Peter Ruppert Lucien Pastis Don Papa Rum Sweet Water Summer Cocktail New York cocktail bar summer

Grandlife guide

Peter Ruppert's Guide to Summer Drinking

back to list

Peter Ruppert honed his skills as a mixologist and bartender at some of New York’s most iconic establishments—Pastis and Lucien among them. He’s the guy with the colorful shirt and extensive knowledge of all things rum, including how to incorporate it into a recipe for au Poivre (peppercorn sauce). We recently caught up with Peter to talk New York bar culture, the art of mixing the perfect drink, and to get his recipe for Sex on the Peach, a twist on the classic summer cocktail. 

Hey Peter, how are you, and what have you been up to so far today?

Peter Ruppert: Hi! I’m doing great! I actually just wrapped up a project I’m involved in with a rum called Don Papa. We have a vintage horse carriage we converted into a traveling bar and we are planning on taking it with us to The Hamptons for all of August.

Where’s home for you in New York?

PR: Home for me has been Greenpoint for almost ten years now. 

And how about your home away from home—do you have a favorite local hangout during summer? What dishes/drinks do you order when you go?

PR: Sweet Water in Williamsburg has essentially been my living room/office for as far back as I can remember. It was the last place I ate before the quarantine and the first place I actually sat down for dinner after the lockdown was lifted. I have to say being able to sit down to maybe the best burger in New York and their frozen Pabloso has really saved me.

What are you drinking now that summer is here? Is it a trusty favorite or are you onto something new?

PR: When I’m preparing drinks and dinner for friends and family I’ve been moving between reliable classics while also definitely putting my blender to work. A late afternoon Negroni is an easy but reliable cocktail to enjoy before dinner. If it’s a day by the barbecue, I say break out the blender and make some banana daiquiris. I’ve also been making a fun twist on a Sex on the Beach I named Sex on the Peach made with Don Papa Rum, Peach Schnapps, pineapple and peach purée.

Cocktail hour at home has become part of our new existence. Any suggestions for setting the scene and adding that extra something to really make an impression?

PR: When setting up your home bar I think it’s important to really focus on what you like but also make sure you have a collection that accommodates guests you might have over. Keep some vermouth and bitters on the deck and don’t forget about the importance of a garnish. Some people could take personal offense to a martini that has no olive.

Any unusual ingredients you’ve been experimenting with lately that have been a bit of a hit? 

PR: I think that the most unusual ingredient I’ve been experimenting with lately has been grappa. While it really is almost exclusively drunk on its own it pairs surprisingly well with citrus and blends nicely with teas or coffee.

Tell us about your secret au Poivre recipe made with rum—what is the origin of the recipe, and what makes it so remarkable?  

PR: With my au Poivre recipe I typically start with a reduction of scallion and garlic with aged rum. Typically, you would use brandy but one day when I had a craving and had no Brandy in the house I ended up using Don Papa 10-Year aged rum and it gave the sauce a soft sweetness. Seems like it’s a hit because I’ve gotten plenty of requests for the recipe. 

Now that businesses are starting to reopen and public life is resuming, where can we expect to find you mixing drinks this summer? 

PR: Like I mentioned we now have a portable bar dubbed “The Rum Wagon” that we currently have parked in front of Dolly’s in Williamsburg. It will be on the move out to Montauk come August.

New York is celebrated for its bar culture but beyond the accolades, what do you think gives the local bar scene its appeal?

PR: New York is home to some of the most celebrated bars on the planet and these days there is no doubt it’s one of the things New Yorkers miss the most. I think the thing that gives these places the character are the people in the seats. It’s long been my opinion that at the end of the day a bar is just a room in a building, what makes it special is the company that it keeps inside it. Well now it’s the people out front, pretty much any neighborhood you stroll through has sectioned off a price of the street for locals to come out and mingle in. Obviously at a safe distance from each other.

Peter’s Sex on the Peach 

1.5 oz Don Papa Rum

.5 oz peach schnapps 

1 oz peach puree (made by blending equal parts peach jam and water)

.5 oz pineapple juice

.5 oz lime

Shake vigorously and pour over ice garnished with peach slice and pineapple leaves

WORDS Edwina Hagon

PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Ruppert 


You May Also Like

New York Stores bookstore coming soon abc home adam green brianna lance tali lennox academy records maryam nassir zadeh no.6 store shopping the realreal sincerely tommy strand bookstore mast di palo's

Local Go-Tos With Adam Green, Brianna Lance, Nikki Kynard & Others

art & design
now open
We asked friends of GrandLife to share their favorite NYC stores and what they love about them. Here’s what they told us…
ABC kitchen loring place diner marlow & Sons olmsted blue hill at stone barns farm-to-table season locally grown new york restaurant outdoor dining

6 Farm-to-Table Restaurants to Visit Now

now open
New York is teeming with seasonal and locally grown fare and many of the city’s top spots are now open for outdoor dining.
Pace Gallery Julian Schnabel Deitch Projects Peter Nagy Arlene Shechet Shrine The Hole Katsu Dot David Zwirner

Get your Art Fix at these New York Galleries

art & design
From Julian Schnabel's large-scale works at Pace Gallery to Peter Nagy's reflections on ’80s New York at Deitch Projects—we share a hit list of exhibitions to visit now.
Alfresco Dining Sidewalk seating outdoor dining new york open street program dimes ten bells dudleys kikis greek the odeon dante gilligans little ways via carota buvette bar pisellino carbone roxy hotel

Weekend Block Party: Alfresco Dining, Live Jazz & More

food & drink
From Orchard to Grove, we roundup the liveliest streets downtown with recommendations on venues to visit, when to go (happy hour, anyone?), and more. 
Little Ways Soho restaurant bar the flower shop ronnie flynn dylan hales new york dining al fresco

Welcome to Little Ways

food & drink
A ’70s-style bistro from the Flower Shop team, now open for al fresco dining. Co-founders Ronnie Flynn and Dylan Hales give us the grand tour. 
Chloë Sevigny, Natasha Lyonne, Mick Rock, richard boch, akiva epstein, anouk colantoni, veselka, raoul's, the odeon, souen, grand central oyster bar, ana kras

Local Go-Tos with Chloë Sevigny, Natasha Lyonne, Mick Rock and others

food & drink
We asked some of our favorite locals to share their neighborhood spots and what they order when they go. Here’s what they told us…
Drive-in theater New york Upstate Greenpoint Bel Aire Diner Skyline Theater Tribeca Drive-In

A Night at the Drive-In

From classic spots to summer pop-ups, we round up our favorite al fresco theaters, for your viewing pleasure.
Summer escape holiday day trip New York Long Island North Fork Greenport Montauk Hamptons Sag Harbor Rockaway

Embrace the Heat at these Summer Escapes

Oyster Bay, Greenport, Sag Harbor and beyond—our guide to doing summer right.
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013