port city of Rotterdam. Founded in 1230, Schiedam was already a major spirits center (known mainly for Jenever or "Holland gin") when Joanness Nolet established his distillery there in 1691. The family has spent more than three centuries building the business, turning it into a leading player in the global spirits market, with distribution in over 90 countries. "The very defini- tion of craft is something we have been doing for hundreds of years," says Carl Jr., "though, at 325 [years old], we are a relative newcomer in Schiedam." The Dutch are a resilient people who have created a thriving culture and economy on land reclaimed from the sea. The Nolet family embodies this spirit, as they have faced countless challenges over the years and relied on hard work and innovation to succeed. The political instability that gripped Europe at the end of the 18th century, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, tested the business. In the mid-19th century, the development of the column still allowed for increased production of purer neutral spirits, leading to a price war that wiped out many of the distilleries in Schiedam. The Nolet Distillery not only survived, but the family employed the technology to create more-refned spirits than ever before. Dur ing t he Na zi inva sion, t he distillery was all but shut down, and Carl Sr.'s father, Paulus, turned the property into a safe haven for Jews escaping to England (the offce used by Carl Sr. today proudly displays a mural painted by a Jewish artist during his refuge there). Nolet was one of a handful of Schiedam distilleries that were able to survive in a postwar Europe left in physical and economic tatters. In the early '80s, after a "cocktail tour" of the US, Carl Sr. made the strategic decision to expand into the premium vodka market that was boom- ing with American consumers. "I knew that I would have to spend 100 percent of my efforts W I N D M I L L D E WaLvIsch "The very definiTion of crafT is someThing we have been doing for hundreds of years." —carl noleT jr. by Tommy Lansaw at Wood ConTinued on page 98 from left: Bob Nolet, Carolus Nolet Sr., and Carl Nolet Jr. right: The entrance to the Nolet family distillery. TasTe Tribute 96

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