Grey Goose Master Distiller Fran├žois Thibault Reveals The Art of the Martini

By Bianca Gracie | November 28, 2023



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Grey Goose master distiller François Thibault PHOTO BY FRIENDLY STREET STUDIOS/COURTESY OF GREY GOOSE
Grey Goose master distiller François Thibault PHOTO BY FRIENDLY STREET STUDIOS/COURTESY OF GREY GOOSE

Grey Goose master distiller François Thibault discusses the art of vodka.

I think the martini is so chic, from the style of the glass to how smooth the flavor is.

When we started working in New York, the bartenders started to use it in the cocktails. So it became natural for them to associate Grey Goose and martinis with [being] chic. It created spaces where people could drink, have martinis and actually spend hours in bars. Once again, because of the quality, we went away from the ’90s cocktails with juice and syrup and just drinking a shot of vodka. Naturally, it just became a shining element in the new version of the cocktail and how to make one ingredient shine through. The one great thing about Grey Goose is the fact that the consumer doesn’t just simply enjoy it, but it’s become a way of life. So, all around the world, people are including little French touches because [our culture] is about the art of living and sharing moments.

Do you have any favorite pop culture moments when it comes to the martini?

It’s not necessarily a special moment, but more about moments in general and the setting of that moment, whether you’re [with] friends partying in the club or you are in the salon, relaxing and enjoying conversations. It’s really two different worlds of consumption of Grey Goose. You have this party crowd where we want the prestige of the Grey Goose to show and have the nice bottle on the table, but you also have those quieter moments where you are more looking for the quality of the product.


Grey Goose PHOTO BY FRIENDLY STREET STUDIOS/COURTESY OF GREY GOOSE
Grey Goose PHOTO BY FRIENDLY STREET STUDIOS/COURTESY OF GREY GOOSE

What is it about the water in this region that makes Grey Goose unique?

The water is from Gensac-la-Pallue, which is in Cognac. So, by law, when you produce vodka, you have to bring it up to 96% ABV. Then you obviously need water to bring it down to 40 degrees so we can drink it. Some people would say the quality of water makes the quality of the vodka. I don’t agree with that. Because when it’s a badly made spirit, water would make the product because it hides all the defects. In the case of Grey Goose, it’s a controlled process from top to bottom. So we don’t want to hide stuff. We’re really lucky in France because we have these great-quality pools of water that we can take from.

“ALL AROUND THE WORLD, PEOPLE ARE INCLUDING LITTLE FRENCH TOUCHES BECAUSE [OUR CULTURE] IS ABOUT THE ART OF LIVING AND SHARING MOMENTS.” -FRANÇOIS THIBAULT


Making the classic martini cocktail at the brand’s The Nest immersive experience in Toulouse, France. PHOTO BY FRIENDLY STREET STUDIOS/COURTESY OF GREY GOOSE
Making the classic martini cocktail at the brand’s The Nest immersive experience in Toulouse, France. PHOTO BY FRIENDLY STREET STUDIOS/COURTESY OF GREY GOOSE

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a martini?

At home, because I’m not working at home. (laughs) I like the driest martini possible. What we do in France, is we pour vermouth over the ice in a mixing glass. We stir it and then we disregard the vermouth and then we put the vodka. So we’re just rinsing the glass in the ice with the vermouth, but there’s not a lot of it. That allows the flavor to shine through.

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Photography by: FRIENDLY STREET STUDIOS/COURTESY OF GREY GOOSE