The Depart the Summer event was held at Roof at the Park South Hotel in Manhattan (You should visit if you ever get a chance!)
Bar Methods was going on while we were there, and I got a chance to say hello to friend Chris Bidmead, co-founder of this great eductional event that is held annually.
Brian: I personally did it about 3 years ago, and I encourage you to look into that for next year - it's an amazing educational opportunity.
Anthony gave a great demonstration about how to take great photos, and then we paired up into teams of two (I paired with Hazel) and we had a photo and video competition. There were lots of props and drinks. We had to submit one photo and one slo mo video. In the end my photo won the contest! (Picture at right). It was a photo of a Tequila Avión Negroni.
For my notes from Anthony's Seminar, click here to send us an email with "Share the Knowledge" in the Subject Line and we'll email you a document summary.
We'd love to see what you learned from this episode so please feel free to use the tips to take photos, post on Instagram and tag us @bartenderjourney !
WE WROTE A BOOK! - COCKTAILS MADE SIMPLE BY BRIAN WEBER AND AMIN BENNY
We are so excited to announce that the special project is our new book, Cocktails Made Simple: Easy and Delicious Recipes for the Home Bartender! It’s coming out on October 15, 2019!
If you're a Home Bartender looking to entertain family and friends, you'll learn how to build a functional home bar with essential tools and cost-effective tips in order to craft cocktails in your own home.
It was a great experience writing this with co-author and our West Coast Bartender Journey associate, Amin Benny and a quick thanks to Hazel Alvarado for Back of House duties on this project.
The book is available NOW for pre-order on Amazon. To keep informed about the book. please follow Bartender Journey on
I wanted to share one more thing with you - I just read an outstanding article on bourbonr.com. Its called “What’s Malt, and Why is it Needed”. It’s a really worth a read. It not only does a great job of explaining the process of producing alcohol , but also some of the differences between scotch and bourbon and also the definition of a Single Malt. I’ll have that link on bartenderjourney.net. We’ll have to try get the author of that article Mr. Henrik Brandt on the show sometime.
Joe McCanta, Grey Goose global ambassador joins us on the show. This interview was recorded at Tales of the Cocktail 2019 -- we get a great understanding of Vodka.
Bartender Journey has a very special project in the works! Do you want to be the first to know about it? Sign up here - Yes, I'd like to be in the loop.
We talk with Alberto Vollmer CEO of Santa Teresa 1796 Rum, made in Venezuela.
Also a chat with Attaboy alum Zachary Pease at his new bar in Manhattan called My Friend Duke.
Photos taken at the My Friend Duke media party on July 30, 2019
Listen in to the Toast to Tales, hear about the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s grant recipients for 2019 and hear about the Grey Goose Great Bar Race. Also, we talk to Jonathan Pogash about his edition of Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide.
We speak with Raymond Edwards, Chief Mixologist for House of Angostura during Bar Convent Brooklyn.
Raymond’s passion for mixology, coupled with his innate curiosity, motivated him to take part in mixology competitions, and soon after he was crowned Triple National Bartending Champion of Trinidad and Tobago in 2006-2008 and Bartender of the Year (Taste of the Caribbean) in 2007. Raymond also won the People’s Choice Award at the ANGOSTURA Global Cocktail Challenge that same year. Recognizing his talent, the Caribbean Hotel Association inducted Raymond into their Hall of Fame in 2012.
His curiosity did not stop there. Having had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the industry’s top mixologists and developing an acute understanding of the fundamentals of spirits, Raymond decided to enroll in the World Spirits Academy, where he earned his certification as a Master of World Spirits.
Raymond is known for his unique creations including the “Saga Boy Mojito,” “The Trinidad Swizzle” and the “T’Amaro Morning.” Raymond enjoys leading Master Classes where he can educate and inspire bartenders and share his love of the craft.
