If you are new to the show, the USBG is the United States Bartenders' Guild and there are chapters throughout the US. It’s a great organization for education and networking opportunities. If you are outside the US you can look into the IBA.
Cocktail of the Week:
1886’s Mamie Taylor Cocktail
The Raymond 1886 is a Bar & Restaurant in Pasadena, CA.
The cocktail is basically a Scotch Buck:
Bar Institute: Econo Tour
Bar Institute is on tour this spring.. If you're not familiar with Bar Institute, it is the educational offspring of Portland Cocktail Week.
The Econo Series spans 25 cities in one day conference format followed by an evening pop up. Each area is centered around one of social justice causes: Environmental issues, Mental Health and Wellness, Equal Representation, Sexual Assault Prevention, and Income Equality.
Upcoming tour dates are listed as separate events on their Facebook page.
RSVP via FB for the mere cost of a $5 charitable donation to CORE at the door and stay for the evening pop up event featuring $5 cocktails. See the tour dates here.
About CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees)
CORE supports the children of food and beverage employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances or conditions.
Visit their site at coregives.org to Refer a Child or Donate. For any questions about their services, you can call 404-655-4690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to the anonymous Bartender Journey listener who signed up to be a CORE Ambassador to help spread the word.! It was amazing to hear from one of the wonderful ladies at CORE about this great news!
Help keep the Bartender Journey Podcast going! Visit our Tip Cup page or contact Brian directly about sponsorship opportunities!
Toast of the Week:
May our faults
be written on the seashore,
and every good action prove a
wave to wash them out.
Photos from the Black Bottle Scotch event at Sons and Daughters with Mal Spence:
It's Spring Break for the Bartender Journey team and time to enjoy the gorgeous weather. Regularly scheduled Podcast programming will return next Wednesday, April 19th!
Meanwhile, as you may have noticed, we've begun to update our site to include more content posts between Podcasts and improve our layout to be more useful to you on your own Bartender Journey with updated events and competitions and resources. Remember, feedback is ALWAYS welcome!
Also, over the next several days we'll be posting pics and short reviews on events we've attended both on our site and Facebook including:
Cocktail of the Week:
Our cocktail of the week is the Espresso Martini. Do you know the story behind it?
Rumor has it that Professional Career Bartender Dick Bradsell, credited with being the father of the cocktail revival in London during the 'Dark Ages of the Cocktail' was at Fred's Club in the late 80's when what would turn out to be a supermodel asked for something to "wake me up and f*ck me up".
Originally known as 'The Pharaceutical Stimulant, Bradsell obliged using vodka, fresh espresso, coffee liqueuer and sugar. (The supermodel? Kate Moss? Naomi Campbell? Her identity was never discovered.)
A Punchdrink article detailing describes it as 'a drink with legs...the natural oils in the espresso...create that beautiful crema on top..into a thick, stable layer of froth..the dark liquid beneath, when the drink's made right, is a perfect balance of boozy, bitter and sweet."
Fittingly, this was the closing cocktail of our Grey Goose lunch so this is their recipe.
Cocktail of the Week:
Join us for next week's episode when Brian chats with Mal Spence of Black Bottle.
Remember to subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.
Toast of the Week:
To the nights you won't forget. -Grey Goose
Cocktail of the Week – El Presidente
1½ oz. rich white rum
1½ oz. Dolin Vermouth Blanc
1 barspoon orange Curaçao or Grand Marnier
½ barspoon real grenadine *
Stir ingredients well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled glass. Express oils from an orange twist over the top and drop in or discard. Garnish, if desired, with a cherry.
The El Presidente cocktail was named in honor of Mario García Menocal, president of Cuba from 1913 to 1921. Beginning in 1920 when Prohibition took effect in the US, many Americans would fly to Cuba for the weekend to get some legal booze and nightlife. The cocktail became popular and was soon found in some of the illegal US Speakeasies during Prohibition.
*The Bartender Journey team members are current members of the USBG NY Chapter.
On this week’s episode, we chat with two awesome gentlemen: Sebastien Derbomez, Monkey Shoulder Ambassador and Sam Ross of the newly opened Diamond Reef in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
Sam Ross was one of original bartenders at Milk and Honey who worked under Sasha Petraske, (Sasha’s name has been coming up so often on the show lately, and as you probably know, he left us way too early, but his inspiration lives on through the industry. )
Monkey Shoulder invited us to a press event at Diamond Reef while it was in pre-opening phase. (Official opening: March 1, 2017) Diamond Reef is a project from the Attaboy team, owners Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy and bartender Dan Greembaum and the first of three new spots scheduled to open this year.
