With both labels marketed as high-end French vodka, both Ciroc and Grey Goose have found themselves the subject of many one-on-ones, whether in blind shots or mixed drinks.
In the battle of Ciroc vs Grey Goose, our team has taken the time to dissect both spirits to choose which vodka is better.
Choosing Between Ciroc & Grey Goose
When choosing a winner between Ciroc and Grey Goose, we like breaking everything down to the following criteria: raw ingredients, price point, production process, aroma, texture, and, of course, flavor.
Both Cîroc vodka and Grey Goose vodka are French labels but are made with different ingredients: grapes and grain. They also go through varying production methods. One thing’s for sure: both are equally good, smooth spirits, which is why many would consider them top-shelf liquors.
Origin & Brand History
Ciroc is manufactured by spirits giant Diageo and has been around since 2003. It was founded by Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, who studied winemaking at university. He was approached by Diageo to create a unique vodka made from grapes instead of the usual rye, potatoes, or wheat. Thus, the vodka brand was born.
On the other hand, Grey Goose was the brainchild of American businessman Sidney Frank. In 1997, Frank had the idea of developing a luxury vodka for the American marketplace, and he partnered with François Thibault to bring his vision to life. Within a year of its release, it was given the title of World’s Best Tasting Vodka by the Chicago Beverage Testing Institute.
Flavors & Variants
Both brands carry additional flavors apart from their plain vodkas.
Ciroc carries eight flavors apart from their classic: Mango, Watermelon, Coconut, Pineapple, Red Berry, Apple, Amaretto, and Peach. Their classic vodka is bottled at 80 proof, while the flavored variants are at 70.
On the other hand, Grey Goose has four available flavors: La Poire (pear), L’Orange (orange), Le Citron (lemon), and Le Vanille (vanilla).
Most vodkas use a multiple distillation process, believing it’s the most effective way of removing impurities. Similarly, Ciroc vodka is distilled five times: four times distilled in traditional column stills and once in a copper pot still, to ensure that the actual vodka is crystal-clear.
On the contrary, Grey Goose disses that thought process — they choose to distill the spirit just once. They even go so far as to say that “if you need to distill more than once, you need better ingredients.”
Despite the single-distilled vodka production, their emphasis on using only quality ingredients guarantees a pure spirit. The distilling process takes place in the same region before being sent to Cognac to be blended with spring water.
Like other vodkas, Grey Goose is made from grain. The brand sources soft single-origin winter wheat from Picardy and blends it with spring water from Gensac-La-Pallue. The starch and minerals of the wheat are the perfect backdrops to a soft, bread-like flavor. Also, despite the use of wheat, it remains gluten-free .
Ciroc takes a different approach — instead of using wheat, the company uses quality grapes, specifically Mauzac Blanc and Ugni Blanc grapes from the Gaillac and Cognac region in France. These grapes are first turned into wine before being distilled into vodka.
Pop Culture Presence
Ciroc took on Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy, as a brand ambassador in 2007, which skyrocketed their sales. P. Diddy’s party lifestyle made the brand synonymous with glamor and celebratory indulgence. In return, the rapper gained a whopping 50 percent of Ciroc’s profit.
Meanwhile, Grey Goose has been mentioned a few times in pop songs. Lorde’s 2013 hit “Royals” referenced it as a symbol of an artist’s extravagant lifestyle.
Flavor, Texture, & Aroma
Most people will tell you that all vodkas taste like boozy water — practically flavorless. Instead of being flavorless, Ciroc has a unique taste: light and fruity, kind of like an energy drink. On the nose, it is also fruity.
On the other hand, while Grey Goose might be similar to others when it comes to flavor and aroma, it excels in texture. Its unbelievably smooth texture lacks the burn found in many other vodkas.
With or Without Chaser?
You don’t need chasers for both vodka brands, but we have to say that we enjoyed sipping on Ciroc more. Chilled Ciroc is a delight to drink, much like having a refreshing glass of Sprite. On the other hand, we found Grey Goose a tad bitter.
Ciroc’s fruity flavor makes it the perfect pairing for many fruit juices. It also does just as well in classic vodka cocktails.
On the other hand, Grey Goose’s smooth flavor profile is the perfect backdrop to many cocktails. The Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, and Screwdriver are some great recipes that will work well with this vodka.
Both have a high price point, around $30-ish for a 750ml bottle. They are also bottled at 80 proof (40 percent ABV).
Which is smoother, Ciroc or Grey Goose?
Grey Goose is a lot smoother than Ciroc. Although both are fairly smooth, Grey Goose lacks that alcohol burn found in other vodkas, including Ciroc.
Is Ciroc more popular than Grey Goose?
No, Ciroc isn’t more popular than Grey Goose. We would even argue that Grey Goose is more popular based on sales data. According to Statista, in 2019, it emerged as the clear winner in vodka sales, followed by Belvedere. Ciroc placed third.
Are Ciroc and Grey Goose top-shelf brands?
Yes, both Ciroc and Grey Goose are top-shelf brands. Both premium labels are synonymous with extravagant lifestyles, and their French origins lend an air of refinement to them. You would be proud to display either in your liquor cabinet.
It was a close battle, but we’ll have to give the Ciroc vs Grey Goose vodka battle to…Ciroc vodka! We especially love how Ciroc “went against the grain” to produce a unique vodka. We are so used to neutral vodka that it was refreshing to taste something delightfully fruity.
However, our verdict is not to say that Grey Goose isn’t an excellent vodka! It’s an equally excellent vodka that will work well in shots and cocktails.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!