After 12 years in the industry, Raymond’s philosophy on the role of the bartender can be summarized by three key qualities: “You must first understand the ingredients, then the consumer, and ultimately, you must have passion for your craft.”
Hey Bartender Journey Fam!
While the Team did take a sabbatical for the month of June, your liquid libations for the ears will resume soon as Brian preps for his annual pilgrimage to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail.,
Meanwhile, we are excited to announce the addition of Wayne Clarke as a regular contributor. to the Bartender Journey Podcast Team..
While Wayne's professional focuses as an expert in the realm of cigars, as a spirits enthusiast, he offers a unique perspective on taste and texture and a healthy respect for the hospitality industry.
Check out his bio here.
This is Wayne's first article for the Bartender Journey Podcast. Photos below are his.
Indie Spirits Expo in New York City, Penn Club - June 10, 2019
by Wayne Clarke
Oh, the anticipation!
While anxiously waiting in line to give my name and retrieve my tasting glass at the 2019 New York Indie Spirits Expo, I could feel the excitement building. It was in the air. Waiting for me upstairs were 150 different small batch distillers in one room. For a lover of fine spirits, this was to be a sublime experience. Let the fun begin.
Immediately upon ascending the spiral staircase to the top floor of the Penn Club in Midtown, my senses were overloaded with the sights, smells and sounds of whiskey glasses clanking, conversation and camaraderie. I could tell already-this event was not going to be your average tasting. There was no pretentiousness, no egos, no snobbery. This was an event for people who truly love small batch spirits! Kudos to the event planner for ensuring that the venue wasn’t too packed with people, giving each individual ample opportunity to chat it up and network with brand ambassadors about their craft.
My tasting began with a bang, as I went straight for one of my personal favorite bourbons, Widow Jane. I started with their standard ’10 Yr Bourbon Whiskey’. Flavors of vanilla and caramel, together with an aroma of spice and cinnamon make this bourbon perfect for any newbie. Next I moved on to something totally different and tasted their ‘American oak and Applewood Aged’ Rye. Incredibly complex and unique with an ever so subtle hint of applewood flavor. You pick up tiny hints of smokiness and perhaps even dried tobacco. As the resident cigar guy, this is the perfect whisky to pair with any medium-bodied cigar you may have in your humidor.
As I made my way around the tasting room, trying as many different spirits as possible, a few more stood out to me. One of which, I had never heard of. I had the pleasure of meeting David Woods, President of Wiggly Bridge Distillery, based in my home state of Maine. David explained to me that they make their whiskey, vodka and gin in very small batches using a 60 gallon, handmade, copper pot still. I tried their ‘Small Barrel Bourbon’ and it was simply incredible. Artfully balanced and subtle, but full of flavor on the finish. I can say with confidence that this would make a great cocktail, or tastes lovely straight up, neat. If you can find it, I highly recommend giving Wiggly Bridge Bourbon, Rum, and Vodka a shot as your next adult beverage. You can find out more about the Woods family and their distillery on their website: http://wigglybridgedistillery.com/distillery/spirits
Overall, what an incredible night this was! I would recommend any consumer check out this expo when it rolls around next year! It was fantastic to discover so many distilleries that were completely unknown to me, and that’s what makes this event unique. The usual big goliaths stayed home, and for one night, the little guy shined at Penn Club in Manhattan.
Don't let those darn Fruit Flies take over you bar! Give them an inch and they will take a mile! There is a lot you can do to prevent them from flourishing. Here's some things you can do:
Creating cocktails since 1997 at some of the top resorts on the West Coast, Amin Benny ("Benny") also known as The Bar Host, has definitely earned his position within the cocktail community.
After over a decade as a bartender in Las Vegas, Nevada at Caesars Palace and Mandalay Bay, Benny returned to his native home in Southern California.
He joined the United States Bartenders’ Guild ("USBG") and noticing there was a need for Orange County (previously the only chapters were Los Angeles and San Diego), pitched, promoted and established the where he became the founder and President of the USBG Orange County, complete with a Press Release announcing its creation..
