Charlotte Voisey's Custom Cocktails
Wine Enthusiast's Mixologist of the Year creates six libations that celebrate taste, simplicity and style.
Like a well-balanced cocktail, London-born Charlotte Voisey is equal parts spirits lover, cocktail consultant and public speaker. And in her current role as Portfolio Ambassador for William Grant & Sons USA, her profile has evolved far beyond the bar.
From TV appearances on The Early Show, Fox & Friends, Top Chef Masters and Next Iron Chef America, Voisey seems equally comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind the bar. In 2011, she even appeared on CBS news to help cover the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, a thrill for London-born Voisey.
So how does one progress from bartender to broadcaster? It all started when Voisey joined a graduate management program with My Kinda Town restaurant group in London, where she received world-class hospitality training. Her career quickly took off as she began managing restaurants around the globe, from Buenos Aires to Barcelona. In 2002, Voisey returned to London and opened the classic cocktail bar Apartment 195 with the Gorgeous Group—and was named UK Bartender of the Year two years later.
It was at this time that “[my] focus shifted firmly to cocktails and mixology,” Voisey said. “I just always loved the pace, excitement and people I worked with in bars and restaurants and there was never a reason to leave or change that.”
This was especially once additional accolades started pouring in for her cocktail creations—Voisey has been the recipient of numerous awards: she won the silver medal at the World Female Bartender Championships in Italy in 2006, she was a two-time Golden Spirit Award winner and named Best American Brand Ambassador at Tales of the Cocktail (2007, 2009) in New Orleans and received official recognition from the James Beard Foundation in New York with 12 other female mixologists in 2008.
Voisey also won Wine Enthusiast's inaugural Mixologist of the Year Wine Star Award to her roster of achievements in 2011. When asked how she feels receiving this award, Voisey said, “I am pleased that the mixology community is getting this type of reward and recognition, it is the result of many gifted people working tirelessly, and uphill, to move the needle.”
Voisey added, “I am always honored to be part of this mixology revival, it is a revolutionary time for us. Within that I strive to be a responsible ambassador for clever, fun and educational mixology.”
Part and parcel of Voisey’s work is to rev up cocktail menus to reflect trends in the spirits world and to riff creatively on classic cocktails. Voisey develops drinks that appear on menus around the world—her cocktails can be found at New York’s famed speakeasy-style bar, PDT, the iconic Dorchester Hotel in London, the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, FIG in Santa Monica and several cocktail hotspots in Manhattan, including the Gramercy Park Hotel, W Hotel and rum bar Cienfuegos.
Her latest endeavor—a Wine Enthusiast promotion in partnership with William Grant & Sons USA—is a six-episode cockail video series which will be featured in the monthly Proof Positive: Mixologist of the Year newsletter. Every month, from July through December, Voisey will commorate William Grant & Sons USA spirits by creating delicious, simple and seasonally-inspired libations for Wine Enthusiast readers to easily emulate at home.
“I have most enjoyed seeing more consistently great cocktails in more cities of America,” she says. We’ll drink to that.