There are few things that make a more perfect pairing than warm nights and an exquisite cocktail.

 

As days grow longer so does the desire to host friends for an après-work evening on the patio or a weekend at the cottage. Serving up a memorable happy hour is par for the course, so with spring and summer on the way we feel there’s no time like the present to perfect our cocktail serving skills.  When it comes to preparing the perfect cocktail, quality is key.  Grey Goose has been synonymous with luxury since its inception in 1997. We were lucky enough to sit down with the legendary maître de chai, Francois Thibault, who developed the original recipe for Grey Goose. Among many things, he shares with what he’s learnt along his path to success, a day-in-the-life at Le Logis (the aspirational home of Grey Goose), and of course, what makes for the perfect cocktail.

 

On Finding Success

At the helm of Grey Goose headquarters in Paris is Francois Thibault himself, who 19 years after creating the original recipe, remains a key innovator in the success of the brand. Conducting over “500 quality control checks each day, similar to what a chef would do in a kitchen,” Francois and his team are dedicated to nothing if not the quality of their products.  Speaking with Francois, it was evident that his passion for his craft has guided him thus far. “In my wildest dreams, I never imagined myself working on a project like grey goose,” he says, but cites schooling, his aspirations, and doing something “beyond [his] imagination” as three key components in his life.

 

On Dealing with Haters

A quick Google search indicates Francois dealt with initial backlash in regards to launching vodka in France. He jokingly cautions to “not believe everything you read on the internet,” but does in fact recall two distinct criticisms. One of which was the claim that there wasn’t enough wheat” in France (which is of course laughable as a region close to Paris actually produces 7% of the worlds wheat) and the other being that creating a product as unique as Grey Goose would be impossible without additives. “I was much more focussed on the experience of building Grey Goose and creating vodka in France than I was on the criticism,” he says of that time.

His focus on his experience as oppose to what was going on around him is refreshing to hear, considering how easy it is in todays’ social media-fixated era to become wrapped up in the chaos of our own respective industries.  For those of us still working towards career goals, Francois urges us all to “believe in your instinct and believe in your craftsmanship and not cut corners to achieve that dream. To quote Mark Twain: ‘if you don’t know it’s impossible, then it’s possible.’”

 

On Enjoying the Perfect Cocktail

Having recently launched Grey Goose VX (a decadent blend of 5% cognac and 95% vodka) we had to know the most unique and Parisian way to enjoy it: “Right now I would suggest marrying Grey Goose VX with a very light ice cream. The freshness and coldness from the ice cream is a very nice enhancement to the light cognac that is in VX … The ice cream really wakes up the little bit of cognac.”

When it comes to spring and summer cocktails, those like Presse (Grey goose, lemon juice, and a little bit of sugar and soda) and Le Fizz (Grey Goose, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice and soda water) are his top suggestions. Francois suggests veering towards “cocktails that have less sugar are best. Less heavy and a little more crisp than fall or winter cocktails.”

We end our morning discussing his personal favorite time to enjoy a cocktail, which is simply “with friends” when he can use the lemons from his garden for a Presse. By the end of our chat it seems more evident than ever than Francois seems to have mastered the elusive work-life balance, never losing site of the small moments that create lasting impact in one’s life. But perhaps the greatest take home from Francois was his advice “if you want to be creative, you have to let loose the

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Beauty Contributer

Megan is a Freelance Stylist, self-tanning enthusiast, and a Beauty Contributor here at Dress To Kill Magazine. She's most likely to be found investigating the beauty scene backstage at fashion shows, wearing bathrobes as day wear, or in the tub where she does some of her best work. She believes most success in life can be credited to YSL lipsticks and the ultimate smoky eye.

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