“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” W. B. Yeats
There is a rhythm to their movement, a sort of dance where their bodies move in synchronised motion as they shake the canisters. The mood is set, soft lighting, glazed bottles behind the bar, and the aroma of the different ingredients seating in jars waiting to be made into magical concoctions. Watching them, I am almost convinced that they are dancing to a tune that only the two of them can hear as they make those fabulous Grey Goose Vodka cocktails that we get to sample.
Growing up we knew magic was the gift of only a few people, chosen ones who would wield wands or put together potions. We read of magicians who tried to make lead into gold or create the elixir of life. Then there are the modern magicians, creating delicious portions and food for the gods for mere mortals. I met some of them, the amazing mixologists at our Bristology class at Brew Bistro, which is apt because magicians brew potions.
I was not sure what to expect when I went for the Bistrology and Grey Goose Vodka experience. Well, it ended up being more then I expected. It was an unforgettable night, with an amazing pairing of cocktails and dinner.
We started off with some bubby – The Grey Goose Le Fizz. I didn’t know that you could make a champagne-like drink with vodka. It was a refreshing combination of Grey Goose Vodka, some champagne, freshly squeezed lime with some chilled soda water served in a classic flute glass.
Grey Goose is premium quality vodka from France made from the finest soft winter wheat grown in Picardy, distilled and then sent to Cognac for filtration. The water used to make Grey Goose is filtered through limestone from the Champagne Region.
Joan Samia who is an award-winning mixologist was on hand with her slaying of hand skills making cocktails for us as we sat at the bar, finding out more about the history of Grey Goose. Joan Samia is the Brand Ambassador for Bacardi-Martini Kenya responsible for the brands Grey Goose Vodka, Martini, Bacardi, Martini, William Lawson’s and Bombay-Sapphire. I was excited to see her again, I had met 2 years previously when she was a mixologist for Villa Rosa Kempinski and she did make us some cool cocktails.
More about Grey Goose. Grey Goose is a vodka of firsts, the first vodka to be produced in the Maître de Chai tradition, which allows aromas to be produced in the distillation process specific to Grey Goose vodka. Other than the original vodka, Grey Goose boasts 5 fruit-infused vodkas: L’Orange, Le Citron, La Poire, Cherry Noir, and Le Melon and Grey Goose VX, which has a hint of cognac mixed in with the vodka. The citrus favours turned out to be my favourites.
We started with a shot of Grey Goose Vodka before moving on the 4 Course Pairing. It is a very smooth vodka with delicate aromas and as Jason said: “it tastes like no regrets.” It is a nice clean vodka, which is not harsh on the throat, and it has a very soft alcohol aroma so you won’t walk around smelling of vodka, especially when the sun is at its harshest.
The fact that it is so smooth makes it the perfect mixer for that mouthwatering cocktail.
We were starting with the Spiced Halloumi – Grey Kizuri
The Spiced Halloumi is a mix of spiced pan-fried, halloumi cheese, pomegranate Grey Goose, vodka onion jam, lettuce, cherry tomato, mint leaves and pomegranate seeds. It was delicious and I couldn’t get enough of it, it is definitely something I would recommend.
It was paired with the Grey Kizuri. It is a cocktail of Grey Goose, Cointreau, pomegranate juice, and homemade berry kiss syrup. The spiced Halloumi – Grey Kizuri was a fantastic pairing and the food and drink complimented each other.
For our second course, we had a choice between Paneer Ravioli – Red Goose or Crispy Quail – Red Goose.
I chose the Paneer Ravioli. This consists of homemade ravioli of creamy paneer, cumin seeds, paprika power, Grey Goose Vodka, tree tomato sauce, milk foam and fried basil leaves. It was a great dish although the cumin was a little overwhelming.
I did get to sample the Grey Goose marinated pan-fried quail, tree tomato sauce, fresh coriander, green pea puree, cauliflower puree & a tomato, onion and garlic confi. I prefer this dish, and it was an unusual pairing. I never thought I would like tree tomato sauce with quail, but it was a delicious combination. Something I would try at home definitely.
The Red Goose cocktail consists of Grey Goose, Tree tomato, homemade mixed berry syrup, lime juice and cranberry juice. I loved this as well.
Banana Leaf Salmon – Bistro Lovito
This was steamed salmon wrapped in a banana leaf, Grey Goose, couscous, orange juice, fresh pineapple, green chilli, fresh coriander, citrus sauce & grated fresh coconut. This was the best meal of the night, the flavours were so balanced. And that citrus sauce poured over the food. Ambrosia. It was so good I wanted more. My taste buds were singing because of the burst of flavours. If there is one thing I would recommend anybody to try it is the Banana Leaf Salmon. Thank me later.
The Bistro Lovito made up of Grey Goose Orange Vodka, homemade masala syrup, pineapple juice, orange juice, rose syrup & lime juice went very well with this and it was a great pairing. I am a fan of citrus flavours so this was just perfect for me. I think I am in love with the Grey Goose Orange Vodka.
For vegetarians, you have a Sweet and Sour Tofu option paired with a spiced mule.
Duo of Meringue – Goose Rula
This is a meringue cup of mixed berry ragout, cinnamon, Grey Goose vodka, fresh meringue topped with fresh berries & mint. It was quite an experience watching it being flambeed with Grey Goose Vodka. This is a sweet fluffy treat that just melts in your mouth.
The Goose Rula consisted of Grey Goose vodka, Amarula, Galliano, banana coated with chocolate & homemade mixed berry syrup. This was fantastic and a great end to the night. I am in love with the baked banana coated with chocolate which was perfect, something I would recommend Brew Bistro to sell as a snack on its own, it was that good. I have a sweet tooth so that was a memorable addition to the cocktail. There was also the Grey Goose Espresso Martini which was an option for those who chose the coffee option.
Let us just say my eyes, and tastebuds got a great workout with the beautiful food and drink on offer. I would definitely recommend trying out the mixology classes which cost Ksh. 5000 per person for a group of 8 people. This includes everything that we had for dinner.
What made the experience all so sweeter was the knowledge that it took hours of trying out new cocktails and food to get the right fantastic food pairing. The team did an excellent job and that makes the experience exceptional and magical, that so many trial and errors had lead to this beautiful Grey Goose experience. But I guess that’s what happens when you have premium vodka like Grey Goose, you must make the experience of trying it out with food an exceptional one. Next time you are thinking of doing something with your group of friends, this is something you should think about experiencing. You will not regret it.