WHAT WAS THE FIRST BAR YOU EVER WORKED IN?
Grand Bar (at the Soho Grand Hotel) in New York City.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? WHAT’S NEW & EXCITING IN THE DRINKS WORLD OF TIM COOPER?
I’ve been playing around with Calvados quite a bit. I’m not too sure if that’s too new or overly exciting (yes it is Tim) but I’m a big fan. This may put some people off but I don’t think I’ll be using Applejack anymore. The majority of Calvados’s I’ve tasted are just too damn good! I love the fact that it’s just so easy to develop 3 or 4 ingredient cocktails with.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE INFLUENCED & INSPIRED YOU ALONG THE WAY?
Wow, too many. And this will be quite random and for many different reasons . . . .
My Stepmom, Michele Cooper, who has been a bartender for 30 years and still has the ability to smile and treat people with kindness.
Paul Chappell (Soho Grand) for teaching me how to be a REAL bartender.
Willy Shine and Aisha Sharpe for too many reasons.
Ed Medina, John Lermayer, Candice Coy and Leo DeGroff (BED NY) for having ‘Iron Bar’ contests with me every night that we worked together. I loved that staff we had there.
Julie Reiner for running a bar the way it should be done.
Giuseppe Gonzalez for helping me to refine my overall drink making game.
And finally Remi Shobitan for being the baddest bartender on planet earth that most do not know about.
And some of my favorite barbacks of all time. They’ve inspired me to work harder based on watching how hard they work. Val aka The Big Sexy (who has become an awesome bartender in his own right), Fredy Navarez, and Angel aka Mopachito. Also Gio Padin and Homar Miranda.
WHAT DO YOU DRINK WHEN . . . .
Before dinner: I don’t have a specific go to. Usually wine or a spirit on spirit cocktail.
You finish work: Too many variables on this one. Depends what work! I would like to say beer but the truth is it’s whatever I’ve already been drinking. Or perhaps the infamous ‘Repo Stella’: 3/4oz Partida reposado mixed with 12oz of Stella Artois. (Yeah, If I didn’t know any better, I would say that sounds nasty as well!).
On a lazy Sunday afternoon: A fat juicy Daiquiri variation.
When you’re contemplative: Something spirit on spirit. Love a Gin Blossom or Rum Old Fashioned.
When you can’t be bothered deciding: Tequila, enough said.
When the sun is beating down: Ice cold beer. Nothing is better.
When you’re lighting the fire: I don’t even know what this means, but I like the sound of it. Something Agave related.
When you have to answer silly interview questions: Maidens Prayer #2 (big shout out to Richie Boccato!).
WHAT’S YOUR ‘GO-TO’:
Aperitif: Campari or Aperol
Digestif: Always an Amaro
Beer: Stout, Guinness will do just fine.
Shot: Always tequila or Mezcal. Preferably a reposado or anejo in regards to tequila
Mixed drink: There’s too many to name. However if I’m at a bar without fresh ingredients, I’ll usually order a Negroni and help walk the bartender through it if I’m skeptical of their drink making skills.
Guilty pleasure: Ok, I’ll admit it, years ago I was known for drinking two pint glasses of Jaeger and Red Bull at the beginning of my shift. And I liked it. My love of Amaro’s to this day probably has something to do with my long lost love of Jaegermeister.
WHAT WAS THE LAST AMAZING COCKTAIL THAT BLEW YOUR MIND? WHO WAS THE GUILTY BARTENDER?
Naren Young’s apertif style ‘Splendido’ cocktail at Locanda Verde (this was a while ago). I believe there was 42 Below passionfruit vodka, Campari, fresh tangerine, honey syrup, Prosecco and rose water. I wanted to bathe in it. (I got that from Paul Pacult, have always wanted to use it!).
NAME 3 OF YOUR FAVOURITE BARS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD AND WHY?
Barbarella’s – Rio De Janiero, Brazil
The greatest bar on earth.
Goldbar – New York
Because I work there.
*The bar my friends are working at. I understand this is not an ideal answer but it’s very much the truth. People make the environment. The bar space, cocktails, and music are all the foundation, but it’s the people that make the difference.
YOUR HOUSE IS BURNING DOWN. WHAT’S THE ONE BOTTLE YOU GRAB? WHO DO YOU SHARE IT WITH?
The one that’s the fullest. And I share it with everyone. I’m for the people.
WHAT DOES YOUR LOCAL BAR INDUSTRY NEED MORE OF?
Fun bars that make great cocktails. I don’t always like to be quiet when drinking, sometimes i may even want to raise my voice. Or even shake my leg in a funny manner.
AND LESS OF?
Hate and jealousy. Arrogance. Bartenders who haven’t paid their dues. Just because you wear a vest and tie does not make one a jedi. There’s more to this than memorizing the specs on a couple hundred cocktail recipes. Also, keep in mind, just because you don’t like someone’s drink doesn’t give you the right to bash that person because of it. Everyone has different palates and different takes on what is appealing to him or her.
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE FANTASY DRINKING HOLIDAY DESTINATION (that you’ve yet to go on)?
I want to be on a yacht in the Greek Islands with a hand selected group of bartender friends who have spent the day before selecting an assortment of spirits and ingredients to last a week. Or maybe lets make it 4 days. We will have a chef and we will take turns ‘playing’ bartender. And it will be glorious. And i could go into much more detail but there is always fun in leaving something to the imagination…. Note to any brands out there, feel free to add more to this fantasy. You can do it.
IN WHAT BAR DO YOU FEEL MOST AT HOME AND WHY?
Gold Bar because it’s where I currently work and the staff is like family. But I have to say that there are a few bars that do a great job of welcoming and showcasing hospitality (New York specific)….. Flatiron Lounge, Dutch Kills, Clover Club, Painkiller, Yerba Buena Perry, Mayauel. I’m sure I’m missing quite a few others but these are the ones that jump out at me right away.