May 26th, 2007

Gin-dig at OM with Charlotte Voisey

Charlotte Voisey

The sun never sets on the British Cocktail Empire. It seems that every week there’s some redcoat cocktail consultant and/or liquor brand representative jetting into Boston and concocting drinks for a promotion party. In the past six months, I’ve met Jamie Walker, brand ambassasor for Bombay Sapphire, Angus Winchester, founder of Alconomics Ltd., and, now, Charlotte Voisey, “brand champion” for Hendrick’s Gin and company mixologist for William Grant & Sons USA. She was in town recently for a Hendrick’s party at OM in Harvard Square.

OK, I’m jealous. Charlotte is young and gorgeous, and she travels around the world promoting gin and mixing cocktails. How the hell do I get a job like that? Apparently by running cocktail bars in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and London, being named UK Bartender of the Year (2004), winning a silver medal at the World Female Bartending Championships (2006), and consulting on cocktail programs at London’s Dorchester Hotel and Manhattan’s Gramercy Park Hotel. That’s what Charlotte did before moving to New York for her current gig.

At the OM event, Charlotte struck me as someone who takes her job seriously but doesn’t take herself too seriously. She wasn’t swanning around the room talking up her brand — she was actually behind the bar mixing drinks with the stuff. Two of her Hendrick’s cocktails stood out for me: the Cucumber Collins and the Rose & Lychee Martini (see recipes below).

Afterward, Charlotte and I were part of a small group that headed downtown to check out the newly opened KO Prime (formerly Spire) in the Nine Zero hotel. We sampled a few nouveau cocktails, some of which were quite good (more on that in another post). Finally on to No. 9 Park, where John Gertsen mixed us up a tasty smorgasbord of spirits, including an elegant mixture of scotch, Lillet and Drambuie whose name escapes me. The drink was fitting, since Charlotte used to represent Glenfiddich and promote scotch-based cocktails. How does a woman represent a scotch brand? “Communicate in terms of flavour and allow for marketing that is not just about golf and celebrating bonuses,” said Charlotte in an Adams Beverage Group interview last year. Yep, she’s alright.

Cucumber Collins
1½ oz Hendrick’s Gin
3 oz cucumber puree
Shake and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass, garnish with a long cucumber rod.
(To make a batch of cucumber puree: blend 1 cucumber with 3 oz fresh lemon juice and 3½ oz simple syrup.)

Rose & Lychee Martini
1½ oz Hendrick’s Gin
½ oz rose syrup
1½ oz lychee juice
¼ oz fresh lemon juice
Dash egg whites
Dash Angostura bitters
Shake very well and strain up into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an edible flower.

Hendrick’s, with its delicate flavor and rose and cucumber notes, naturally works well in these drinks. I have no idea where to get lychee juice and rose syrup. I’d try Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Christina’s Spice & Specialty Foods in Inman Sq. Cambridge. Also, you might find lychee juice at Asian markets.

Permalink | Filed under Boston bars, Cocktails, Gin |

4 Responses to “Gin-dig at OM with Charlotte Voisey”

  1. Br. Cleve

    That Rose & Lychee Martini sounds mighty good. I think I’ll make one of those up ASAP.

    I’ll tell ya, the availability of syrups in the Boston area is pathetic. I’ve been trying to find Passion Fruit syrup for months, to no avail. Even a specialty shop like Cardullo’s has little variety in what they sell. I’m in the French West Indies at the moment, where I can walk into any grocery and find shelves overflowing with a wide variety of flavors. Hell, I can choose from 3 different brands of Passion Fruit syrup, not to mention rose, spearmint, a variety of berries and nuts, etc etc. And cheap too! Fortunately, I packed plenty of bubble wrap. And enough to cover some great Rhum Agricoles from Martinique and Guadaloupe. I’ll make up a batch of Ti Punch when I get back!

  2. Stephen

    sometimes those drinks are delicious…. but they need better names. there is no cultural resonance…. i usually need a chuckle at cleverness or a dose of frivelous escapism more than i need a buzz….

  3. ljclark

    Syrups and rums … it’s time to bully someone around here to carry a wide variety of these, already! Not that Cleve minds importing these by hand from the West Indies…

    By the way, Christina’s Spice does carry rose syrup, and in a bottle huge enough to split with several of your home-bartender friends.

  4. Sc'Eric

    The ROSE & LYCHEE sounds quite similar to a FUJIAN MIST–to which I am now tempted to add egg whites…

    ~ 2.00-oz Hendrick’s gin
    ~ 0.75-oz SoHo lychee liqueur
    ~ 0.50-oz Sours mix (lemon juice + sugar)
    ~ Dash of Key Lime juice
    SHAKE. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Then add the following to the glass…
    ~ Dash of Pama pomegranate liqueur
    ~ Dash of Grenadine
    GARNISH w/ Orange twist–which really brings the drink together, so do not delete this step!

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