We Traveled To Ibiza, Spain To Celebrate The Launch Of Grey Goose’s Altius With DJ Idris Elba

Amy Jackson

The French vodka brand Grey Goose is notoriously known for throwing fabulous parties, so it made sense to have Ibiza, Spain, as the backdrop for the launch party for their newest ultra-premium expression, Altius. We were invited to attend the intimate party and join as special guests to enjoy a memorable weekend on the sleek Balearic Island ahead of Memorial Day. Also, who would pass up a trip to one of Europe’s hottest places to taste-test vodka and enjoy a DJ set from Idris Elba? Exactly. However, I didn’t know what to expect from the trip as I’d never been to Spain, let alone Ibiza. What I did know, though, was that I’d be staying at a fabulous hotel, the Mondrian Ibiza. Due to the Mondrian Los Angeles, I was familiar with the line of hotels, so it wasn’t hard for me to prepare myself for several days of luxury laced with midcentury modern interiors. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the breathtaking views once I got there. The Mondrian Ibiza overlooks the turquoise waters of Cala Llonga, instantly making you feel relaxed and at peace. After 13 hours of traveling, the view was just what I needed.

Aside from resting, playing, and lounging at the Mondrian Ibiza, I also had an opportunity to visit and eat lunch at the luxurious Six Senses Ibiza. I was excited to go because of their property’s pristine global reputation, which didn’t disappoint in person. Aside from the jaw-dropping views, stunning pools, and aesthetically pleasing architecture, the food there was fantastic. We sat down for lunch overlooking the waters of Cala Xarraca while enjoying spicy tuna uramaki and their delectable Green Spritzer cocktail comprised of St. Germaine, cava, melon, and cucumber cordial. I’d highly recommend staying there if you’re ever in Ibiza. 

After lunch, we returned to the Mondrian Ibiza for some pool time and to prepare for the Grey Goose welcome dinner at a known Ibiza beach bar and restaurant, Playa Soleil. After mixing and mingling amongst eachother and enjoying Grey Goose martinis, we all settled down to enjoy our three-course meal: ratatouille, grilled chicken fillet, vegetable paella, and creme caramel for dessert. 

The next day, we arrived at Hyde Ibiza’s Bungalow for the Altius reveal and tasting lunch hosted by Joe McCanta, Grey Goose’s global Head of Brand Experience. We all marveled at the gorgeous blue and white tablescapes and the menu. It was a delightful spread as we feasted on French goats cheese salad, prawn cocktail, and grilled sea bass. Then came what we all gathered in Ibiza for the actual tasting of Altius. To preface the tasting, McCanta encouraged us to cleanse our palates with sorbet. I learned that’s the French approach to tasting vodka. After our palates were cleansed, we were primed to sip. Before we could wrap our lips to taste, McCanta had some words for the group. “We tasted every single batch of Altius; that’s why we’re so excited to share with you today and the world,” he exclaimed. He then explained more about Altius’s production process. “We freeze it at -24 Celsius, which in turn crystallizes it and ultimately changes the flavor of the vodka. We also source water from the French Alps to add a unique minerality.” 

Grey Goose Master Distiller François Thibault said, “As the quintessential French vodka, it was an obvious choice for us to draw inspiration for our next great innovation from one of the most admired earthly wonders in the country. “For GREY GOOSE Altius, we worked to develop a liquid with processes reminiscent of the rare phenomena that naturally occur at high-altitude temperatures in the Alps to bottle the glacial smoothness that the mountains are admired for.”   

After tasting Altius for the first time, I experienced earthy undertones and soft green apple notes. I found it refreshing. Although the expression won’t be available in the United States until July of this year, it launched at premier European destinations, such as Ibiza, Mykonos, and Saint Tropez. Altius will be exclusively offered at the world’s best bars, nightclubs, and restaurants in 700ml and 1.75L, with pricing at the venue’s discretion. 

While the United States anticipates its arrival, we spoke with McCanta beforehand to learn why this expression is unique. During our interview, McCanta shared the intended concept behind the expression, which was aligned with the Grey Goose brand. “The concept started with us thinking about the migration of our geese. Geese in France can fly up to 7000 feet, crossing even higher altitudes. We thought about them traveling over the French Alps and what they experienced. Part of it is obviously the coldness of the altitudes, but the other component is purity because you’re above everything else that’s down on earth. So we asked ourselves, ‘How do we achieve this pure kind of glacial purity for this vodka?’” he said to ESSENCE. 

The Grey Goose brand prides itself on attention to detail, which could be why its expressions are synonymous with luxury. “Luxury for me as a brand is being a trendsetter, not waiting for things to happen, but leading the way instead. If you look at what Altus is doing, it’s creating this new category within the ultra-premium lane by its limited nature,” McCanta continued. “So the fact that we’re doing this as a limited edition, and it’s hand bottled, as a big brand, is luxury. Confidence is the ultimate luxury, being able to think about the next step and not looking at your competition.” 

Although there are many words to describe Altius, McCanta left us with these two, “glacially smooth,” and we couldn’t agree more.

The celebration

The Altius launch event was quite a whirlwind. The influencers and I were whisked to Da Noi Due, a beautiful white villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, to enjoy hor d’oeuvres, a caviar bar, and sip craft cocktails curated by McCanta. 

I glanced around the room and sipped on my Cosmopolitan made with Altius. I spotted Idris Elba’s wife, Sabrina, and a slew of international tastemakers and actors like Michael Ward and Kadeem Ramsey from Top Boy dancing to Elba’s DJ set as the sun went down. The scene was opulent, oozing confidence, luxury, and chicness, all of the elements Grey Goose is known for. 

The obvious highlight of the evening was Elba reveling in all of his musical glory. After experiencing his DJ set, I understood why he loves Ibiza and Grey Goose. Before the trip, he exclusively told ESSENCE, “I love Ibiza. This part of the world, the Balearics, is magical, and the gravitational pull is different. You feel it as soon as you land, and while it’s hard to explain, you feel at ease. There are some parts of the Balearics where your watch starts to slow down. There’s something very magical about it. Grey Goose Altius is one of the smoothest drinks to have. It’s a clean vibe. You don’t want to temper it with anything too heavy because the energy is already good. The combination of how clean and smooth it is makes it the perfect drink in Ibiza.” 

As if we needed further convincing. 

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