(If you don’ t know about Attaboy..well you should know that Sasha Petraske opened its predecessor, the original Milk & Honey bar on Eldrich Street in the Lower East side neighborhood of Manhattan on December 31, 1999. It was an iconic bar that revolutionized making cocktails and and inspired an entire industry.)
Monkey Shoulder Fun Facts
Cocktail of the Week:
Monkey Jam Sour
Toast of the Week:
May you live all the days of your life. Cheers!
Share a suggested Book or Cocktail of the Week
Write a guest blog post. It could be about your local cocktail scene, or your bar, or a trip you’ve taken where you learned things that helped up your craft cocktail game.
Reach us on our Contact Us page!
Tell a Friend
Tell a Stranger
You can leave ratings and reviews right from your iPhone (iOS 10.3). Just go into the podcast app and use the search function on the bottom to find Bartender Journey. Click on Reviews then Leave Review.
Thank you Barback Jedi for the 5 star review
"Excellent focus on cocktail and spirit education. Hey Brian. Big fan of the show! Loved seeing it evolve over the last couple of years. It was a huge help to me when I got started. Thanks for doing it."
This week on the Bartender Journey Podcast we talk with Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #204! Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio..
Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 whiskey follows all the requirements of Bourbon, with the addition of a charcoal filtering process.. Legally called the "Lincoln County Process,” by the state of Tennessee. also known as “charcoal mellowing" or locally "the extra blessing" , it occurs before Barrelling. And just to be sure, Jeff informed us that they have the official letter from 1941 from the Alcohol Bureau.
Quick Facts about Jack Daniel's
*Myers Lemon Oleo Sacrum Syrup
As you may know Sasha left this world way too early in August 2015. But Sasha inspired a generation of Bartenders, not only those who were trained by him, but many, like myself that never had the opportunity to work with him. This Book, A Spot at the Bar is another wonderful offshoot of Sasha’s Legacy.
There are many great recipes and photos in here, but a lot of other useful stuff as well. There is an entire section on Bartender’s Choice. This can be challenging for a Bartender. In the book Michael talks about how to do it best. There is a series of questions to ask - in a certain sequence - to figure out what this guest would enjoy.
Michael said in the book that Sasha taught his students that “working hard behind the scenes allows you to look effortless in front of your guests”. Wise words from a wise man.
Cocktails in the Country is a great experience, which I was honored to attend in the Summer of 2016. It is run by the man I call the Yoda of Bartending Gary (gaz) Regan.
It normally costs $250, but we have a discount code so that you can study with gaz for only $100!
Cocktails in the Country (CITC) is 2 days of education, learning the gaz approach to “Mindful Bartending”. Plus, practical skills making original cocktails behind the bar. It takes place in the Hudson Valley, just over an hour north of Manhattan.
Included in the cost is transportation from Manhattan, lodging for the evening, most meals, classes with gaz and cocktail making with your 9 new best friends.
Here’s how to get your discount:
To participate in CITC you have to be a working Bartender and have worked in the Hospitality Industry for at least 3 years.
Bar Institute Econo
Toast of the Week:
In Beer there is strength
In Wine there is wisdom
In Water there is bacteria
-Audio & Text by Brian Weber
It’s been quite a week in the cocktail world. Our community is in turmoil. People are upset. Nerves are raw. It all started with a Facebook Live video of Ann Tuennerman, Founder and Executive Director of Tales of the Cocktail during Mardi Gras wearing blackface.
It would be easy for me to ignore this topic altogether and avoid any controversy, but I feel that would be a disservice to our Bartender community. In fact, the Tuennerman’s themselves have done everything they can to be transparent.
Ann Tuennerman and her Husband Paul Tuennerman, who was co-owner and chief business officer of Tales, were on waiting to ride on a Float in a Mardi Gras parade. They rode with the Zulu, Social Aid and Pleasure Club, when they went “Live” on Facebook.
The Krewe can invite non-members to ride with them on their float, which is often considered quite an honor. It is not uncommon for non-members to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the privilege of riding on a float. This money goes toward the cost of producing the floats and funding the “throws”, which are the things given out from the floats to the parade attendees. We usually think of beads being thrown from the floats, but some Krewes will give away more elaborate items.
Tradition dictates that everyone riding on a float hide their face, usually with a mask, but sometimes with makeup. In fact, it’s the law. The Zulu Krewe, and everyone invited to ride on their floats, wears Blackface instead of a mask.
It is this code that allows me to stand up against oppressive behaviors weather they be institutional, systemic, or individual. This week, while maybe unintentionally, that behavior was exhibited by one of our industry's most powerful leaders, Ann Tuennerman.
I want to be very clear on my stance as to what was posted on her page. The Zulu parade and the celebration of New Orleanian black culture has never been my issue. I understand what Zulu is and the history of the Zulu face painting.
