Review: Ketel One Botanical Vodkas

Review: Ketel One Botanical Vodkas

Ketel One Vodkas with Botanicals

Netherlands-based Ketel One has long had a reputation for producing quality but inexpensive vodkas. Like the Dutch people, they don’t go in for hype  Ketel has been in business for over 300 years, and in that time they have only produced, in addition to their basic Ketel One brand, an orange vodka and a lemon vodka, and a couple of collectors’ editions. The label stays the same, the vodka stays the same.

So the fact that Ketel One has now introduced three new products at the same time is quite something. The three are described as botanical vodkas. In other words, like gins, they are infused with different natural fruits, herbs, and other ingredients. They are also diluted to 60 proof, the main intention being to enjoy them in long drinks. They can be tasted neat, and people who don’t like 80 proof spirits neat might enjoy them that way, but basically they’re for use with mixers.

All three have certain things in common. Each bottling has two main ingredients, and the one named first is the predominant one. The one named second is more of a hint and balance in the background, a touch of subtlety. They also have no artificial flavors, no sweeteners, no GMO grain, and zero carbs in the bottle. Each goes better with soda than with tonic, with that little bit of a fizz making more for a long, refreshing drink. If you were going to add a garnish, we suggest using the second ingredient named.

All three are 60 proof.

Ketel One Cucumber & Mint – The predominant cucumber taste gives this a hint of Hendrick’s Gin, and this was by far the most interesting and balanced of the three. It’s made for a pre-lunch drink on a warm summer’s day, with plenty of ice and soda, and a sprig or two of mint thrown in. The lower alcohol (and carbs) level means you can enjoy a second one guilt-free before moving on to wine or beer. B [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]

Ketel One Grapefruit & Rose – Grapefruit is the one where the main flavor ingredient really hits you both in the nose and on the palate. If you like grapefruit, you’ll love this, as it’s rich in the distinctly tart, citrus smell of a fresh grapefruit. Drinking it neat is like biting into a slice of breakfast grapefruit. The use of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice rather than the more common grapefruit peel is why the flavor is so full-on. If the rose is there at all it’s merely in the slightest hint of floral flavors. This is one whose taste you might want to double down a little, perhaps by adding some straight Ketel One to a long drink with soda. B [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]

Ketel One Peach & Orange Blossom – Peach is the dominant note, sweet and fruity, and as with the others the orange blossom is an undertone. This was my least favorite, because there’s a touch of artificiality about it. Not that it is artificial, as these are infusions and not flavored vodkas, but the peach aroma and taste is a little candy-like. If you like candy, well, dive in. B [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

each $25 /

Ketel One Cucumber & Mint




Mike Gerrard is an award-winning travel and drinks writer who divides his time between Cambridgeshire in England and Arizona in the USA.


  1. Mimi on July 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    I bought the cucumber mint and it was awful!! Tasted like drinking dirty fish tank water. I tried it with water, tonic and club soda and same disguting taste. What a waste of $29!!! Won’t even bother trying the others!

    • Angie on February 12, 2022 at 6:01 pm

      They have the best commercial, no talking, short, and very whimsical. I actually enjoyed a commercial. And I enjoy the peach n orange one the best with a little bit of cranberry and a splash of soda.

    • David R. on August 28, 2022 at 4:40 am

      I need to back this up with an addendum. I have been making mules and mojitos with Ketel One Cucumber Mint for more bottles than I care to count. To hype the vodka, quotes of “this is the best version of this I’ve ever had” have been tossed around. So, well past the dozen bottle marker, I drew the fish bottle. I only found this review because I typed “why does my Ketel One Cucumber Mint taste like fish?” into Google. I suppose it’s a turned cucumber or mint that rarely makes it into the bottle or perhaps some sort of heat or age effect as I bought this at a fairly disused store. That said, it is a very real phenomena and it is awful to the tune of pouring out the bottle. Hope this experience didn’t kill them for you forever, because it really is incredible when this isn’t the effect.

    • Aaron on October 18, 2022 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you. Same here. I had to google it because surely I’m not the only one. So gross. Soda doesn’t even disguise the fish pond water flavor. ?

    • Aleina Bracy on January 1, 2023 at 8:45 pm

      2022 December bought a bottle and it tasted like dirty Fish water. I had a bottle before and it was delicious. Not sure what happened but it’s freaking gross. I did buy from a different store going out of business so maybe it’s old back stock

  2. Mike Gerrard on July 4, 2020 at 7:05 am

    Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it. I’ve never drunk dirty fish tank water, so will have to take your word for it. I enjoyed it.

  3. Tina on July 20, 2020 at 12:23 am

    I have recently baught a bottle of the grapefruit and iand rose if you like grapefruit you’ll love this . Very smooth going down and tastes great . I will absolutely buy this every time I buy alcohol

  4. Max on November 12, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    The “cucumber mint” variety is indeed disgusting vodka infused with mulched weeds.

  5. Valerie Cruz on November 22, 2020 at 7:00 am

    I love these I can drink them straight or add any of the zero sugar lemonade or Sprite Zero. Thank you!!

  6. Anonymous on April 18, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    I tried the Peach & Orange Blossom. (I’m not a frequent drinker) but I love this so much! I am also very thrifty, but I wouldn’t mind paying the price for this deliciousness..

  7. Anonymous on February 4, 2022 at 4:24 am

    I only drink the Grapefruit and Rose when I drink now. I stopped drinking white wine. This vodka tastes great.

  8. Mbr on February 16, 2022 at 2:52 am

    Grapefruit is amazing!! The aroma is so rich and inviting!!!

    • Grant on April 16, 2022 at 7:22 pm

      I too unfortunately found the Cucumber Mint disgusting. I’ve tried different brands of mint or cucumber vodka and they were good but sadly this one is no Bueno. It almost tasted like it was expired or something.

  9. Grant on April 16, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    I too unfortunately found the Cucumber Mint disgusting. I’ve tried different brands of mint or cucumber vodka and they were good but sadly this one is no Bueno. It almost tasted like it was expired or something.

  10. Greg on August 30, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    I just dumped a bottle of the Ketel One cucumber mint because it tasted soured and moldy. A wasted $30!

    • Anonymous on December 9, 2022 at 10:10 pm


  11. Jo Anne on December 11, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    I just tried the cucumber, mint, and I had the same horrible experience. it tasted like Dirty weedy fish water . I had to dump it, Never again. But I’ve had the grapefruit rose and it was delicious. I don’t understand how they can sell this without an expiration date if that is the reason

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