|Behind The Stick
Interviews with the Movers and Shakers Of Mixology
Hosted by Blair Frodelius of Good Spirits News
A Conversation with Charlotte Voisey
Charlotte Voisey is one of mixology's busiest women. She not only won the UK Bartender of the Year award, became Hendrick's Gin Brand Champion, and now is the portfolio ambassador for the esteemed distillery William Grant & Sons; but did it all within the last 6 years. I caught up with Charlotte recently to chat about the past and future of cocktail culture.
GSN: How did you first get into working as a spirits brand rep?
CV: I had been bartending and running bars
and restaurants for a while when
the good people of Hendrick's walked into my bar Apartment 195 (pictured at right) one day
with the idea of me joining them stateside to bridge the gap between
companies and bartenders. It was the right challenge for me at
time with the brand I loved most of all.
CV: No, I feel lucky to have been one of a few women early on to become recognized in this field. I think it helped me early on. Nowadays I don't think gender matters and there are so many wonderful bartenders of both sexes in our industry.
GSN: Speaking of bartenders,
out of the
hundreds (if not thousands) of cocktails of
cocktails you've tasted over the years, what three come to mind first
and who made them for you?
GSN: What was the very first cocktail you ever had?
CV: I honestly don't recall my first
cocktail, but perhaps my first truly adult
cocktail I do. That was a gin martini tableside at the Duke's Hotel in
London. Still one of my favourite, inspirational, places to go.
CV: Anything that Julie Reiner (pictured at right) opens.
GSN: What cocktail that you have created are you the most proud of? Can you share the recipe with us?
CV: Recently it is probably the Blood and Sanguinello that I came
up with for the
Solerno launch in NYC.
Blood and SanguinelloCharlotte Voisey is an award winning mixologist from London, now residing in New York and travels the world educating consumers and professionals on spirits and mixology.
3/4 oz Glenfiddich 12
3/4 oz Solerno
3/4 oz Lillet Rouge
1/2 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes Regan's orange bitters
3 Luxardo Maresca cherries
(1/2 egg white optional)
Muddle cherries, then add all ingredients and shake well
Serve up in a stemmed cocktail glass
Finish with an orange zest
GSN: As you read through some of the old bar guides (J. Thomas, D. Embury, H. Craddock) what insights have you gained from their methodologies?
CV: Firstly, I
have enjoyed the jovial literature with which they brought us their
recipes and advice. Then I have noticed and tried to emulate: 1.
Their attention to detail and 2. The theory of families of
cocktails and learning templates so that we can
approach and teach a cocktail as a style that can be tweaked for the
GSN: What are some ideas you feel can best bring cocktail culture into the 21st century?
Approachability of flavor, the use of fresh ingredients, teaching
everywhere how to achieve balance and the infection of our passion
to Joe public to appreciate the craft behind a great drink. All
GSN: Do you think
the era of the frou-frou drink is finally nearing an end?
Are people demanding better cocktails, or will the fruit-tini and Red
Bull/Vodka crowd eventually win out?
GSN: I know you
enjoy more than just spirits. What are some of the beers and
wines you rave about?
GSN: Can you tell us your itinerary for 2010? Any particular programs you're really excited to be a part of this year?
GSN: I always ask this
one of mixologists. What do you feel is the origin of the word
GSN: Lastly, what has been the highlight of your life, cocktailian or otherwise?
CV: Walking across Mordor ( ed. - a reference to J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings Trilogy). This was a holiday I had in New Zealand at the end of last year. It was actually the famous trek, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Pretty spectacular and as such, an escape from my normal world.
Her first cocktail bar, Apartment 195 won London’s Bar of the Year in 2003 and Charlotte herself became the 2004 UK Bartender of the Year. In 2006 Charlotte joined William Grant & Sons USA to represent Hendrick’s Gin.
Charlotte still competes
and took the silver medal at
Charlotte’s unique cocktails can be found on menus across the world including the Dorchester Hotel, the Fairmont Hotel, the Gramercy Park Hotel, The HideOut, and the Mandarin Oriental.
Charlotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
William Grant & Sons Portfolio can be viewed here
Blair Frodelius lives in
upstate New York and is the
editor of Good Spirits News. He is also a professional musician
and is co-founder of Out of the Box Entertainment. He can be
Good Spirits News