It's hard to keep the number of brand ambassadors, champions and spokespeople straight, but one made headlines last winter in a Facebook-driven competition for the Belvedere Vodka job. Allison Dedianko's life is undergoing a major metamorphosis as she moves on from her job as an NYC bartender to the one-year, $100,000 gig, so we have a few questions for her:
Mix: What do you expect will be the biggest challenge as you go from bartender to global ambassador?
Allison Dedianko: Honestly, I think the hardest part will be the transition from night to day! I am used to working non-traditional hours and never seeing daylight. Now I get up with the sun but still get to enjoy the nightlife. So far I’m really liking this new lifestyle, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my 4 a.m. visits to the deli, it’s such a NY thing to do!
Mix: What has you most excited about the opportunities coming up?
Dedianko: I am most excited about the opportunity to meet so many incredible people who are all at the top of their craft. Traveling the world and getting to know others who are as dedicated and passionate about their work as I am is definitely a highlight.
Mix: Before the competition, had you thought much about moving into this sort of position?
Dedianko: Yes, actually. Bartending will always be my first love, but I was ready for a change. I was ready to explore different ways of sharing my passion for cocktail culture and particularly my passion for a brand I loved, Belvedere.
Mix: Had you taken part in many competitions before this one?
Dedianko: Not really, maybe one or two small-prize competitions, but nothing as big or as involved as the Belvedere Dream Job.
Mix: What part of your presentation do you think won the position for you?
Dedianko: This is a hard question to answer because I know that all of us worked really hard throughout all the stages of the competition and each of us stood out in our own way. I think in the end, I was able to stay calm under pressure, and I'd like to think it was my energy and creativity that carried me over the top. I really do feel very passionately about the brand, and I think that showed in everything I did from start to finish.
Mix: Representing vodka today, especially to bartenders, will be quite a challenge. What approach will you take with your peers when showcasing Belvedere?
Dedianko: When talking to other bartenders, it’s important to communicate on the integrity of the product iteself and not focus too much on the pretty bottle—although it is a very pretty bottle! Unlike many other vodkas, Belvedere is a vodka with character. While most are distilled to taste neutral—of nothing—Belvedere has a distinct taste that can be enjoyed much like a fine wine or Cognac. It is not only ideal for mixing, it is delicious on its own, neat or over ice.
Mix: What's your favorite drink right now?
Dedianko: We have a new product out now called Belvedere Intense Unfiltered 80. It’s an incredibly savory sipping vodka made from Dankowskie Diamond rye as opposed to the Dankowskie Gold rye we use in Belvedere Vodka. Right now, I love to drink this on the rocks with a twist of lemon.