- interview by Sara Gorelick
These days, many great spirits grace the cocktail world and are awarded outstanding marks in a number of renowned competitions throughout the globe. Besides being an award-winning spirit, Hendrick's Gin has something else great going for it... and her name is Charlotte Voisey. Charlotte is the Hendrick's Gin Brand Champion, and has been a big fan of the Scottish gin since it launched in the UK in 2003. Charlotte was introduced to Hendrick's when she was the General Manager of Apartment 195, a popular cocktail bar on King's Road in South London. Charlotte knows a thing or two about the greats coming from the UK, being from London herself.
Charlotte began bartending in 1996 and has loved her time in the industry. "It is a career that has taken me all over the world and introduced me to wonderful people," she said. A world traveler, she has made names for bars in London, Barcelona and Buenos Aires.
Charlotte doesn't look too much into occupational names. "I use both (bartender and mixologist), but I always love Gary Regan's reminder that a bartender does not serve drinks, a bartender serves guests. Personality and excellence in service is such a priority when I work so I don't mind which label I am given."
One of Charlotte's favorite cocktails is the one she made in 2004 at the UK Bartender of the Year Awards in London. She created a mixed berry Bourbon old fashioned made with the style of the Caipirinha, which won her the title of Bartender of the Year. The cocktail has changed since she created it into the "American Beauty," and can be found on menus across the globe and the recipe is listed below.
Today, Charlotte's role is to educate about spirits and mixology, specifically on the portfolio of William Grant and Sons, the independent Scottish family distillers since 1886. William Grant and Sons distills such celebrated spirits as Hendrick's Gin, Stolicnaya Vodka (Stoli), Glenfiddich Whisky, Balvenie Whisky, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry Rum, Frangelico and Grant's Whisky, Bennett Family Wine, Bols Genever, Reyka Vodka and Lillet Aperitif. Charlotte is a staple at such important events as Tales of the Cocktail, Aspen Food & Wine Festival, the Sante Symposium and the new Manhattan Cocktail Classic. She is also the Secretary of the New York Chapter of the United States Bartender's Guild.
These days, Charlotte enjoys working with tea, jam and flowers, especially in mixing with Hendrick's Gin. She also has a few other favorite ingredients that she tries to incorporate into her cocktails. "I can't live without Angostura bitters behind the bar because it always makes a cocktail taste better."
Charlotte continues to dazzle the world and quench thirsts with her innovative cocktail ideas. With her awesome accent and love for the industry, her place behind the bar is one she will keep for years to come.
Muddle berries, add other ingredients and shake well. Double strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a single blackberry