An award-winning bartender has been appointed as the first-ever UK brand ambassador for premium vodka Finlandia as part of new on-trade and consumer activity.
Elsa Holmberg (pictured), who is of Finnish descent, will be responsible for all education and training for the Finnish vodka brand in the UK on-trade and help to drive awareness and “affinity” among bartenders.
She will work closely with bartenders around the country, running training sessions, master classes, and consumer and trade tasting events as well as working with bartenders on bespoke projects.
Elsa has worked in bars for six years, including roles at Junkyard and Brass Monkey in Nottingham, and has won numerous cocktail competitions with the likes of Disaronno, Bols and Rhuby Liqueur. She has supported Rhuby with promotional activities including a tour of the USA.
Her appointment forms part of a larger investment in Finlandia aimed at increasing the brand’s market share in the on-trade.
It includes a series of consumer events on outdoor terraces at on-trade venues throughout the UK this summer named The Finlandia Midnight Sun Sessions.
Designed to bring a “relaxed Scandinavian summertime vibe” to the UK, they are a subtle reference to the 73 days of continuous daylight in Finland during which the barley used in the production of Finlandia vodka ripens and benefits from the sun’s special nurturing.
The first session took place on June 21 at Broadway House in Fulham, west London, featuring top British DJ Becky Tong, a Finnish barbecue and the signature serve of a Fin and Tonic, combining Finlandia Grapefruit vodka with tonic.
More Midnight Sun Sessions events will be held in Liverpool, Edinburgh and Manchester throughout July and August with DJ turns from Crazy P and Nightmares on Wax.
Nidal Ramini, head of advocacy at brand owner Brown Forman, said: “With consumers and bartenders increasingly opting for brands with real authenticity and excellent quality, there’s a great opportunity for Finlandia.
“We’re delighted that Elsa is joining the team to help raise consumer awareness and, of course, to engage the all-important members of the on-trade in master classes and other bespoke sessions.
“With Elsa on board and our new Midnight Sun Sessions now under way, we’re looking forward to appealing to new consumers with the Finlandia story and increasing brand affinity as a result.”