Martini drinkers find their golden goose?

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French vodka may not at first seem the tipple of choice among hardened martini drinkers but many are taking a gander at Grey Goose.

As the brand wings its way to the UK in September, it brings with it recommendations and high praise from bartenders in the US and Europe. Though only available in the on-trade, sales in the US are expected to top 500,000 cases in the coming year, according to Cellar Trends, the brand's UK distributor.

"The accolades from spirits experts and take-up by consumers in the US offers a very promising basis for introducing Grey Goose into the UK," said Terry Barker, marketing director at Cellar Trends. Grey Goose was first introduced in the US in 1997 by Sidney Frank Importing Co Inc.

Emphasis will be placed on "simplicity" in any promotional marketing, which will be aimed especially at the traditional martini rather than the shoot and slam market. In some regards, Barker is preaching to the converted as the styles bars of London have been stocking the brand for some months.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "There is a limited supply of the vodka because the French distillery in Cognac, is small and particularly unique. Even so, bar owners at trendy style bars such as Che and The Lab in London have found ways of importing their own supplies."

It has a distinctive image on the barshelf, with a frosted bottle depicting grey geese flying across the French Alps. Distilled and bottled in France, the premium brand is made with mineral water from the Gent Springs of Cognac and a blend of four grains: wheat, barley, rye and corn from France. It is also naturally filtered through Champagne limestone, giving it a "subtle bouquet", said the company.

Typical retail prices per bottle are $27 in the US and over £20 in the UK. For details contact: Cellar Trends on +44 (0)1283 217703.

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