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The Trade

Talmadge Lowe

Talmadge Lowe - self-proclaimed "drinkist" - has been hand-crafting, reformulating + redefining cocktails from Los Angeles to New York for the past 15 years.  As the founder of Pharmacie, Talmadge helped to usher in the age of the bespoke cocktail - elevating drinks from the mundane to the magnificent.  As Benjamin Franklin said it best, "There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking".

What inspired you to start Pharmacie?

I was tinkering on my own and hosting an invite-only, underground speakeasy while working in the LA event industry. I love the vibe of those bespoke cocktail lounges and wanted to bring that into the event industry, so, I took my speakeasy “above ground.”

Where did you find your passion for cocktails?

Dissatisfaction. Every time I ordered a drink (before the cocktail renaissance) I felt I could do better. So I tried to put my money where my mouth is. Now, you can get a good drink just about anywhere, thank god.

It’s January! What are some of your favorite seasonal ingredients and preparations?

Lots of good citrus. Especially Kumquats - great in margaritas and old fashioneds.

What’s the most important thing to throw a perfect dinner party?

The right guest list. If you have interesting people there, the rest will fall into place.

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You began with a roaming speakeasy and now your libations can be found at events throughout the country! How do you feel the appreciation or attitudes towards cocktails have changed since you started the company?

There are still a lot of people who claim they aren’t into cocktails when we meet. So it’s always fun for me to meet the challenge of changing their mind. I love turning the non-cocktails people into real “appreciaters.”

It’s Happy Hour. What’s your drink of choice?

That always depends…but I had a Grapefruit Negroni recently in Tulum that could easily become a daily habit.

Do you have a favorite local artisanal treat?

Bar Keep Bitters - love every single bottle. Made in LA.

If you could choose one of January’s featured ingredients to cook with, what would you choose and what would you make?

A piece of avocado toast with a fried egg topped with this salsa sounds damn good to me. - La Fundidora “HumoSalsa

Midnight snack of choice?

Ice cream straight out of the pint. Chunky Monkey.

What do you think the next BIG spirit trend is going to be?

Using local spirits. It seems there are distilleries opening everywhere and making really interesting stuff and with the buy local movement, it just makes sense.

What’s the one trend you can’t wait to fall out of public favor?

Culinary or “chef-y” type cocktails. There’s really no need for a mushroom infused bourbon.

What’s up next for you? Any exciting culinary travels or ventures to share?

We are looking at opening Pharmacie operations in Austin and Nashville and are experimenting with making our own bitters, finally.

Stay up-to-date with Talmadge + Parmacie's cocktail adventures:

Twitter + Instagram: @pharmacie_la