In news that has shocked the global spirits community, Robert J. Cooper, founder of elderflower liqueur St-Germain, has passed away aged just 39.
Survived by his wife and two children, Cooper’s shock death was confirmed by Robyn Greene, senior vice president at family-owned business, the Cooper Spirits Company, in a statement to the New York Times.
Cooper was a director of his family’s business when he launched the globally-renowned St-Germain brand in 2007. The brand was then sold to the Bacardi family business in 2012 for what was rumoured to be a seven-figure sum.
St-Germain released a statement on Facebook expressing their shock and grief: “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Rob Cooper, the visionary founder of our beloved St-Germain. His brilliance and creativity inspired a generation within the cocktail world, and his legacy and spirit will live on. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Rob’s family and everyone who loved him.
Members of the industry also expressed shock at the tragedy, taking to social media to post tributes to the late Cooper. Global brand ambassador for St-Germain, Camille Vidal, released a statement on Facebook praising her “mentor”.
“I learnt so much from him, his genius and his creativity has always been an inspiration and he has been a true mentor,” she wrote.
With the cause of death yet to be confirmed, all that is known is that Cooper was in Santa Barbara, California at the time.