Grey Goose at Elton John’s Winter Ball

Grey Goose brand ambassador Joe McCanta and leading mixologist Ago Perrone created bespoke cocktails for the Elton John Aids Foundation Winter Ball in London this month. They fitted into the event’s overall theme of summertime on the Côte d’Azur in the 1950s.

Joe created his drinks to tie in with three portable bars created by photographer Ellen von Unwerth, fashion designer Gareth Pugh and designer Karim Rashid as well as two of the singers performing at the event.

Golden Angel

Ellen von Unwerth’s cocktail, the Golden Angel, mixed Grey Goose L’Orange with Green Chartreuse, Liqueur de Fleur de Couscouille, pink grapefruit juice and apricot juice, garnished with fresh apricot sprinkled with gold dust.

35ml Grey Goose L’Orange
5ml Green Chartreuse
15ml Liqueur de Fleur de Couscouille
25ml Pink grapefruit juice
60ml French apricot juice

Shake and strain over cubed ice. Garnish with a gold straw and fresh apricot sprinkled with gold dust.

La Boîte Poire

Gareth Pugh’s bar served La Boîte Poire (The Black Box), mixing Grey Goose La Poire with tarragon syrup and fresh lime juice, served in a black box rimmed with coriander black salt.

35ml Grey Goose La Poire
20ml French tarragon syrup
25ml Fresh lime juice

Shake and strain over perfectly cubed ice from a Hoshisaki ice machine. Serve in a black box rimmed with coriander black salt.


Karim Rashid’s cocktail was L’Avenir (The Future), combining Grey Goose vodka with fresh lemon, rosehip cordial, Cocchi Americano and a “superberry juice” of tart cherry, pomegranate, goji and aronia.

35ml Grey Goose vodka
20ml Fresh lemon
15ml Rosehip cordial
10ml Cocchi Americano vermouth
35ml Superberry juice made from tart cherry, pomegranate, goji and aronia

Shake and strain over a ball of ice in a metal goblet.

Poolside Martini

Joe also created a cocktail for singer Emeli Sandé, the Poolside Martini, using Grey Goose Le Citron, Martini Bianco, French thyme liqueur, blue curaçao, asparagus eau-de-vie and a lemon zest, served in a Martini glass with a miniature rolled-up towel.

45ml Grey Goose Le Citron
15ml Martini Bianco
5ml French thyme liqueur
7.5ml French blue curaçao
1 dash of French asparagus eaux-de-vie

Stir and strain into a coupette, with lemon zest, and garnished with a miniature rolled-up towel.

Une Journée à la Plage

For singer Labrinth, Joe devised Une Journée à la Plage, mixing Grey Goose vodka with Gabriel Boudier crème de bananes, Mahina Coco Clément coconut rum, fresh lime juice and fresh pineapple juice, garnished with a pineapple leaf. Click here for a video showing Joe making the drink.

35ml Grey Goose vodka
10ml Gabriel Boudier Crème de Bananes
15ml Mahina Coco Clément coconut rum
10ml Fresh lime juice
100ml Fresh pineapple juice

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf and a seaside-scented umbrella.

The three-course dinner at the ball was curated by Hélène Darroze, head chef at The Connaught in London, with the dessert paired with a cocktail created by the Connaught Bar’s Ago Perrone, using Grey Goose infused with cocoa, mixed with Galliano L’Autentico, fino sherry and a pinch of fleur de sel.

Winter Ball Dessert Cocktail by Ago Perrone

45ml Grey Goose vodka infused for 24 hours with cocoa beans
15ml Dry fino sherry
10ml Galliano L’Autentico
5ml Gomme syrup
1 pinch of fleur de sel

Stir with ice and serve in a rocks glass over cubed ice. Garnish with an orange zest.

Guests were also greeted on arrival with the signature Grey Goose Le Fizz which is made by shaking 35ml of Grey Goose with 15ml of Bottlegreen elderflower cordial and 15ml of freshly squeezed lime juice with ice, double-strained into a flute and topped up with about 75ml of chilled soda. This year’s winter ball attracted people such as actors Kevin Spacey and Liz Hurley, singers Eliza Doolittle, Jessie Ware and Jay Kay, cricketer Shane Warne, and fashion designers Julien Macdonald and Giles Deacon.

This is a longer verson of a piece that appears in the December 2012 issue of Bar magazine.

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