The Second Annual Chilled100 Spirits Awards

We Ask Grey Goose VP, Aleco Azqueta, What’s Next for Vodka?


Launched 25 years ago, Grey Goose vodka evolved through the years with a recipe that has not changed.

Vice President Grey Goose North America, Aleco Azqueta celebrates the brand’s anniversary and the vodka category’s roaring comeback. We asked Aleco what he thinks the next 25 years hold for the vodka category.


Aleco Azqueta


Tell us what’s new and exciting at Grey Goose?

We’ve just wrapped another exciting US Open as the official vodka of the tournament, where we’ve had the privilege of serving millions of Honey Deuce cocktails over the last 16 years. This year, to build on our existing programming, we brought our famous US Open Suite to the metaverse for our first ever activation in this digital space. The Grey Goose US Open MetaVIP Lounge was available to fans across the globe to experience during the tournament, complete with interactive games and a chance to win tickets to the Grey Goose suite at the US Open next year. We all know the Metaverse is becoming increasingly popular for people across demographics, and we want to reach those audiences in a way that is authentic to them.

This year, we also updated our e-comm extension of the Honey Deuce. While we’ve previously offered a cocktail kit for fans to make the iconic serve at home, this year, we wanted to make it even easier to celebrate, so we launched the Honey Deuce Express. Available to Manhattan and Brooklyn residents, the pre-mixed, canned version of the cocktail arrived chilled and ready to enjoy for same day delivery.


Talk to us about recently celebrating Grey Goose 25th year anniversary.

Grey Goose had a remarkable first decade on the market, transcending the vodka category to become an icon unto itself. While a slight lull in sales followed into the mid 2010s, this year, the brand has had much to celebrate. For its 25th year anniversary, Grey Goose is experiencing a marked resurgence, with sales jumping to figures the brand hasn’t seen since 2013. Thanks to a breadth of programming that touches key cultural touch points, as well as our strong relationships with trade partners, Grey Goose has entered its newest chapter as a category leader once again. We just held an incredible event at Tales of the Cocktail where leaders in the trade were treated to an event that highlighted the last 25 years in spirit trends, focusing on Grey Goose vodka’s leading role.

While trends have come and gone over the last 25 years, consumers still appreciate the smooth consistency of Grey Goose. We’re proud to offer the same exact recipe, developed by our cellar master François Thibault, that consumers fell in love with more than two decades ago. Even now, Grey Goose consists only of soft winter wheat from Picardie, and spring water from Gensac in the Cognac region, and Thibault tastes every batch to ensure the highest quality and consistency year over year.


Over the past few years, the brand has launched new campaigns and programming, give us some of the highlights.

Without a doubt, our most exciting launch in recent years has been Grey Goose Essences, our line of lower-ABV, with natural flavors. Designed to meet the needs of drinkers who wanted lower alcohol cocktails, made with the best ingredients, that were still brimming with flavor, Grey Goose Essences is available in three expressionswith real fruit and botanical essences. To introduce the line, we launched the IN BLOOM concert series, inspired by the blooming and botanical world of Grey Goose Essences. Last year, we worked with GRAMMY-winning artist SZA on a virtual experience, and this past summer, we were excited to bring IN BLOOM to the real world with a live performance from Kehlani in NYC.

Additionally, we’ve been thrilled to partner with the Recording Academy as the official vodka of the GRAMMYs. Last year, we celebrated the inaugural year of the partnership with a talent-backed content series, partnered with Peter Dundas to design a bespoke, martini cocktail-inspired purse for Paris Hilton’s red-carpet look, and so much more. Details of our 2023 GRAMMYs programming will be coming soon, but you can bet we plan to come back even bigger and better.


Why is the time ripe for the brand’s resurgence into the limelight?

Two years ago, when lockdowns were beginning to ease, consumers were eager to get back outside and prioritized reconnecting with friends. According to Bacardi Insights & Analytics, there was a 50% increase in demand for vodka-based cocktails in the on-premise during this period, and 25% of all orders were traditional Martini cocktail glass serves (e.g., the Espresso Martini Cocktail). Separately, ‘90s and early aughts cultural trends were becoming ever-popular, and premiumization was trending across the board, with sales skyrocketing across every luxury category. We made sure we were capitalizing on these trends through our marketing mix.

Combined, these different elements created the perfect storm for Grey Goose to once again become not only the vodka, but the spirit, du jour.


What’s been going on in the vodka category over the past 25 years since Grey Goose launched?

Vodka is by far the most popular spirit on the market, accounting for over ⅓ of all alcohol sale according to Statista. However, its reputation has changed considerably over the last 25 years. When Grey Goose vodka first hit the market, specialty Martini cocktail glass serves and flavored vodkas were all the rage (think Cosmos, Apple Martini Cocktails, etc.). Then, the craft cocktail scene boomed, and vodka was overlooked for brown or agave-based spirits. With the resurgence of the Martini cocktail, vodka based RTDs, and lighter spritz options, the trends are moving back towards vodka.

Throughout all the fleeting fads, Grey Goose has remained a consumer standby due to its iconic stature and smooth product.


Where do you see the category headed?

People are still drinking vodka, just in different ways. Many of the leading RTDs are vodka based and we believe this is actually very positive for the vodka category as there is an opportunity for these drinkers to graduate to more sophisticated vodka cocktails. According to the IWSR, premium spirits sales are expected to increase over 25% by 2025. Given Grey Goose is the leading super premium vodka in control states (according to the NABCA) we feel that the future is very bright for us.


What is important for bartenders to know about Grey Goose vodka?

As the interest in premium spirits continues, the quality of Grey Goose speaks for itself. For 25 years, we’ve remained a bartender favorite because our product is made with revered ingredients and uses a single distillation process to ensure a smooth mouthfeel. With a rich and round body, notes of fresh baked bread, almond on the palate, and a wonderful aromatic nose of citrus, Grey Goose provides a smooth canvas for any cocktail or occasion.


Talk to us about mixing with Grey Goose Vodka.

Grey Goose is the perfect canvas for any cocktail, from the classic to the creative. Made with only winter wheat and spring water and distilled just once to preserve the integrity of these natural ingredients, Grey Goose vodka provides a truly smooth and balanced base for other ingredients to further build on.


What are bartenders doing with vodka these days? How have vodka cocktails evolved?

It’ll come as no surprise that martinis are having a resurgence. We first noticed this uptick last year, when “Martini cocktail recipes” averaged over 60K organic Google searches a month. Bartenders are experimenting with this trend so much so that many on-premise accounts are now dedicating whole pages of their menus to various Martini cocktail recipes! As lovers of the iconic cocktail ourselves, we’re excited to see so many people adopt the drink as their own, and enjoy it however they like, eschewing the traditional stereotypes that have long been associated with the Martini cocktail in the process.


What does Grey Goose Vodka have coming down the pike?

We have so many great programs launching in the next few months. We’re not quite ready to make any announcements, but for now, let’s just say we’re looking forward to celebrating the holiday season in style, and raising a glass to music’s biggest night during the 2023 GRAMMYs, where we’ll be celebrating the second year as the official vodka of the ceremony. Stay tuned for more to come.



The Chilled 100 Spirits Awards

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The Chilled 100 Spirits Awards

Stay In The Know.

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