Mixologist Josh Pearson of Sepia - Biography

Chicago, IL

January 2011
Mixologist Josh Pearson began his hospitality career as a teenager in his hometown of Queensland, Australia. After serving at several cafés, he took his first position as a bartender at the legal age of 18, which ignited a newfound interest that ultimately defined his career path.

Eager to explore the world of cocktails, Pearson sought several books chronicling the history of mixology. One title in particular, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (a classic encyclopedia of the 20th century cocktail by David Embury), fascinated and continually informed him as he took on bartending positions throughout Australia. Pearson spent time at CBX in Sunshine Coast, as well as UQ Club and Family, both in Brisbane. Seeking a new adventure, Pearson moved to Canada, where he refined his skills as a bartender at Dominion on Queen in Toronto before moving on to Chow in Vancouver.

Pearson then made his way to Chicago and accepted an opportunity to join the Sepia team in 2009, where he is responsible for the creation and constant evolution of Sepia’s highly-respected cocktail program, which places emphasis on the classics with seasonal products and international flair. While he takes his drinks seriously, Pearson is guided by an overarching philosophy that a great bar should still be fun, a philosophy inherent in his clever combinations and cocktail descriptions.

An active participant in the Chicago’s growing mixology scene, Pearson is a member of the Illinois Chapter of the United States Bar Guild. When not at Sepia, he can be found sipping his favorite cocktail (the Astoria or the Toronto) at The Drawing Room in Chicago, Prime Meats in Brooklyn, or Boneta in Vancouver. He believes that there is always an answer in gin or rye whiskey.