Today on the show we talk Ilias Mastrogiannis, owner and distiller of Mastogiannis Distillery that makes Ouzo, Grappa and Honey Grappa  in Washington State.
It's the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 247! Listen with the audio player above, or subscribe onApple Podcasts,  Android or  Stitcher Radio.
From our Interview
  • ​Ilias was born and raised in Greece and was introduced to hospitality by his father, a winemaker
  • Host of the Distillers' Podcast
  • Ouzo's history is began as grappa with anise seed added then evolved to wine and brandy

Beyond the Bar 
Sponsored by Woodford Reserve and hosted by our friend, Walter Easterbrook* 

Featured Speakers included
Tom Summers, Financial Life Coach
Natalie Freihon, and
​Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack
The series will continue as small sessions of about a dozen bartenders will get to interact with experts in Finance, Branding, PR, Wellness and more. 

If you are in the NYC area and want to know more, please send us an email. 

*Walter's company is the Bowery Collective that hosts different events such as Whiskey Washback and  Arte Agave.  Visit our Events Page to keep up to date on these and upcoming events!

Book of the Week
Road Soda - Recipes and Techniques for Making Great Drinks Anywhere by Kara Newman.
​This is a fun little book about making drinks in Planes, Trains and Hotel Rooms, or wherever you might be.

​Every year TOTC runs a competition to determine the official drink of the year for Tales. There is a cash price. They award the prize at the yearly Toast to Tales which is the official kick off of the event. This year the theme is the French 75. Enter here.
Cocktail of the Week
El Diablo
1½ oz. reposado tequila
½ oz. crème de cassis
½ oz. fresh lime juice
2–3 oz. ginger beer
Toast of the Week
Laugh and the world laughs with you.
Weep and the world laughs at you.
This weeks' show is sponsored by Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club.
Every month you'll get a box of ingredients to make 4 drinks each of  3 great craft cocktails.
Each box features  original recipes sourced from awesome bartenders all around the US like our friends Cocktail Guru Jonathan Pogash (the Cocktail Guru) Pam "Wiz, Wiznitzer (Seamstress) and Sother Teague, (Amor y Amargo)
The next box is the Rum Wild box. Order by March 31 and use the code “BARTENDERto SAVE $20! 
Thank you for you for listening to the Podcast and reading our Blog!
If this show has helped you out, entertained you, informed you, please consider supporting Bartender Journey with a small monthly pledge to our 
Patreon Campaign and follow us on Instagram @BartenderJourney and Twitter @BarKeepTips.
This week's episode features a chat with Adam Seger, Chef Bartender/Corporate Sommelier at iPic Theaters and TUCK Hospitality Group.  
If you're in NYC, go to the SouthStreet Seaport, visit the iPic Theater and upstairs behind the sliding bookshelf is the secret room known as the Tuck Room. 
Adam and I chat about things from cocktails on draft to wine knowledge for Bartenders.
Book of the Week

Adam Seger recommends Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course
It's the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 246! Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe onApple Podcasts,  Android or  Stitcher Radio.
Also on this week's episode
"I'll Take Manhattans" Seminar with Dale DeGroff sponsored by Woodford Reserve
Dale used the Woodford Reserve Rye to make a batch of Manhattans, but without bitters.  We each had 5 small portions of the Manhattan in front of us, and 5 small cups of 5 different bitters. We went through and smelled each of the bitters and added a couple drops of each to our Manhattan’s.  Then we tasted through them all and talked about what we all smelled and tasted. You’d be amazed how different each of these tasted! The Angostura Aromatic bitters were first, and actually, of the five, they were the least bitter, which interestingly made that Manhattan seem to be the sweetest.  Just as sour balances the sweet in a Daiquiri or Margarita, bitter works in a similar manner.
Dale’s point in all this was to show you don’t have to use a lot of ingredients or obscure ingredients; just put the right ingredients in your cocktails.

Cocktail of the Week
Manhattan Experiment.  

