Just like a perfectly crafted cocktail, we’re all constructed with beautiful traits and layers to make us who we are as individuals. When you’re first trying to figure yourself out, you usually have an idea in mind of what you want to be and where you want your life to go. But as you continue to mix, garnish, or perfect your life’s recipe, you realize you need the right ingredients and experience to become the best person you can be. As quickly as we would like to speed through life to reach the finish line, it’s really about taking your time and slowly enjoying what’s right in front of you — like a good bourbon on the rocks.
Today’s Boss Babe knows exactly what we’re talking about — heck, she been swimming in it. Charlotte Voisey has been living and breathing the hospitality life for over 10 years. Originally starting out as a bartender, this British native quickly climbed the ladder where she eventually became the Director of Brand Advocacy and Mixologist for William Grant & Sons where she looks after the spirits and the brand ambassador team. She’s a two times Golden Spirit Award winner at Tales of the Cocktail, host of The Proper Pour with Charlotte Voisey, was named Mixologist of the Year for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and was recognized by the James Beard foundation. Not a bad résumé if you ask us. Even though she’s been killing it in the spirit world, Voisey is no where close to slowing down — and we’re totally okay with that.
We got to hang with Charlotte at MACE where we chatted about what she misses about the UK, what her creative process is like, and where she hopes to see herself in five years. Meet the super talented, Charlotte Voisey. Bonus: She might’ve created a Boss Babe cocktail. You might want to scroll to the end… just sayin’.
New York City
Go-to fall cocktail:
New NYC bar you’ve been meaning to check out:
Sauvage in Williamsburg
Next travel destination:
Latest cocktail trend that needs to be on everyone’s radar:
Single Malt Cocktails
Greatest advice you’ve ever received:
To trust my intuition
One thing you miss about UK:
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started to work for William Grant & Sons?
In 2006 I was running a cocktail bar in London called Apartment 195. The prior 5 years I had seen London go through a cocktail culture renaissance. William Grant & Sons approached me to move to America and join them as an Ambassador as the New York cocktail renaissance was on the horizon.
I had always favoured Hendrick’s Gin and loved the brands of William Grant so it was a perfect match!
After winning countless awards and appearing on dozens of shows, what do you believe sets you apart from the other mixologists?
I have only ever tried to be the best version of myself that I can be professionally. I am not very competitive, I enjoy being part of a larger movement with some incredibly talented people.
Originally being a bartender, what do you believe is the most important factor a bartender should have to be considered great?
Naturally putting others before yourself is a trait you often find in great bartenders. It is not about you, it is about the guest. Caring about what you do and putting the time in to work hard at your skill are also important factors to consider.
You create cocktails for bars and restaurants around the world. Can you tell us a little bit about your process and how you come up with such extravagant cocktails?
I usually start with a classic cocktail that I love, a recipe that has stood the test of time, and then change it with one or two new touches. I am often inspired by nature and I have always found that I excel when creating cocktails that I love to drink myself, so don’t bother asking me for a Bloody Mary…
What would you say is the biggest difference between the UK and USA when it comes to their cocktail scene?
The cocktail is an American invention and has always been part of the culture in the USA (since the early 1800s). I see Americans hosting cocktail parties at home, that is not the case in the UK. New York does the classics better than anyone, but London has the best hotel bars in the world.
Being a brand ambassador and Director of Brand Advocacy for William Grant & Sons, what is a normal day-to-day like for you?
I get up early and work out straight away, every day. With so much travel and entertaining I decided early on to prioritize my well-being through good sleep, diet and exercise. No two days are the same, I could be in the office by 9am or just landing in California for a day of filming. It is not out of the question to have my three meals of the day in three different time zones. The travel can be tiring but it helps when there is a well-crafted cocktail waiting at the end of every journey.
You also have a series on Small Screen called The Proper Pour. How did you come up with that and what does it entail?
The Proper Pour was co-created with Colin Kimball back in 2009. The idea was always to make videos showing both professional and home bartenders how to make cocktails. I simply talk through the inspiration for one cocktail per episode and demonstrate how to make the drink. Presenting on camera has always come easy to me, we are now in season five and encouraged by the positive feedback I get from bartenders all over the world.
If you could have one drink with anyone dead or alive, who and where would it be?
It would be a Jimm’s Cup – modern twist on a Pimm’s Cup with strawberry ginger, lemon, mint & cucumber — with Roger Federer after he wins Wimbledon next year.
Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
The thing I miss most is running a place. I don’t know if it will come within five years and I don’t have the corner of the world confirmed just yet but I would love to one day a run café/cocktail bar of my own.
Any advice for future Boss Babes, especially those looking to get into the cocktail world?
Go absorb what makes the greatest bars and bartenders in your city. Attend Tales of the Cocktail each July in New Orleans and then find a niche that you are passionate about and identify what you can contribute.
If you need some more cocktails in your life (duh, of course you do), then check out Charlotte’s site, The Proper Pour.
The Boss Babe
Developed by Charlotte Voisey, Mixologist and Director of Brand Advocacy, William Grant & Sons
This drink is inspired by the classic White Lady cocktail. The Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur hints towards winter season while the nutmeg teases the natural spice from Hendrick’s Gin making this bright drink nicely nuanced for the fall.
1 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
3/4 parts Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 bar spoon All Spice Dram
3/4 parts fresh lemon juice
1/4 parts simple syrup
1 egg white
Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker and dry shake. Add ice into the shaker and shake again, vigorously. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Photography by Vanessa Granda