An explanation of WHY you had the Zulu paint on is what should have been the caption.”
You can read the rest of the letter here.
Ann said in her first of 2 pubic apologies:
“Earlier this week, I rode in a Mardi Gras parade with the Zulu organization, in which participants, both people of color and of all races, traditionally wear blackface makeup, and shared photos of myself in costume on social media. I now recognize how deeply offensive this is to many, and I am sincerely sorry. It was a naive and inconsiderate action, the consequences of which have made it clear that I have much to learn. Regardless of anyone’s intentions, we all have to take responsibility for our actions, especially those of us in positions of authority. As an industry leader, I assume full responsibility for my actions, and am ready to listen to all those who I have angered and hurt in the process.”
Ann’s second public statement titled Gratitude from Ann Tuennerman and a Determination to Embrace Change begins: “Through publicly acknowledging the pain Paul and I have caused to many in our industry, we hope to demonstrate our sincerity, transparency and commitment to facing this head on. We've taken ownership of our actions and comments, and they are in no way a representation of our staff or the hundreds of others who work to bring Tales of the Cocktail to life each year.”
Living up to this promise, on Monday 3/6/17, Ann did a live Facebook video interview with Ashtin Berry. Ashtin is a Bartender in New Orleans and happens to also be a female person of color. Ashtin has really taken great steps toward moving this conversation forward in a productive manner.
Ashtin said in a FB post before the interview “Tomorrow will be a step on a long road towards the more inclusive industry we deserve. I encourage everyone to ensure that their engagement does not end tomorrow.”
She goes on to say
“I have sent to Ann that we will be using to provide context and background for our conversations”.
These are 4 links Ashtin sent to Ann:
The video interview was in fact very productive. Ann really took responsibility for her actions and showed an honest desire to do everything she can to keep the conversation moving ahead and advance diversity in our industry.
I encourage you to watch it from start to finish. You can find it on the Bartender Journey Facebook page.
As soon as the story broke I asked the opinion of a Bartender in NOLA.
He said: “Zulu is known for celebrating Black culture, but blackface is just not the way. There’s so many better ways to support that. I haven’t completely formed an opinion, but people are worked up”.
In his resignation note, Paul wrote, “My comment to Ann about blackface prior to the Zulu parade was meant to be a husband’s innocent teasing of his camera-shy wife, not a belittlement of others. In retrospect, the words were insensitive, hurtful and just plain dumb and I feel horrible for the pain they have caused.”
In Ann’s first written apology she wrote:
“My purpose here is not just to apologize publicly; I do not believe an apology excuses anyone of their actions. My purpose here is to acknowledge my ignorance and to open myself up to critique; to take my first step toward becoming someone more capable of listening to those who I have hurt and understanding the ignorance of my own actions.”
Prejudice and discrimination are never fun, whatever form it takes: Racism, sexism, ageism, whatever. Hell, I’m a white man in America, and I’ve even been insulted and pissed off by ads that say “wanted female bartender”. Is that even legal? Or “submit a picture with your resume”. To me its just a non-issue…I mean black, white, male, female, little person, downs syndrome…anyone who is passionate about it can excel at making drinks and being hospitable.
These events have had far reaching effects.
The mainstream media has pickup up on the story - The Washington Post published an article about it.
Another friend from New Orleans tells me there is talk of making the Zulu Krewe change their tradition of wearing blackface…and locals are not happy about changing this 100+ year old tradition.
And then the question of “What’s going to happen at Tales this year”?
Tales is a whole economy unto itself. Brands and attendees come from all over the world. The conference is only financially viable due to the Brand sponsorship. Will any of them be scared off this year? Will attendees decide not to go?
Ann’s talk with Ashtin Berry was a great first step towards healing, and I do believe that she will use her position as an industry leader to follow through and do whatever she can to promote diversity in our industry. Tales actually released a white paper, before all this happened, called Diversity and Barriers to Access in the Bartending Industry.
I believe Ann’s apology to be genuine and she that has a true desire to help people – of all kinds.
There is a story I heard from a Bartender once. This wasn’t in an official press release from Tales or anything like that…it was just Bartenders talking. There was a bar in NOLA that got robbed one night. Even the tip jar was taken. Tales showed up the next day with cash to help out the bar and the bartenders.
We’ll go back to my New Orleans Bartender friend to wrap this up. He said “I think Tales is a great thing and I hope the dust will settle. That being said…maybe the silver lining is the realization that black people as demographic are under represented in the Cocktail World”.
Here’s our weekly toast. Its credited to St. Augustine who lived in the 13th century and is considered the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians.
