Nick Viall talks summer cocktails, life before reality TV and whether or not he actually paid for those rose ceremony suits

After what seemed like a never-ending crawl through on-again, off-again weather, summertime has finally arrived for East Coasters.

Also on the docket this month? The return of ‘The Bachelorette’, which has us all glued to our televisions imagining not only what it would be like to live inside that glamorous mansion, but about the doors that would open for us after the doors of the mansion closed behind us.

It’s no secret that former contestants and members of #BachelorNation have it pretty good — from endorsement opportunities to business deals, the show and its subsequent spinoffs offer exposure and partnerships that otherwise would have never seemed possible.

And when a contestant can pair with a brand that they already use, know and love, it makes the deal even sweeter.

For former ‘Bachelor’ Nick Viall, a partnership with Smirnoff was just that:

“Who hasn’t heard of Smirnoff — it’s kind of every person’s vodka … I like working with brands that I already use because it makes sense … [Smirnoff is] obviously American made, and anytime you can get brands that manufacture products here and employ people is great.”

Brand partnerships and collaborations weren’t in Viall’s wheelhouse before the show — in fact, after being thrust into the spotlight, Viall’s career path took a 180:

“I never really anticipated any of this! Before I ever went on the show, I worked for a company called Salesforce and I was an Account Executive for them working in corporate sales, which I really loved. And certainly I learned a lot about networking and business and I still use all of that skillset to this day out in LA, while trying to grow my acting career … especially networking and a lot of the skills I learned before the show I use every day, and I’m very appreciative of my time [at Salesforce] so I never really imagined an opportunity to partner with cool brands like this.”

It was Viall’s former gig that helped him prepare for life inside the mansion especially since contestants aren’t funded to appear on the show:

“The cast members aren’t provided any wardrobe. Throughout the show you might get a few gifts — working in sales I had a few suits already and I probably spent a little money and bought a few things — I didn’t go nuts, I didn’t get a whole new wardrobe for the show. I think everyone’s different. But again, I also felt lucky enough that I made a living that I was very lucky to have, so I had the means in which to get a few extra items and get on the show.”

Though going back to the 9-5 grind seems unlikely for Viall, he’s open to seeing other opportunities that may develop as his career progresses:

“Anything’s possible, I still do a lot of day-to-day stuff. I’m looking at other avenues in addition to my acting career, investing in other projects … I really appreciated my time at Salesforce and I really liked it, but at this point i don’t see [myself going back to] it … I’m lucky enough to have a platform.”

As for his immediate future, you can catch Viall spending the next few months sipping on Smirnoff's newest flavor, Red, White & Berry, which is only available through Labor Day in honor of the summer season:

“I think people like to enjoy summer … you can’t have any type of drink in the summer — I love red wine, but it’s just not what I want to drink on a hot summer day … with Red, White & Berry, it’s a great drink on it’s own — I just like to mix it with some fruit like some blueberries and some strawberries.”