A DV E RT I S E M E N T
MEET THE ICELANDIC V O D K A’ S E N E R G E T I C A M B A S S A D O R BY MICHAEL BENNINGER
To say that Trevor Schneider has a cool job is an understatement. As the U.S. Brand Ambassador for Reyka Vodka, he travels the world, educating hospitality heroes about the virtues of the first Icelandic vodka and the only one that leaves the country. “It’s really a dream job for me in a lot of ways,” Schneider says. “The opportunity to get on a plane and be in front of people in a matter of hours presenting and sharing the story of Reyka and my story of hospitality – it’s an amazing thing.” A New Jersey native, Schneider currently calls Manhattan’s lower-east side home during the few times of the year he’s not on the road. DESCRIBE REY KA’S TAST E? It starts off a little bit sweet, moves onto citrus notes and ends with a white-pepper-like taste. It’s very unique. Vodka’s technically supposed to be colorless, odorless and flavorless. But, as it is, Reyka has a little bit of character. I describe it as a ‘vodka-flavored vodka’ because of the resources we use. We want to make sure that the spirit of Iceland stays in the spirit. It’s a terrible pun, but it really works. WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT REYKA’S DISTILLATION PROCESS? Iceland has arctic spring water, which is already some of the purest water in the world – even purer than most bottled waters. The water we use for Reyka is completely untreated and makes up for 60 percent of the final product. There’s also a tremendous amount of geothermal energy in Iceland, and our distillery is 100 percent powered by it, leaving no carbon footprint whatsoever. And we utilize lava rock as our filtration mechanism. It’s a natural, effective and efficient way to remove impurities from our spirit. H OW’D YOU GET T HI S J OB? I fell into hospitality after college. I had a degree in computer science and ended up working in that field for a little while. Not being emotionally or mentally fulfilled, I quit and became a high-school substitute. Then, I decided I wanted to get into TV and film acting. And what happens when you get into entertainment in the (New York) City is you get into hospitality. I booked a couple acting gigs, but wasn’t so successful. Yet, I was making money in hospitality and I was having fun. I fell in love with the job and the bar became my stage. Then I started to travel with this because my personality is a bit larger than life. And I just kept taking it to the next level. That was 10 years ago, and what I do now is what I was attempting to do then.
T R E VO R’ S R E Y K A - M E N DAT I O N S 5:1 MARTINI “No offense, Ian Fleming, but not the James Bond-style. This stirred, not shaken variation allows the character and taste-profile of Reyka to stand out in a good way.”
THE SOUTHSIDE “This classic cocktail from Chicago includes lime juice, Reyka and a little bit of simple syrup. Shake, add mint and serve in a couple glass. It’s approachable, but sophisticated.”
PEQUEÑO DIABLO “This ‘little devil’ includes Reyka vodka, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, maple syrup and fresh lemon juice, then it’s topped with soda. It’s a long, very refreshing drink. In California, it can be good for all times of the year, but back east, it’s more seasonal.”
B LO O DY M A RY “With a Reyka bloody Mary, there’s not the question of ‘Is there vodka in this?’ Because we don’t strip it away, that character is in there.” Follow Trevor Schneider at facebook.com/trevorschneider and @cocktailninja on Instagram.
THE ALCOHOL AMBASSADOR’S 2016 ADVENTURES, BY THE NUMBERS
90 cities visited 117 planes taken 200 days traveled 135,000 miles flown
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