An Open Letter to Grey Goose Vodka

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Dear Grey Goose vodka;

It has come to my attention, during many incidents over the course of several years, that your wonderful product is determined to kill me. I am not referring to the ubiquitous hangover that so many of my clients have endured as a result of partaking in your fine product, but rather something more sinister.

Certainly we are all aware of the internal damage that can be attributed to years of enjoyment of Grey Goose vodka; I will not dwell on such trivial matters here. I am of course referring to the razor-sharp, serrated, metal enclosures that your company currently uses to seal the product contained within your fashionably-slender frosted bottle.

After opening the first three layers of my hand while opening a bottle of Grey Goose vodka recently, I have decided to appeal to your fine company on behalf of bartenders everywhere. For the nineteenth time this year, I was relegated to bartending with my left hand last Friday night, as my right hand (I am currently right-handed) spent close to an hour in the bivouac of my pants pocket, bleeding my precious life’s blood into a bed of cocktail napkins.

In economical terms, losing the ability to use my right hand meant that I had 50% of my ability to pour your fine product for my customers. Furthermore, my reluctance to recommend your fine product for personal safety concerns resulted in even lower sales. Of your fine product.

While the occasional home user may understand my frustration, it is professional bartenders, with their wet, shriveled, and therefore vulnerable hands that are most susceptible to losing a pint of plasma every eighteen drinks as a result of your product. And if I am not mistaken, Grey Goose, it is placement in bars that helps drive your sales in the home market.

So, please, Grey Goose, if you value your market share – and the manual dexterity of bartenders everywhere – please work to develop a less violent enclosure for your product. Your consideration in this matter is appreciated by myself and my colleagues.

Thank you,

Jeffrey Morgenthaler

26 Replies to “An Open Letter to Grey Goose Vodka”

  • Lillian says:

    I grab the foil and pull the whole thing off the neck, cap and all, without using the tear strip. I figured that out after my first two fillet-o-finger. Personally, working in a town where a majority of wells carry Herradura as the rail tequila, and the amount of bottle smashes and burned wells because of the poorly designed bottle result in a slow of sales in our high-volume market, they need to reconsider. They don’t make any extra $$ on the smashed bottles, it’s usually the one next to it on the rack that gets the extra order.

    If you can’t slide the foil off the neck in it’s entirety, a channel knife works well.

  • Sam Skaaf says:

    As a Bartender, I’m 43 years old working a union gig, I just got off working an 8 hour shift here in LA….so yeah I agree, and give you a thumbs up.

  • Warren says:

    Really? Are you kidding me? How long have you been bartending? Two weeks? Maybe a month? Was that your first bottle of Goose that you opened?

    It’s a seal over the cap made from LEAD – yes, the very soft metal that is far easier to twist off than it is to find the pull tab. The same stuff found on many wine bottles. I have opened Goose bottles for over a decade and I have NEVER tried the Pull Tab. It’s just the most stupid thing on the top of a liquor bottle.

    Keep in mind that they put the Pull Tab on the bottle to confuse stupid people – just pull the whole thing off w/o wasting the time to find the tab (unless your bar is LOW volume – in which case you have time to clean instead – Time to Lean = Time to Clean; Time to find the Goose Pull Tab = Time to Lean = Time to Clean)…

    (The french think differently – they look for different solutions, and not always efficient solutions…)

    With a soft grip around the neck of the seal – twist back and forth a few times and then twist/pull off. Never touch their Pull tab – just get all of the lead seal off because it doesn’t belong there anyway.

    I have to ask – do you have trouble with Absolute bottles too?

    For those just grasp the bottle cap above the neck, twist as if the plastic wrapper isn’t there, when cap free of top, torque it to the side and the plastic seal separates at it’s perferations – you don’t need to look for the pull tab a the top. It’s a 2 second open that I’ve seen people struggle with…


    P.S. Evan – Cazadores’s built in pourer just sucks. Mexican engineering just isn’t there yet. If you’re pouring it neat – knock the top of the bottle into the bottom of your glass – otherwise put the cap back on and knock that on the bar until it starts to pour again. It’s a good selling tequila though for us – too bad the Mexican’s aren’t yet smart enough to package things for American bars, Patron can kiss my ass – not the best tequila and one of the worst bottles to pour from. F$#@ing give me a speed pour that fits with every case I order (or stop advertising so I can free up back bar real estate…)

  • Evan says:

    I just stumbled across this post while browsing the site and Once again you nailed it! I have had a few bad times with grey goose(getting that foil jammed underneath your finger nail while behind the bar is always great). But there are many bottles I don’t like. When it comes to getting the speed pourer out of the bottle, Finlandia and Pearl come to mind as being a couple of the worst and then of course all those sticky liqueurs. Tequila gets my vote for overall trickiest bottles to pour out of, as mentioned before Patron as well as Aha Toro, Corzo and my least favorite bottle Cazadores. I have nearly ripped my hand off opening one of those and top of that, Cazadores has one of those stupid always clogging guards on it.

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  • Dear Jeffrey

    Many thanks to you and your colleagues for bringing to our attention your experiences removing the foil cap and cork on bottles of Grey Goose vodka.

    Please be assured that we value all feedback such as yours and I am very pleased to advise you that with immediate effect we have taken two steps to improve the quality of the foil cap on 750ml and 1 litre bottles. Firstly, we have increased the width of the tear-band itself to make removal easier and secondly we have lowered the position of the tear-band to reduce the risk of cut fingers on the foil when removing the cork. We are also currently looking into the feasibility of rounding off the lead edge of the tear-band to reduce the risk of the foil cutting under the fingernail.

