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The Grey Goose Vodka 'Tour du Terroir': A Taste of France in 10 Perfect Cocktails

Grey Goose

France’s Grey Goose vodka, introduced in the U.S. in 1997 by legendary spirits importer Sidney Frank, was not created merely to fill a niche in the market, but to produce a vodka unlike any other on Earth. The luxury spirit’s main ingredients are soft winter wheat from Picardy, known as the “breadbasket of France,” and pure natural spring water from Gensac-la-Pallue in the famed Cognac region. It’s an authentic field-to-bottle product, and while it’s, of course, true that Grey Goose's image was very carefully curated from the beginning, that in no way detracts from the quality and integrity of the product, and its innate, unique French identity, which has led luminaries such as master chef Alain Ducasse to collaborate with the brand.

Grey Goose

Grey Goose Cellar Master François Thibault is the man behind the iconic label, and he performs the functions of both a Master Distiller and Master Blender in producing Grey Goose. To ensure that the quality specifications laid down by Thibaut are consistently met, the wheat used to make Grey Goose comes exclusively from three French farming co-operatives in Picardy, which gives it an element of terroir, the term borrowed from winemaking wherein the finished product expresses the complete natural environment in which it is made, including factors such as soil, topography, and climate. Thibault works in close partnership with the individual farmers to “ensure a seamless continuity of operation from the sowing of the wheat seed in the fields of Picardy, to delivery in perfect condition to the distillery,” which is also in Picardy. 

The wheat-growing co-operatives include local farmers, who are all “personally invested in the quality of wheat produced.” Thibault holds ultimate responsibility for more than 550 quality checks performed every single day. Every new batch of distilled spirit is assessed and analyzed by François and his team, and “only after François signs the official document giving his seal of approval of the quality of the final spirit is it deemed ready for blending and bottling.” Thibault’s approach is focused on “bringing out the naturally superior characteristics” of the spirit, rather than the standard practice when making vodka of removing as much of the taste as possible to make something fairly bland. 

Grey Goose

The best way to enjoy Grey Goose and experience its taste of terroir for yourself is in cocktails, ranging from a classic martini for the purest expression to various concoctions involving a number of different ingredients. Some of the best accompaniments to Grey Goose are other pedigreed French spirits, in particular, Noilly Prat vermouth and Benedictine liqueur. Both have a rich history and share passion and heritage with Grey Goose. The spiritual home of Grey Goose in Cognac is Le Logis, a 17th-century country estate near to where Thibault was born and raised. Preserving its historic significance inside and out, the estate was restored and beautifully renovated from the ground up, and now hosts VIPs and company executives. 

Grey Goose

While Le Logis is not open to the public, it is possible to tour the homes of both Noilly Prat and Benedictine, the latter of which, located in Normandy, is a lavish palace built in 1822. In addition to that, you can make your own tour of the some of the best bars in Paris which serve delectable Grey Goose cocktails, or even shake them up at home after acquiring the ingredients, starting with a bottle of Grey Goose Original as well as some of their flavored options. Here’s a rundown for thirsty tourists and avid mixologists:

GREY GOOSE MARTINI 

Served at Hotel Bachaumont by Karim Hamadouche

2 ½ oz Grey Goose vodka

½ oz Noilly Prat dry vermouth

1 dash orange bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

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GREY GOOSE ESPRESSO MARTINI 

Served at Andy Whaloo by Benjamin Chiche

1 1/2 oz Grey Goose vodka

1 oz single origin finest quality espresso

3/4 oz premium coffee liqueur

1 pinch of salt

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with three coffee beans.

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GREY GOOSE LE GRAND FIZZ

Served at Hotel du Nord by Guillaume Manikowski

1 1/2 oz Grey Goose vodka

1 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime (approx. half a lime)

3 lime wedges

2 oz chilled soda water

Build in an oversized cabernet wine glass with lots of ice. Add Grey Goose Vodka and St-Germain. Then squeeze fresh lime and discard. Top with chilled soda water. Stir and garnish with fresh lime wedges and a cocktail stirrer.

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GREY GOOSE MOSCOW MULE 

Served at Le Logis Grey Goose

1 ½ oz Parts Grey Goose vodka

3 oz Ginger Beer

1 Lime Wedge

Build all ingredients over cubed ice in a copper mug and garnish with a lime wedge.

Grey Goose

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GYPSY QUEEN

Served at Le Logis Grey Goose

2oz Grey Goose vodka 

1oz Benedictine liqueur

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass full of ice, and then pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the oil onto the rim or the glass.

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VESPER 2.0 

Served at the Le Bar du Four Seasons George V by Pasa Omasvic

1.5 oz. Grey Goose l’Orange vodka

1 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin

¾ oz. Reserve Jean de Lillet

1 dash saline solution

1 bar spoon orange marmalade

3 dashes orange bitters

Shake and double strain into a vintage coupe; garnish with orange twist.

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TUXEDO NO.2

Created and served by Naren Young at Le Logis Grey Goose

1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin

¾ oz. Noilly Prat dry vermouth

¼ oz. Luxardo maraschino

3 dashes orange bitters

5 dashes absinthe

Stir and strain into a coupe; garnish with lemon twist.

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DANICO COCKTAIL

Created and served at Danico by Thibault Mequignon

2 ½ oz Grey Goose 

½ oz  Lemon Juice

¾ oz Chamomile Syrup

2 oz Champagne

Tonka Beans grated 

Shake and strain into a coupe; garnish with tonic bean grated

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LE FRENCH

Created and served at Le Syndicat by Aris Makris

2 oz Grey Goose vodka

½ oz Mirabelle Liqueur

¾ oz Cap Corse Blanc 

½ oz Cap Corse Quinquina

Stir and strain into a coupe; garnish with lemon twist.

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GREY GOOSE PORNSTAR MARTINI

Created and served at Andy Whaloo by Benjamin Chiche

2 ½ oz Grey Goose vodka

½ oz Passion Fruit Puree

½ oz Vanilla Syrup

½ Lemon Juice

½ Egg White

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve with a shot of champagne on the side. 

Grey Goose
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Jared Paul Stern

Jared Paul Stern has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the New York Times' T magazine, GQ, WWD, Vogue, New York magazine, Details, Hamptons magazine, Playboy, BlackBook, the New York Post, Bergdorf Goodman magazine and Luxist among others. The founding editor of the Page Six magazine, he has also served as a judge for everything from the International Best Dressed List to the Fo...(Read More)

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