Try this experiment:  Make a batch of Manhattans with no bitters - you can do 2:1 whiskey of your choice, use 2 parts of that Woodford Reserve Rye or other whiskey.  
1 part red vermouth.  
(Or you can do as Dale did for us:  4 parts Rye, 1.5 part Dolin red vermouth and .75 Dolin white vermouth).

Stir with ice until very cold.  Then strain it into 4 glasses. Add one type of bitters to the first 2, and a different to the second 2.  Then do 2 different garnishes. Cherry and Orange twists are the most popular. I happen to love my Manhattan with a lemon twist.  Of course expressing the oils from the citrus is key. Using a Y-peeler is the best way to make a twist where you can express the oils really well over the top of the drink.  

Use the Y-peeler to cut your twist.  Myself and many other bartenders cut twists to order for freshness.  Put it between your thumb and index finger and pinch it slowly to spray the oils into the drink.  If you want a fun party trick - hold a match or lighter and express the oils through the flame. It flares up for a second like a magic trick.  If you do this over your drink it will of course give a different flavor. Dale DeGroff revived that trick in the 1980’s when he was running the bar program at the Rainbow Room.  It was reportedly invented by bartender Pepe Ruiz in Beverly Hills for the Flame of Love cocktail created for Dean Martin.
The point of all this is to show how one small change to a cocktail can make a big difference.  I think it also points out just how important every single ingredient is to the final drink.

Toast of the Week

Don’t walk in front of me,
I may not follow.
Don’t walk behind me
I may not lead.
Walk beside me
And just be my friend.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  St Paddy’s on a Saturday! Double trouble.  If you are working, please keep your guests in line and encourage good choices! 

Consider taking the T.I.P.S. course.  It’s about responsible serving.  There are live classes around the country, but you can do it online at  Its only $40.
It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #245! Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe  on  Apple Podcasts,  Android or  Stitcher Radio.
Let’s talk Irish Whiskey!  The first thing to know about Irish Whiskey is that it is spelled with the “e”, as is generally done for American whiskeys.  
Pro-tip for spelling 
  • Countries that have E's in their names (UnitEd StatEs and IrEland) tend to spell it whiskEy (plural whiskeys)
  • Countries without E's in their names (Canada, Scotland, and Japan) spell it whisky (plural whiskies)
Cocktail of the Week
Irish Coffee
  • 1 ½ oz Irish Whiskey
  • 4 oz Strong Black Coffee
  • Lightly Whipped Heavy Cream
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg

Photo credit: Bartender Pietro Filipponi at (where else) The Dead Rabbit, NYC
Teeling Irish Whiskey - Interview with Stephen Teeling
Hazel chats with Stephen Teeling about the growing category of Irish whiskey, how it helps to introduce whiskey to first timers and how Teeling challenges your ideas of Irish whiskey after an industry event at Blacktail in NYC

Fun Teeling Whiskey Facts: 
  • March 2015 opened the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years
  • All products are 92 Proof
  • The Teeling Trinity is Small Batch, Single Grain and Single Malt
  • Teeling Small Batch - 50 casks for each run and married with rum barrel for an extra 6 months
  • Single Grain - maize based and fully matured in California Red wine and Cabernet Sauvignon in French oak barrels
  • Single Malt - aka "Teeling Madness" that is finished in FIVE (!) wine casks including Sherry, Port Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Distillery is open year round with the exception of two days (Christmas and the day AFTER Christmas)
  • Join us this St. Paddy's Day with Teeling in NYC! Free RSVP to Teeling St Patrick's Day party!​​

*Full disclosure: Hazel happens to love Irish whiskey.*
Our Sponsor this week is Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club. March's box was “Kiss Me I’m Whiskey!” for St. Patrick’s day. Hazel hosted a cocktail party with that box with some non-bartender friends (!) and also as a Facebook Live event.

Check out the videos on the
Bartender Journey FB page.  

Use coupon code “BARTENDER” at Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club for $20 off!
Book of the Week:
The Whiskeys of Ireland

Toast of the Week:
May the leprechauns be near you,
to spread luck along the way,
And may all the Irish angels smile upon you
On St. Patrick’s Day