By way of chemistry and innovative technology, Plano resident Bryce Cottrell has created a new way to enjoy cocktails. Having found Noble Wolf Vodka, Cottrell is bringing a new kind of spirit to bars and liquor stores across North Texas. Noble Wolf Vodka is the first vodka made from grapefruits as opposed to potatoes. It contains no gluten, and at 45 calories per shot, contains half the calories of traditional vodka.
Inspired by his favorite television series, “Entourage,” Cottrell decided to launch his vodka brand in 2016.
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“I went to the chemistry department at The University of Texas,” Cottrell says, “and I asked every professor and TA ‘What would be the best fit for vodka?’ and they all told me ‘grapefruit.’ There’s so much ethyl in grapefruit that it actually speeds up the distillation process.”
While the department initially scoffed at his idea, Cottrell remained ambitious, determined to craft the perfect vodka.
“I asked how much it would cost for a recipe like that and they all laughed at me and said ‘$100,000,’” Cottrell says, “So I put an ad on CraigsList for a chemist. One guy answered. I met him at Five Guys, bought him a burger, and I said ‘Hey man, I want to create the first vodka in the world made from grapefruit.’ He comes back four days later and he says ‘here you go’ and then I said, ‘It’s only right that I give you a piece of the company,’ and he says ‘No man, I just want the satisfaction of saying I helped do it.’ So I paid him 80 bucks, bought him a burger at Five Guys again, and wrote him a job recommendation letter, and he gave me a whole recipe.”
Since launching Noble Wolf Vodka, Cottrell has received much acclaim for his grapefruit-based spirit, including previously winning the Texas Vodka of the Year at the New York International Spirits Competition. But still, Cottrell holds the first time he saw his vodka in a bar as his proudest moment.
Cottrell first saw his vodka on shelves at Recess Arcade in Austin, Texas.
“I actually cried that day because it was so surreal for me,” Cottrell says, “I never thought I was going to get to that point, but seeing my vodka on a shelf at a bar was just the coolest thing.”
Cottrell graduated from University of Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication. During his last two years of college, Cottrell balanced the creation of Noble Wolf while playing football for the Longhorns team. Albeit stressful, Cottrell is grateful for his time at UT and in Austin, where Noble Wolf was born.
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“Both Dallas and Austin have their perks,” Cottrell says. “Austin gave me the opportunities to get to where I am today, but at the end of the day, Dallas made me.”
Noble Wolf Vodka is available for purchase at all Total Wine & More stores in the DFW metroplex.