    I hope that these actions help to reassure you that we are continually looking at ways in which we can improve the design of our bottle and foil cap and will continue to do so.

    Many thanks for all your support and I hope that with these new improvements you will continue to recommend Grey Goose to your customers now and in the future.

    Many thanks

    Sven-Olaf Hansen

    Global Brand Director
    Grey Goose vodka

  • Darryl says:

    I don’t like all the sugar that gathers under the cap of the Cointreau bottle. But other than that, no metal seal horror stories of my own yet.

    On the other side of the coin, how about GOOD bottle/cap design? I like Absolut’s cap the best. It feels thick and hefty. It screws easily. There’s no damn sealant glue or metallic wrap or cork. As for bottle design, I think few can beat Skyy vodka for pure pretty.

  • cristina says:

    We take off the foil completley with a wine key prior to the when we open. Those silly boys I work with make balls out of the foil to hurl at one another. Ouch!

  • Dr. Bamboo says:

    It’s stories like this that remind me why I drink gin. 😉

  • Smach says:

    Maker’s Mark. I hate using my teeth to open a bottle. Whaddayagonnado?

  • Before someone jumps on this, Booze Dummy, I’ll point out that Galliano does come in relatively-convenient 375 mL bottles that should fit on your shelf.

    My only problem with Galliano is that by the time you’ve finished a bottle, the pour spout has been cemented to the glass by a thick, yellow epoxy that requires placing the whole contraption in the dishwasher in order to remove it!

  • Booze Dummy says:

    How about Galliano? Now there’s a real treat. Not only is it delicious, but it’s packaged in such a convenient bottle. Any bottle 3 frikkin’ feet tall fits so well on my shelves…

    But, we can’t NOT stock it, because without that wonderful elixir, cocktail masterpieces like the Baywatch, Freddy Fudpucker, Dirty Orgasm, Italian Screw, Urine Sample, and the Virulent Death (all taken from WebTender) would be impossible to create.

    Do I sound a little bitter???

  • True, and you can’t get a speed-pourer into a Patron bottle without leakage.

    One of my personal pet peeves is cheap metal twist-off caps whose threads strip, leaving me to break out some sort of knife and cut the whole damn thing off.

    Also, Hendricks gin, while packaged in a lovely bottle, has such a small neck that it is nearly impossible to retrieve my metal speed pourers from a spent bottle.

  • Booze Dummy says:

    Patron. I hate that squat little square bottle that is twice as thick as it needs to be. It nearly takes two hands to pour the damn thing and when close to full, 6 ounces seems to end up all over the bar instead of the glass.

  • I also practice the ultra-quick heave-ho on all liquor bottles and wines by the glass, but every once in a while I’ll come across a stubborn specimen and have to resort to more traditional methods.

    Other bottles you love to hate, folks?

  • I’m with Keith. ALL spirit bottles and wine by the glass bottles get the ultra-quick heave-ho without having to deal with cut hands.
    But, please, sue the Goose, for making a product as painful to get at as to drink.

  • david shenaut says:

    Thank you for speaking on this subject. When pouring vodka it seems that speed is the formost concern of my client(who prefers a low cal-tasteless spirit). My hands have been greatly mis-treated by the goose. Therefore, I’ll often offer the super premium with the screw top knowing that the goose is getting low.

  • I’m too poor to have much experience with Grey Goose, but even I know about the hazards involved with opening that bottle.

    Is there any real benefit to using a cork with top-shelf vodka? Or is it just a superficial way to make your bottle look fancier?

  • sarah says:

    TOTALLY! Whenever i make it past the wine foil with no injury the Grey Goose is there to humble my poor hand. thanks for pointing it out maybe we should get a petition?

  • Dominik MJ says:

    The procedure, what Keith just commented is working with Grey Goose as well (it is more difficult as it is a bit of a show of strength…) – however you don’t even need to get the cork out of the cap – because you still have the old cork of the old bottle, right?

    I am also sometimes annoyed by the packaging design (e.g. I normally pull of directly all caps – but sometimes there is paper which is glued over the cap – so the new bottle looks directly like crap; or the plastic “pour sprouts” on many bottles (Bols) which you first have to remove, before you can use a normal pourer; several years ago I hurt myself, while removing one of this caps with a knife – so I had to go to hospital…).

    Why don’t you file a suit?


    Dominik MJ

  • Keith says:

    I’ve found that the metal seals on some bottles can just be pulled straight off the top of the bottle. I do this with most wine bottles, but even scotch or whisky bottles work. Sometimes the cork will come with it, but it’s much easier (and less injury prone) to pull the excess metal off just the cork. I really don’t enjoy vodka, so I can’t vouch for the ability to do that with a Grey Goose bottle.

  • Jimmy says:

    Good post! I have run into many bad bottles, but the Goose takes the cake. That pointy little thing where you start ripping the foil off cuts my finger UNDERNEATH my fingernail every time. Maybe I should learn and just not open the next one?

  • Scottes says:

    Sometimes I wonder if these companies ever try their products before shipping them. I’ve run into many odd bottles of rum – sometimes they’re not easily poured, sometimes the caps always crack, sometimes they have little inserts that just won’t allow the spirit out of the bottle. Please! Try your product before shipping it out!

  • Rick says:

    I’ve experienced this medieval torture with the Bacardi 8 bottle as well.

  • Darcy says:

    Good letter. I know the Grey Goose cap seal has ripped apart my fingers a few times. I think it is because of Grey Goose that I turned part of my bar kit bag into a first aid kit.

    Liquid Bandaid does wonders, plus it won’t slip off your wet fingers into the ice bin or someones drink.

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