Insomuch as love grows in you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
Bar Institute is hitting the road for a six week tour stopping in 25 cities in the US and Canada in the Spring of 2017. Its the Bar Institute Econo Tour! In each city, they will be hosting a one day Bar Institute session featuring 3-5 classes and a popup event, which will incorporate the information from the classes into service each night. They’ll be asking for only a $5 donation for admission to the classes and the drinks in the evening. All proceeds will benefit charity.
Along the way, they've identified social justice issues that will serve as the centerpiece of the weekly focus for each region. This is so awesome! They will be in a bunch of mid size cities – many of which don’t have cocktail conferences very often, if ever. If you’ve never been to an event like this and the tour is coming near you…I hope you’ll go!
In fact, I’ll make a deal with you. Fill out the form here.
We will randomly choose at least 2 people that fill out the form before April 2, 2017 and send you some swag, provided by Lush Life, the parent company of Bar Institute. This is for USA residents only please.
To win, you’ll have to both fill out that form and upload a picture of yourself at Bar Institute Econo. Put the picture on Instagam with the hashtag #BartenderJourneyBI
See the Bar Institute Econo Tour Dates here.
It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #202! Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.
A group of 25 Bartenders from the U.S. and Canada were treated to an amazing experience on this trip. We saw one of the farms that Patrón contracts with to supply them with harvested agaves. We enjoyed lunch at the beautiful Hacienda Patrón, and then given a thorough tour of the distillery, (more about this later).
Director of Eduction for Patrón Chris Spake – was our host and guide for the trip.
Patron works with about 10 agave farmers to source their agave.
So, as I said tequila must be made from AT LEAST 51% Blue Weber Agave. Quality tequilas such as Patron are made from 100% Blue Weber Agave. If you see the word “Mixto” on a tequila bottle…run away! This means they are mixing lower quality sprints into that bottle or adding raw sugar before distillation to save money.
To make it even more confusing, a Mixto tequila does need to state “Mixto” that on the label. It is usually labeled “Tequila”, (as apposed to “Tequila de 100% Agave”, (or similar wording)
There is a certain extremely popular tequila that is behind almost every bar, which will remain unnamed here, that IS a Mixto, but does not state it on the label. Carmel coloring may also be added.
The “Jimador’s” use a tool called Coa to harvest the Agave plants by hand. They separate the leaves and roots from each agave
Patron contracts with these farmers and guarantees them a price per kilogram when they plant…they do not necessarily need to do this, but Patron thinks it’s the right thing to do, and it ensures a reliable supply in the future. These plants take at least 5 years to grow, and like any commodity, the price fluxuatues. It can be difficult for the farmers to plant something, and take care of it for 5 years, and not know how much they will be paid for it when it finally matures.
The agaves are split by hand with axes into 4 pieces and immediately fed into an oven where they are cooked with steam for exactly 79 hours.
It gets a little complex because after coming out of the oven the agaves are split into two different, but similar methods for the remainder of the process. For the silver Patron that everyone knows (their most popular SKU), its blended together at the end. For simplicity’s sake we will just follow one path here…which is the Tohana method, (Patron does produce the Roca line, which is the Tohana only product and are amazing).
So following the Tohana process – as I said the agaves are cooked for 79 hours. A Tohana is a giant heavy wheel made from Lava Rock. It goes around and around in a circle crushing the cooked agave. Its basically shredding the agave, but it forces the juices in and out of the fibers.
The fibers are then separated from the liquid. The fibers will be sent to the composting area. The liquid is mixed with yeast and then sent to 10,000 liter pine barrels where it will ferment for 3 days.
This liquid will be strained and sent to copper pot stills. Patron uses quite small stills for the first distillation, and even smaller ones (with a slightly different shape), for the distillation.
After the second distillation, we have Patron Silver. It is sent to the bottling facility where each bottle is packaged by hand. Its pretty reparative work, but the people that work in the bottling facility are very fast and efficient. Interestingly, the assembly line stops for 15 minute out of each hour so the workers can stretch and get a quick break. This is of course to avoid repetitive stress syndrome.
Last week, Bartender Journey crossed the border and Brian enjoyed a few days at the Patron Hacienda in Mexico. You’ll hear all about on an upcoming episode!
Meanwhile, the Bartender Journey Team kicks off the 5th annual Unofficial Bartenders’ Week hosted by the USBGNY chapter today with a live taping of Bartender at Large sponsored by Lot 40 and featuring special guest David Wondrich , “The man who helped spark the cocktail movement — and keeps feeding it" (Washington Post). David was our guest on Bartender Journey Podcast 110.
In addition to Unofficial Bartenders’ Week events, we’ll be at the 13th annual Whisky Live NY that features tastings, bourbon-infused dinner buffet, whisky cocktails and live entertainment.
This year’s highlights include
We’ll be updating the Events page tonight with new events. Follow along on the Bartender Journey Facebook page for pics, videos and more!