The Spirits are Calling. Will you answer? Join us July 15-19, 2015 as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.
avatar for Peter Schaf

Peter Schaf

Tempus Fugit
Since 2001, Peter Schaf has been actively re-creating historic protocols, co-developing, consulting and/or distilling over 25 different European absinthe brands, in distilleries located in France, Switzerland, Italy and the UK, along with having been a co-owner of the historic Distillerie Emile Pernot in Pontarlier, France. In 2003, Schaf discovered the historical importance of the then unknown Distillerie Combier in Saumur, France, for absinthe distilling. He then helped Ted Breaux install his production there, assisting Breaux for 4 years distill, bottle and sell the Jade Absinthe line, which opened the door for Lucid Absinthe, the first modern US-legal absinthe. In 2005, Schaf was responsible for organizing the first UK importation of the French agricole rhums Habitation Saint-Etienne (HSE-Martinique) and Damoiseau (Guadeloupe). He originated and developed Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe over a period of 4 years, starting in 2003, which anticipated the lifting of the American ban on absinthe in 2007. Schaf co-founded Tempus Fugit Spirits in 2007 with John Troia, to independently import this and other craft absinthes into the USA.

Ongoing research lead to the development of the Tempus Fugit Spirits brand Crème and Liqueur portfolio (Crème de Cacao à la Vanille, Menthe Glaciale and Liqueur de Violettes) which were originally created, formulated, distilled and hand-bottled by Schaf and Troia in Petaluma, California. Due to overwhelming demand, domestic production was transferred to the talented master distiller Oliver Matter of Switzerland, who makes other Tempus Fugit brands Schaf co-created: Gran Classico Bitter, Kina L 'Aéro d'Or, Fernet del Frate Angelico, and Tempus Fugit Crème de Noyaux, with a dozen additional liqueurs and crèmes currently in R&D.
Seven years work lead to Schaf and Troia resurrecting their highly-researched version of Abbott's Aromatic Bitters, made and bottled entirely by hand by the two in California.
Newly released is Tempus Fugit Spirits Alessio Vermouth di Torino Rosso and Vermouth Chinato, also co-developed by Schaf. At least five more Vermouth types are slated to be added to the Piemonte, Italy-made series.

In 2002, Schaf translated one of the first modern French books on absinthe history into English, and has been a co-author for Whisky Magazine France, along with writing and contributing to internationally published articles on absinthe, bitters and vermouth.
Peter Schaf was featured in the New Yorker magazine's game-changing 2006 absinthe article 'Green Gold' that helped lead to the re-legalization of absinthe in the USA; discussed and shared vintage absinthe with Anthony Bourdain in the 2005 pilot episode of "No Reservations", recounted Pontarlier absinthe history on the 2008 Gourmet Magazine’s "Diary of a Foodie - Contraband Cuisine" episode, provided the French locations contact and coordination for the 2004 'The Green Fairy' episode of Kevin Brauch’s "Thirsty Traveler" series, consulted for the 2006 History Channel's "Modern Marvels" episode on absinthe production, and National Geographic's 2004 absinthe documentary.
His rare French absinthe drinking antiques have been used as inspiration and models for the exceptional 'Simon Pearce for Tempus Fugit' absinthe glasses, along with highly detailed, die-struck absinthe spoons, manufactured by a silver-maker for Tiffany's.
Schaf's life experience includes men's fashion, luxury hotel and country-club management, artisan jeweler and Colonial Spanish/Ancient Greek coin specialist, diamond selector for Cartier Paris, wine and spirits judge in France and a stint as a professional ship-wreck treasure hunter.
He is currently compiling his 15 year-long professional involvement and research on historical spirits, aperitifs, bitters and absinthe into multi-book form and a screenplay.
Peter Schaf has lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, the Florida Keys, California, on a 30-foot sailboat in the Bahamas, and since 1999 in Paris, France.