Being a Good-Looking Bartender Finally, Really Pays Off

Former Philly bartender Vincent Stipo is in commercial real estate, but now he's a "Cocktail Artist", too, thanks to Walmart.

Vincent Stipo wears — or can wear — many different hats.

Currently, he’s MSC Retail’s Real Estate and Hospitality Consultant, meaning he’s the guy they bring in to weigh in on restaurant build-outs, or find chefs and restaurateurs spaces which match their new concepts. But he’s also the guy who helped make Palizzi Social Club’s oh-so-magical front-of-house and bar what it is today. Before that, he was High Street Hospitality’s service director and AKA Hotel’s beverage manager, and before that he was a bartender making waves in Philly’s still-just-burgeoning cocktail scene at Vernick Food + Drink.

Now, his actual face is on a bottle of pre-made Moscow Mule mixer sitting on the shelves of a Walmart nearest you.

You see, Next Phase Enterprises has a longstanding relationship with the mega-retailer (and other mega-retailers like BJ’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Kroger). Market research revealed a demand for pre-made cocktail mixers and ingredients (especially since many of these big-box stores already sell liquor) so, Next Phase chose to release a new line of bartender “essentials” called Cocktail Artist. They partnered with different, notable “mixologists” — or “Cocktail Artists” — around America to develop mixers worthy of a spot on your home bar cart.

Here’s the line-up they launched with:

  • Grenadine (375 mL) – Developed with Bonnie Wilson, Dallas, TX
  • Lime Juice (375 mL) – Developed with Luke Andrews, Chicago, IL
  • Lemon Juice (375 mL) – Developed with Tenzin Samdo, Boston, MA
  • Simple Syrup (375 mL) – Developed with Sadiyyah Iddeen, Atlanta, GA
  • Mint Syrup (375 mL) – Developed with Juyoung Kang, Las Vegas, NV
  • Mule Mix (750 mL) – Developed with Vincent Stipo, Philadelphia, PA
  • Old Fashioned Mix (750 mL) – Developed with Matthew Biancaniello, Los Angeles, CA
  • Manhattan Mix (750 mL) – Developed with Robert Porter, Phoenix, AZ

As you can see, Stipo is among the chosen mixologists. There’s even a video. Please watch it.

Stipo tells Foobooz he chose the Mule Mix because it makes a simple drink even simpler to make. All you have to do is add club soda and a spirit (vodka is customary) to the mix (made with fresh ginger and pure cane sugar), and voila: a Stipo-approved Moscow Mule. Keep in mind, one bottle makes between 8-10 drinks. Time to load up on copper mugs.

I love the craft of bartending and the creative canvas it provides,” says Stipo. “My partnership with Cocktail Artist Essential Bar Ingredients, and the development of the Mule Mix, has provided a much needed outlet for the home bartender and cocktail enthusiast.”

One would imagine a partnership like this could be very lucrative, this is Walmart money, after all. Stipo says, “We’ll see.”

And say what you will about the brand, or the Saturday Night Live-esque video above — at the very least, kudos to him for not being recorded on camera saying “I am a Cocktail Artist”, or maybe worse, being the new face of simple syrup.

Cocktail Artist [Official]