Elderflower liqueur is the fragrant spirit that practically singlehandedly transformed the dying liqueur industry. It is known now as one of the many liquor mainstays in popular mixology bars across major cities. Robert J. Cooper, 39, the founder of the award-winning St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, died this week of unknown causes.
His legacy is one of ingenious marketing that began as his brand was introduced in 2007 and quickly picked up speed in the cocktails and spirits circles. Cooper was born into the spirits world. His family owned Charles Jacquin et Cie, an old liquor house in Philadelphia, and when Cooper left the family business to start his own featuring the odd elderflower liqueur that was popular across the pond, his father did not approve, according to The New York Times.
About a year after St-Germain was born, the name became ubiquitous with the liqueur itself, and in 2012, his product was so popular, that he sold the name to Bacardi for an undisclosed (but hefty), sum.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
“It was lucky,” Cooper at one time told The New York Times. “They wanted something different they could work with that had integrity. Now you can go to Whole Foods and get elderflower soft drinks.”