It’s often said that once you’ve been bit by the cocktail bug, spirit-ualistically, you’re never the same. But this transformative phenomenon of cocktail transcendence doesn’t just befall those who spend five nights mixing drinks as a certified professional. Cocktail culture permeates far beyond the walls of any bar, whether it’s a full time hobby, a family tradition or a personal happy place. The urge to create and share an experience that promotes camaraderie, celebration and that comfy-cozy feeling is innate to every human being. So it’s no surprise to discover what could be called “cross-over” cocktail culture, where people from all walks of life become harbingers to their own respective niche, spreading what us noble dorks hold so dear.
P.J. Pesce is an accomplished film director and writer, responsible for such films as “Smoking Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball” and the Tarantino produced “From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter.” He also wrote and directed the award winning Western “The Desperate Trail,” which he is developing into a show for HBO.
Growing up in a well-traveled Italian family, Pesce learned an appreciation for film and food that later blossomed into a career and a life-long love of the art of drink. While balancing the demands of Hollywood, a family and a full time cocktail hobby, Pesce still extends his reach in efforts to improve his community through not only his craft, but with good old-fashioned entertaining.
Film sets can be magical places; however a food chain exists, often with the crew landing at the bottom, while the producers, directors and A-list talent rise to the top. Cliques naturally form and not everyone gets to know one another. But not on Pesce’s sets. He extends an open invitation for any party involved to join him in his trailer for a cocktail, personally mixed by himself, for each and every person. A Hollywood director mixing drinks for cast and crew? Unheard of. Talk about keeping your ego in check. This is not only a gesture of thanks for their efforts, but a timeless tradition of bringing people together, boosting morale and reminding them, hey, we’re making magic happen, we’re making a movie.
Lindsay: Which came first, filmmaking or cocktail making?
P.J.: Well, I started tending bar back in the eighties when I lived in London… but I had already been making movies as a kid. So I guess I’d have to say that I made movies before cocktails.
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