We chat with Benny about the rigorous bartending training required to work on "The Strip" (including the Nevada certified training), flair bartending and high volume. as well as other things like barrel aged cocktails, maintaining a room's presence, cocktail creation and the parallel between chefs and bartenders as Tribes of Fire and Ice.
We also welcome Benny officially to the Bartender Journey Podcast team as a regular contributor and de facto West Coast rep.bartender advocate!
On this week's Episode No. 277, Brian chats with Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse of Tin Roof Drink Community about green practices for sustainability in the cocktail industry in honor of Earth Day, April 22nd.
In 2016, Chad and Claire's efforts were recognized at Tales of the Cocktail with the first Sustainable Spirit Sward and hosted the first Sustainability Summit at Tales in 2017.
For past outtakes on sustainability in the cocktail industry on the Bartender Journey Podcast,, listen to
Bartender Journey Episode No. 166 featuring a sample from a Sustainability Seminar from Tales 2015 with Mr. Lyan (Ryan Chetiyawardana), who opened the first cocktail bar in 2013 to use nor perishables (i.e. no fruit, no ice), White Lyan in London and
Bartender Journey Episode No. 219, You are Throwing Away Money!.
Share Your Green Methods!
What do you do at your bar to help promote sustainability? Comment below or email us at the Bartender Journey Podcast.
Drink is an extensive journey through cocktails and everything it takes to make them. Beautifully laid out with elegant photography, this manual has everything you will need to make some mixing magic. For beginners, it may come across as slightly intimidating, but after flipping through it, you realize the writing style is instructional for you to enjoy. For moderate to advanced professional bartenders that have mastered the basics, this is a perfect step to continue your journey; you may get cool ingredients out of it, learn interesting stories, and read important interview.
Within this guide lays 1,100 recipes, the history of cocktails, how spirits are created, and information on the brands that propel those spirits. It showcases some of the coolest cocktail bars and interviews with the leaders that drive them. This is more than a book of cocktail recipes, it is a storybook bringing it all together.
Opening up the package, my first thought looking at Drink was “Encyclopedia Cocktalia!”. But don’t let this massive bohemoth of a book intimidate you! As a home bartender humbled enough to be in the constant company of Professional Bartenders, besides the gorgeous layout and over 1,000+ recipes, I was pleased to see that content gives the average person a peek into cocktail culture industry whether it’s a sidebar explaining Negroni Week, a cameo of a bar such as Bar Hemingway in Paris or in-depth interviews (“Industry Insiders”).
Going beyond the average cocktail book, there are sections on the role of ice in a cocktail, infusions and its impact on mocktails (which “live and die on taste alone”),shrubs,and a dedicated chapter to flask cocktails (!)
This book makes a great addition to your shelf and is a fun and informative read about spirits and cocktails Kurt’s own journey through bartender culture.
One of the best things about being a bartender in New York is community.
In May 2018, Bartender Chris Reed of Bar Goto in the Lower East Side was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal
cord. Since the diagnosis, Chris has been attempting to continue to work as much as he can but his health has been rapidly deteriorating. Bar Goto owner, Kenta Goto and his team have started a GoFundMe page.
Please donate to the GoFundMe if you can. and/or share the link with others.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller
EVENTS AND Such
TONIGHT in BROOKLYN
Say hello to Hazel Alvarado and taste a dram of the Single Malt French Whisky Brenne at tonight's Whiskey Extravaganza in Brooklyn. Don't have a ticket? Women Who Whiskey has been kind enough to extend their 20% discount to friends of WWW members, code WW20. Visit bit.ly/2Daz3UL for tix!
Applications are STILL open for the 2019 session to be held on August 25-28th at the Park South Hotel in NYC.
Admission cost once approved is only $200 and covers instructor led focused courses, hotel accommodations, and meals. (You will need to cover your own travel fees.)