Robert J. Cooper, the creator of the wildly popular elderflower liqueur St-Germain, died Monday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was just 39 years old and the cause of his death has not been determined, reports the New York Times.
— Edible Santa Barbara (@EdibleSB) April 28, 2016
Cooper, who launched the craft cocktail favorite in 2007, was a savvy marketer who vigorously promoted his spirit among influential mixologists across the country from the beginning. St-Germain, which is made from elderflower blossoms that only bloom for a month each spring in France, has won countless awards in the spirits world and the Times heralded it for single-handedly reinvigorating a dying liqueur industry in the later 2000s.
In 2012, Cooper sold St-Germain to Bacardi Ltd for an undisclosed sum but at the time Cooper reportedly revealed that it was “more than I expected to see in a lifetime.” His brand Cooper Spirits also makes Crème Yvette, a violet liqueur.
Today, St-Germain is ubiquitous on cocktail menus around the world, pairing well with almost all types of liquor—from bourbon to gin-- and even champagne.