Alcohol & Spirits

Pharmacie: Talmadge Lowe's Bespoke Cocktails + Southern Hospitality

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Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 8:39 AM

click to enlarge Cocktail by Talmadge Lowe - NEXT EXIT PHOTOGRAPHY
For the past three years, one of the most interesting invitations a 21-and-over person in Los Angeles could secure was for The Pharmacie, a Mad Men-esque cocktail party organized by gentleman "drinkist" and handsome bow-tie wearer Talmadge Lowe. For those of you who never made it to the party -- or maybe never heard of the party in the first place -- your time has come. The idea has now evolved into a bar-for-hire.

In a city full of first-name-only mixologists and hipster bartenders, Lowe holds his own, excelling at making classic cocktails. His French 75 and Sazerac are among the best we've had.

A native of Florida with ties to New Orleans, Lowe spent the last few years working his day job in catering. He's now focused on the public version of Pharmacie -- a gracious alternative to hiring any old bartending service off of Yelp. He will create drinks especially for you or offer his own menu.

click to enlarge Cocktails at Pharmacie - RACHAEL NARINS
  • Rachael Narins
  • Cocktails at Pharmacie
Having started out as part speakeasy, part R+D lab, the original bimonthly get-together focused on one spirit made into three very different drinks, served with a brief yet captivating history lesson. Past concoctions include Le Bonheur Alpin made with gin, Benedictine, port and pomegranate; and The Duke Ellington, composed of rye, Aperol, sweet vermouth, pineapple-brandy syrup and orange bitters, a drink so popular that the well-heeled guests calmly clamored for seconds. With those kind of results in a test lab, it made sense to Lowe to offer what he was doing for a limited crowd to a wider audience.

As for the name Pharmacie (that's the French spelling), it has a double meaning: Mixed drinks were originally served in pharmacies as health remedies, and Lowe's own father is a pharmacist.

We contend that while not every occasion merits calling in a caterer, most events certainly could benefit from a bespoke bar.

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