Grey Goose may sound anything but vodka, yet party goers would know that it is actually one of the top vodka brands in the world. In fact, some quarters agree that it is the best-tasting vodka on the planet. That distinction had been given to Grey Goose in its first year by the Chicago Beverage Testing Institute, and is arguably the reason why it sold close to three million 9-liter cases around the world in 2020.
Here are six things you may not know about Grey Goose:
1. Grey Goose is 100% Made in France
Grey Goose comes from a distillery in the northern part of Paris, particularly in Cognac, which has long been associated with high-end French liquor. It was the brainchild of beverage entrepreneur Sidney Frank, who wanted to come up with a vodka to market to Americans.
France was chosen because of its culinary history and to set the product apart from other vodkas, which were often produced in Eastern Europe. Everything from the liquor to the ink printed on the glass is produced in France. In fact, the water used in the liquor is derived from a natural spring that is below the blending facility in Cognac. The said natural spring is lined with limestone, resulting in spring water that is rich in calcium.
2. Less than 20 employees man the mill and distillery
The entire global supply of the premium vodka is produced by the mill and distillery located in La Vallee de I’Oise. Interestingly, the said facility is manned by just 17 individuals.
The operation is efficient, to say the least. Trucks deliver wheat grain, which is weighed and examined for starch content before being milled into wheat flour. It then goes through saccharification, or a process wherein the starch is converted into glucose. This in turn will fuel the yeast. Then the yeast is harnessed to convert sugar into alcohol.
Unlike other vodkas, Grey Goose is distilled five times! This results in a spirit that is pure and with a smooth palate.
Different workers from the factory then sit in the tasting room every day to evaluate the liquor.
3. The Distillation Process Is A Well-Kept Secret
While you may have gotten an idea of how the vodka is produced in France, make no mistake about it—the distillation process and Grey Goose blending recipe are well-kept secrets. In fact, it is possible that you can book a White House visit first before being invited to a tour of the Grey Goose vodka facility. Taking photos is prohibited inside the factory, and visitors are asked to wear special hygienic work shoes as well as white lab coats.
4. It was sold to Bacardi for $2 billion.
The vodka was such a hit that it was bought for a cool $2.2 billion by Bacardi from founder Sidney Frank in 2004. To put things in perspective, consider that the personal computer business of IBM that had been established in 1981 was only sold for $1.7 billion. On the other hand, Grey Goose was barely seven years old when Frank sold it to Bacardi.
The selling price may be staggering, but it was all worth it for Bacardi. After all, Grey Goose was the best-selling premium vodka in the U.S. at the time, selling more than 1.5 million cases.
5. It Is One of the Four Brands Often Name-Dropped in Contemporary Music
One study conducted by researchers from the School of Public Health and the Center on Marketing and Youth of Boston University and the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that Grey Goose vodka was one of the four liquor brands name-dropped in the most popular songs of 2009, 2010 and 2011.
According to the study, 46 percent of the 720 top hits during that span mentioned the four brands. One hit song, “Blame It” by Jamie Foxx and T-Pain, actually name-drops Grey Goose alongside Hennessy and Patron tequila.
6. Most Popular Liquor Brand
Based on a study conducted by data firm MSS, Grey Goose was named the most popular liquor in the United States in 2013. In the said study, 800 bartenders were asked to rank spirits brands, cocktails, and mixed drinks according to popularity among consumers.
According to the president of MSS, bartenders would know the preferences of consumers, and the results of the study proved it.
Aside from Grey Goose, those who did well in the study were Jagermeister, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Margaritas, Manhattans, and Old Fashions, as well as Long Island Ice Teas and Cosmopolitans.
Without question, Grey Goose is the best-selling premium vodka brand in the United States. The six aforementioned facts further show and explain why the liquor is so popular.