Zahra Bates, Brand Ambassador, Courvoisier, Los Angeles, California

Bartender Zahra Bates creates punch recipes with The Perfect Purée that are fresh, inspired and modern. As a brand ambassador for the French cognac company Courvoisier, Zahra is keenly aware of the vast number of flavors that can be derived from a single base spirit. She relies on The Perfect Purée White Peach Puree, for example, to complement Courvoisier, adding sake, Gewürztraminer and jasmine tea for a sophisticated, global punch at Cochon555, a city-to-city culinary tour and competition celebrating heritage breed pigs.

Zahra learned about The Perfect Purée from a pastry chef friend who recommended it for its consistency and low sugar content. She kept returning for the unique and varied flavors and now refers to The Perfect Purée when she’s developing recipes as much as a year in advance for Courvoisier.

“The Perfect Purée makes sure that I can still work with peak flavors instead of having to settle for out of season produce,” says Zahra.

Zahra was born in Morocco and educated in Los Angeles and London, where she earned a degree in English literature from Westminster University. As part of her international bartending education, Zahra chased cocktails from Cuba to Jamaica and worked behind the bar at Los Angeles’s iconic Bar Marmont as well as The Long Bar and The Purple Bar at London’s legendary Sanderson Hotel. The latter is where she discovered the magic that happens when the bar meets the kitchen. In Los Angeles, Zahra spent five years fine-tuning her culinary cocktail ideology at the Providence restaurant, which earned two Michelin stars during her time there and which propelled her to appearances on the Cooking Channel and the Food Network.

In L.A., where she lives, Zahra co-founded Art Beyond the Glass, an annual non-profit event now in its seventh year celebrating the creative expressions of L.A. bartenders when they’re off the clock. Proceeds from Art Beyond the Glass are donated to local arts-based charities.