The Cooper Spirits Company, makers of the hand-crafted St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, proudly announces the creation of L’Equipe – a multi-pronged initiative dedicated to cocktail education and the development of the men and women at the heart of cocktail culture. French for “the team,” L’Equipe’s goal is to ensure that the bartenders, beverage directors and drinks professionals who are instrumental to St-Germain’s success understand that Cooper Spirits is always promoting the extended team that is integral to the success of the cocktail culture movement.
“The success of St-Germain is 100% attributed to our dedicated mission to share integrity-driven spirits with the world,” said Robert Cooper, founder and president, The Cooper Spirits Company. “We do that first by making the best quality spirits, and second by supporting programs and people that facilitate drink lovers everywhere to discover the world of finely crafted spirits.”
L’Equipe St-Germain supports the proliferation of the cocktail through dedicated, worthwhile programs that keep the bartending community engaged with the brand. The bar trade-focused initiative achieves its goal through education, partnerships and unique points of engagement.
Education forms the foundation of L’Equipe and the programming -- which includes the St-Germain Bartender Exchange, the BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) Scholarship and the St-Germain Educational Grant -- illustrates a respect and understanding for the bartender’s needs and preferences.
Now accepting applications for fall 2012, the St-Germain BAR Scholarship program awards one deserving drinks professional with access to the world’s most comprehensive distilled spirits and mixology educational curriculum – the BAR Five-Day Intermediate Certificate Program. To be considered for the St-Germain BAR Scholarship, the applicant must be a professional bartender nominated by a fellow bartender and approved by the BAR committee, including industry heavyweights Doug Frost, Paul Pacult, David Wondrich, Andy Seymour, Steve Olson and Dale DeGroff.
“To have the opportunity to learn from the best in the business…and to meet and study with a group of fellow bartenders and professionals was a truly unforgettable and amazing experience,” said Bob McCoy, bartender at Island Creek Oyster Bar (Boston) and most recent recipient of the BAR Scholarship.
The St-Germain scholarship covers the $3,500 for tuition and $1,000 for travel. Past recipients include McCoy and Kevin Martin of Eastern Standard (Boston). Deadline for applications is Tuesday, August 7 and the winner must be available for the five-day program in New York on September 24 – 28. Bar professionals may apply for the BAR Scholarship at the St-Germain web site.
St-Germain Bartender Exchange
Started during the formative years of the cocktail renaissance, the St-Germain Bartender Exchange has been facilitating the interchange of ideas amongst the world top bartenders since 2007. St-Germain arranges for two bartenders from cities around the world to swap bartending shifts over the course of the same three-to-five day period. Bartenders have the chance to learn the host bars menu and share tricks of the trade with fellow cocktail comrades while St-Germain picks up the tab on travel and ground expenses for participants.
Past esteemed participants include Phil Ward of Death & Company and Mayahuel (NYC); Brian Miller of Death & Company; Thomas Waugh of Alembic (San Francisco); Kamil Foltan, Zetter Townhouse (London) and Joshua Fontaine of Experimental Cocktail Club and Candelaria (Paris). Bartenders interested in participating in the program can email [email protected] with the bar and city where they are currently employed and why they should be considered for the next exchange.
St-Germain Educational Grant
In a nod to the autonomous heart that beats in the chest of all bartenders, Cooper Spirits also offers the St-Germain Educational Grant to support creativity in educational resources designed to elevate bar culture. Curious bar professionals may also submit their proposals on the St-Germain web site where they are reviewed and awarded on an individual basis.
St-Germain also engages in support of like-minded artisanal spirits as exhibited by its sponsorship of the Tequila Interchange Project (T.I.P.), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of sustainable, traditional and quality practices in the tequila industry. Cooper Spirits will foster T.I.P.’s mission through sponsorship of existing programs and generating consumer awareness of the group’s cause.
To celebrate the artisanal, hand-picked elderflower blossoms -- still harvested on bicycles in the more remote areas of the Alps -- St-Germain has partnered with Linus Bikes to create a custom, limited-edition St-Germain bicycle. The bikes are in the brand’s signature navy color and feature the iconic St-Germain logo and crest, with cork handlebar grips and leather saddle. A focal point of the bikes will be an artisan leather bottle holder on the frame, perfect for cradling a bottle en route to a perfect picnic with St-Germain cocktails.
In a twist on traditional bar competitions, the brand will conduct the St-Germain Slow Bike Race, rewarding bartenders for their uncanny ability to slow down and smell the elderflowers. Borrowing from bike culture, the bartender who can stay atop their bike while making the slowest forward progress will be crowned the winner. A very limited number of the St-Germain bikes will be available for sale on the website as well.