GQ Mension

15. August 2017
FLICKLING THROUGH the well known mens magazine „GQ Germany“, one story follows the other, the interview with the CEO of a stock listed company is just a page away from the upcoming blockbuster of the next month. When reading the newest edition of the magazine, I had to pause between two articles: a full page picture of the brand „Grey Goose“.
As easy as a ornithologist spots a rare species up in the sky, I immediately knew what kind of drink I had in front of me, beautifully set on a marble table, ocean in the blurred background: the signature cocktail „Le Grand Fizz“. Indeed, I had to smile though. It was a nice coincidence. I was about to write down this story here, a story that took place in the night of July 5th to 6th in Berlin and had these components as its main characters: GQ Germany, Grey Goose and summer cocktails.

1997 – a year, solely having the potential to stick to a mans mind considering it was the year of foundation of „GQ Germany“, one of the most read magazines in the world.
Despite this paperback giant, the year 1997 also presents the establishment of „Grey Goose“ and therefore holds a culinaric revolution which is known as the „World’s Best Tasting Vodka“. A spirit, renowned bars all over the world wouldn’t know what to do without!
So quite a good year, wasn’t it?
Since it’s been exactly two decades from then to now, GQ Germany and Grey Goose partnered up during Berlin Fashion Week to celebrate their 20th anniversary with an event called „GQ Mension“. Invited were: everybody who’s anybody. And me.
Off I was to Berlin.


Berlin, 5.06.2017 – Rooftop Hotel Zoo
Most of you already know that I’ve been working with Grey Goose for quite some time now. My Instagram feed is a witness to all the milestone-like events I’ve experienced with the brand! Due to those extraordinary moments we’ve shared, my colleagues and I developed a kind of allegiance to the brand that we ever since express – what other way to expect – with the hashtag „#GreyGooseFamily“ in social media.
To preserve this cosy & family like feeling, at the day of the event the whole Grey Goose Family first met up on the rooftop of the Hotel Zoo for a Get-Together-BBQ.
Here’s a question that appeals to your imagination and is also descriptive for that time before the actual party:

Is there a better way to let an evening come to an end than by having snacks in your left, a summer cocktail in the right hand, laughing with friends over the roofs of a city?
  • creative suggestions are highly welcome as comments!

 

GQ Mension
(No, it’s not a typo. The name of the event really was „Mension“ not „Mansion“.)
Departure to the „Austerbank“; journey’s destination: „GQ-Mension“.
Passing the flashlights of the photographers and the security check, it suddendly felt I had left Berlin behind and entered a new world. It was just like back in the days, sitting on dads lap and looking through a huge storybook: beautiful colors everywhere, magical sceneries wherever one looked. Where do I begin, what do I look at first?
At this point of my story a special thanks goes out to the architectural cleverness of the „Austernbank“ (btw it’s „oysters bank“ in engl.).
Divided in 3 levels (entrance as highest, dance floor as lowest), I was able to let my gaze wander to get a general overview of what this event had to offer. Wasn’t an easy choice, I’m telling you that!
Indeed, the guests were as top-class as promised. From the highest authorities of GQ Germany to the most famous actors of the country- all present that evening.
However, there was this one thing they all had in common: that subdued bluish gleam on their faces, emitted from the luminescing Grey Goose logos hanging on the walls.
If I were a pilot, I’d describe them as my runway lighting; they showed me the way.
Walking through the crowd, guided by those shining logos, I suddendly saw a silver object flying through the air. A cocktail shaker, of course. And well…since I was on a party partially hosted by Grey Goose, I combined the facts and was sure of my conclusion: considering the speed in which that person switched between liquor bottles, glasses, ice cubes and shaker, it had to be a barkeeper of the Grey Goose Family. And the moment I was able to see the heads of the two people standing behind that bar, I knew who they were for sure:
one of them was a guy we call „Nouri“, a bartender that always wears his hat at an angle. The other, signalizing his profession by wearing a chef’s hat, was Sebastian Frank. Both honorable members of Grey Goose’s „Atelier of Taste“.
 

Due to the pursue of convincing people worldwide of the outstanding quality of their product, the people behind the brand continuously work on culinaric noveltys in combination with the high end vodka.
As a result of this plan, the very ambitious „Atelier of Taste“ was founded this summer. In a nutshell, the „Atelier of Taste“ is an event where the brand invites famous bartenders and chefs from all over the world for a culinaric Get-Together in „Le Logis“, a private mension of Grey Goose based in the heart of the cognac region. During those days, bartender Nourredine „Nouri“ Elmoussaoui and two star chef Sebastian Frank created an ingenious combination out of the signature drink „Le Grand Fizz“ and corresponding canapées.
 
Luckily, I was present when they first introduced their well-balanced compositoin of the drink „Petites Gorgées“ served in an oyster shell together with a canapé of chopped oyster in a broth of caramalized ham. (does this even make sense in englisch…?! Either way: I suggest taking a look at the menu’s picture)

„How was it?!“ is probably the question you’ve got in your mind right now. Well, probably the best way to describe the menu is by telling you about the strategic suggestion my stomach made to my brain, saying: „try taking as much as you can without appearing impudent“. Don’t we all have those moments?
Compliments to the chef!

Looking back to the „GQ Mension“ party, I do have to say that it was quite surreal. I stood there with a drink in my hand, behind me the flashlights of the photographers, next to me those culinaric lords between dozens of elegantly lined up oysters and in front of me the dancefloor crowded with celebrities. The evening was filled with so many great impressions, that I not just like to think back to it but also keep remembering new aspects and situations I haven’t even properly processed yet.

Maybe it’s because my subconscious doesn’t want to let go of the event, that everytime I’m having either a „Petites Gorgées“ or „Le Grand Fizz“, the impressions immediately come up and in my mind and I see myself on that party, standing at the bar and toasting with the other guests to the 20th anniversary of „Grey Goose“ & „GQ Germany“.