Philip Pepperdine is Corporate and Trade Education Manager for Cooper Spirits International, which makes him chief mixologist for one of the hottest spirits in America , the elderberry-based liqueur, St-Germain.
So how did the brand ambassador for one of the industry’s top spirits get his start? Pepperdine began bartending in college “to get through monetarily, meet people, learn and have fun. Turned out I was very good at it,” he says.
Pepperdine moved to New York in 1997 and helped open Olive’s in the W Hotel. In the intervening years, he’s done beverage consulting (including at Aer in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District) and created cocktail progra m s, notably at Barbounia in New York. At Barbounia, “I could do my work and live a rambunctious lifestyle. I met my wife, Sophia, there. Then I met Rob Cooper [owner of Cooper Spirits].We clicked right away,” Pepperdine notes. In his work with St-Germain, Pepperdine is in charge of creating innovative cocktails, which can be a hit-or-miss process. “How do I come up with a recipe? First, [I] consider the environment it will go into. What’s the concept? You want to make it easy for the bartender to understand, so you don’t put too much in it, and you never want things to battle each other in a cocktail. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
And while being a brand ambassador means embracing life on the go, cocktailians can still catch Pepperdine working his magic behind the bar, since the mixologist guest bartends at places like the Randolph at Broome, Daddy-O and Summit Bar (all in New York).