Audrey Saunders, aka the "Libation Goddess", opened The Pegu Club in New York City's Soho district, in late August 2005. Pegu Club has established a global reputation not only for its beverage program, but also for all facets of service in an uncomplicated, civilized atmosphere.
Saunders' began her career at the Waterfront Ale House in 1996, after taking a seminar from Master Mixologist, Dale DeGroff. For the next 3 years, she volunteered her time to work with DeGroff at special events whenever possible. In 1999, she and DeGroff opened Blackbird on East 49th Street where they worked side by side, and Saunders painstakingly proved herself to regulars by mixing her mentor's specialties to perfection. After Blackbird, Audrey became the Bar Manager at Chef Waldy Malouf's Beacon Restaurant, and then as the Beverage Director of The Tonic Restaurant with Chef Joe Fortunato.
Audrey joined The Carlyle Hotel in December 2001 in the role of beverage director, for the much-acclaimed reopening of New York's legendary Bemelmans Bar. She developed & fine-tuned a beverage program that has earned The Carlyle a global reputation for cocktails; Forbes Magazine voting it one of the top 20 bars in the world. She has been written about internationally, appearing in such publications as The New York Times, The London Times, FT, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, New York Magazine, Town & Country, GQ, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, Bon Appetit, Food Arts, Food & Wine, Saveur, Wine Spectator, Tatler UK, Hong Kong Tatler, Esquire, The Observer, The Guardian, The Caterer, and In Style Magazine.
Audrey is the beverage chair for NYC chapter of City-Meals-On-Wheels, as well as Share Our Strength/Taste of the Nation charities. Recognitions include winning Bon Appetit Magazine's Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year Award in 2007, Time Out New York Best Bar in 2006, Esquire Magazine's Best NY Bar 2006, Best Bartender Award & World's Best Cocktail Bar Award from Tales of the Cocktail 2007, Top 10 Bartenders in 2007 by Playboy Magazine, and Best Bar 2008 from Cheers Benchmark awards.