Ketel One’s new vodka brand tests less-alcohol-is-more theory

Diageo is testing a theory that less may be more when it comes to alcohol – at least for some drinkers.

The world’s largest liquor maker said it’s launching a version of Ketel One with 30% alcohol by volume.

The new drink – Ketel One Botanical – doesn’t meet the definition of vodka under U.S. and European regulations, which mandate that neutral distilled spirits must be bottled at 40% alcohol by volume and flavored ones at 37.5%, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The new Ketel One Botanical will be sold as a drink “made with vodka.”

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Ketel One and other vodka brands have been losing market share to Tito’s Handmade vodka, which is made from corn and is advertised as gluten-free. Tito’s market share by volume stood at 8.1% for the four weeks ended March 24, up from 6.1% a year earlier, according to the Journal, citing data from Bernstein. Ketel One’s market share was 1.7%, down from 1.8%.

An advantage of the new Ketel One brand is that it may add less to your waistline. A 1.5-ounce shot of Ketel One Botanical will have 73 calories, 40% less than in a 5-ounce glass of white wine and 25% less than in a shot of regular Ketel One, according to the Journal, citing Diageo.