Vodka isn’t recognized to be a sipping drink. Usually, it’s a part of a cocktail or—relying on the evening—endured from a shot glass. Persons are completely satisfied to sit down again and benefit from the tasting notes of candy honey and comfy vanilla of their whiskey, or the refreshing spices of their gin, however vodka? Not a lot.
Jeff Mahony hopes to vary that.
Jeff is the director and CEO of NEFT Vodka, an ultra-premium spirit with roots in Russia and elements sourced from the Austrian Alps. NEFT, he mentioned, just isn’t the kind of vodka you combine with sugary cranberry juice. Neither is it one thing you try to shoot whereas hiding the wince in your face. It’s easy, clear, and completely nice. It’s good all by itself. That by itself units NEFT Vodka aside, however the packaging is what will get it observed within the first place.
NEFT Vodka took place in 2012. Ekaterina Kuzmina needed to create a vodka that paid homage to her household’s roots within the Siberian oil workforce. Russia wasn’t a really perfect place to supply the form of spirit she was going for, although. To have the most effective distillation course of that might consequence within the cleanest, purest product potential, Ekaterina went to an award-winning distillery in Austria for the answer. There they’ve an aquifer that gives water that will get filtered by slate and granite—and in that course of, it picks up further oxygen and minerals that create a softer water.
That, mixed with non-GMO grains and a triple copper pot distillation course of, supplies the wealthy, easy profile that NEFT is related to. It’s not obtained the chew you expertise with different vodkas, and it doesn’t require components like sugars or flavoring to style higher. So when Jeff obtained to style NEFT Vodka for himself, he knew it was one thing particular.
“I instantly thought to myself, ‘that is the reply to the query I’ve had for 35 years,’” Jeff mentioned. “When is there going to be a sipping vodka that I can get pleasure from, like all the opposite classes of spirits? NEFT comes out clear, it comes out refined, and it comes out excellent for sipping.”
Whereas we are able to thank Austrian water for the style, these Russian roots are nonetheless evident. The model identify, NEFT, means “oil” in Russian, and the packaging is a singular tin barrel somewhat than a glass bottle. And though the packaging definitely catches your consideration, it’s not merely a gimmick. The mini vodka barrels are specifically made for NEFT and undergo rigorous testing (and fixed enhancements) to make sure they’re unbreakable and that the varnish contained in the barrel preserves the product with out affecting its taste.
“It’s additionally essential that the packaging is recyclable,” Jeff added. Though their packaging prices extra to supply than a typical glass bottle, his aim is to think about the lengthy recreation. “Tin and aluminum are very easily recyclable, and the varnish itself can get simply cleaned from inside, so you’ve gotten an exquisite type issue with eco-conscious advantages.”
Being environmentally conscious is significant to the model, and a few of their factories are shortly on their technique to utilizing 100% renewable vitality. Most essential, although, is that NEFT is a “for trigger” firm. Sure, they promote a high-end vodka that tastes nice and has one-of-a-kind packaging, however Jeff emphasised that social good has been an integral a part of the model from the start. NEFT provides to a wide range of causes and charities, like Project Angel Food or people financially affected by the pandemic. They also have a board mandate to ship a portion of income from every sale into charity instantly.
This ethos aligns with the product NEFT produces, too. The founder didn’t simply slap “ultra-premium” on the packaging—she went all the best way to search out Austrian spring water to enter it. For manufacturers to do social good in a manner that isn’t performative, Jeff added, it have to be constructed into the best way they function. It must be actual, and it should go deeper than the floor. NEFT’s Pride packaging is a wonderful instance the place they put thought into the actions behind the packaging somewhat than merely put a rainbow on the barrel. The design got here from a Los Angeles-based artist Paul Robinson, and a portion of gross sales went to a charity of selection. They even designed specialty cocktails at West Hollywood bars to go to the trigger.
“We need to make an affect,” Jeff mentioned. “And as we develop, hopefully, we are able to have an even bigger affect. A lot of the people who’re on this firm on the government administration degree have already made their cash, because it have been. They’ve already skilled success. Now they’re right here to create one thing that provides again to the neighborhood.”
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