Gin Gin…It’s all about Gin. #WorldGinDay

June 7th, 2017

World Gin Day is the second Saturday of June each year. We will take this opportunity to dedicate an entire episode to Gin!

  • It's the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 215!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes,Android or Stitcher Radio.
  • Use the hashtag #worldginday to tell the world what you are doing to celebrate Gin.
  • This week on the podcast we talk with Tristan Stephenson, Bartender, Bar Owner & Author from England. He wrote among others, The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace, which is an amazing resource for gin knowledge.
  • Also, later in the show we’ll talk to the Frey’s who are producing wonderful Estate Grown Gins in Nevada. This is delishous stuff and so interesting that they are producing they are doing a grain to glass gin. Its rare for a gin maker to grow their own grain and distill and bottle it onsite.
  • The Cocktail of the Week has to be the Martini since we are talking all about Gin!
  • Martini’s are of course classically made with gin. Many consumers these drink vodka Martinis, in fact as a Bartender you can not assume one way or the other. Its best to determine first Gin or Vodka and then ask if there is a brand preference. Vermouth? If its good quality and fresh vermouth, its wonderful. On the other hand, if its not good quality and its been sitting in the well for 6 months, you can’t blame someone for requesting an extra-extra dry Martini, because it tastes terrible.
  • Ganish? Olives are the default, but a lemon twist is awesome! An orange twist is great too, and is traditional.
  • Bitters? Orange bitters are in the classic Martini recipe.
  • Glasswear? Of course the glass should be chilled, but what shape glass? The giant “Steakhouse Martini Glass” has become what many consumers expect these days, but do we really want to give our guests so much alcohol all at once? The martini glasses are difficult for servers to transport when full, and are no good for guests at a stand up cocktail party. Plus the drink gets warm.
  • Here’s how I made mine.
    • 2 oz Frey Ranch Gin
    • 1 oz Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth (from Oregon)
    • 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
    • Stir with ice
    • Stain into a chilled cocktail coup
    • Express oils from a lemon twist into drink. Rub lemon twist on rim of glass. Drop twist into drink.
    • Every time I get somebody trying to be clever at the bar and brings up “shaken not stirred” I always say “the reason James Bond ordered it ‘shaken not stirred’ is because that’s the EXCEPTION to the rule. It should really be stirred”. I was once served a Mantini in an airport bar that looked like a slurpy from 7-11. This guy shook that drink within an inch of its life! There was so much ice in the drink that it had more in common with a pina coloda than a martini. Some people will say shaking “brueses” the gin…I don’t know what the heck that means, BUT there should be no shards of ice in your Martini.
    • Another point of interest with a Martini – are we stirring this drink with ice just to make it cold, or is there something else going on here? Well do an experiment…mix up a batch of Martinis with what ever proportions you like – with no ice. Put half in the freezer to chill for IDK lets say 2 hours. Save the other half…keep it covered at room temperature.   After the one in the freezer is super cold, take the room temperature one and stir it with ice in a mixing cup for a good 20 seconds or so. Now taste the 2 side by side. The one from the freezer is going to be cold, but HOT from alchol…its too strong! The stirred one should be velvetly and pleasant to drink. Its been chilled, but also diluted from the melting ice…you are adding water to the drink. It’s an interesting experiment, and I hope you’ll give it a try. It helped me understand the Martini a lot better.
  • Speaking of experiments, we got lots of great feedback on last week’s lime juice experiment! Also on the sustainability in bars angle…and we thank David Eden-Sangwell from the Bartender HQ podcast for being our guest on that show and for bringing up the sustainability issue on his show. This is important stuff…to try to reduce waste behind the bar and lesson our environmental impact. David and his co-host Sam did an entire episode about it recently and are already planning another. I’ve been inspired by those guys to talk about it more and put it into practice at my bar.
  • I even heard from a listener who is working on a brand new bar program and he told me that he now plans to look into efforts to incorporate sustainability into the new bar he is working on!
  • Please help support the Bartender Journey Podcast by contributing to our Tip Cup Page!
  • Next week on the Podcast we will keep the Gin conversation going! We’ll talk to the proprietor of Frey Ranch Gin.
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Best Way to Juice a Lime

May 31st, 2017

Oh Lime, How Do I Squeeze You?

Freshly squeezed lime juice is one of the most important ingredients in a good Bartender’s arsenal. Pre-packed bottled stuff is no comparison.

But HOW is the juice being produced? A Motorized Commercial Bar Juicer is certainly faster, more efficient and produces a higher yield than a hand press, but is the resulting juice the same?

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 214!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunesAndroid or Stitcher Radio.

Our guest on the show today is David Eden-Sangwell of the Bartender HQ Podcast. We’ll discuss the results of the lime juice experiment, plus the issue of sustainability and waste in bars.

Lime Juice Experiment:

I was curious about the effects of using different types of juicers on the finished juice. I had no idea just how dramatic the results would be.

In the Bartending Community we often talk about how the white pith of citrus is bitter, and should be avoided.

With the rotating cone of the Motorized Juicer, we must be pulverizing some of that pith, which will get into the juice, right? The oil from the zest will not be utilized at all, and will end up in the garbage.

When we use a Citrus Hand Press or stand up lever operated Commercial Citrus Juicer we smash the zest quite a bit. The oils from the zest must be incorporated into the juice.

I used the following method to make my comparison.

I squeezed total of 18 limes – 6 each with the 3 different methods.

To evaluate the effect of the zest, I used a Y-Peeler to remove the peels from the limes for method #2.

Method #1: Waring Commercial Bar Juicer

Method #2: Hand Pressed – No Zest

Method #3: Hand Pressed – With Zest

Juice Yield (after fine straining):

  1. 6 ½ oz
  2. 5 ¾ oz
  3. 5 ¼ oz

Color of juice:

  1. Darkest green – a little muddy
  2. Most pale of the three
  3. Green hue

Aroma of juice:

  1. Citrus, yet “flat”.   Smells of over ripe melon, not so much like lime.
  2. Lime & citrus. Acidic.
  3. Light, flowery, alive, bright.

Taste of juice:

  1. Acidic, unappealing, not a strong taste of lime – just acid.
  2. Lime & acid.
  3. Saline, Lime, Fresh, The most balanced of the three. Vibrant.

I made Daiquiris that were identical, with the exception of the lime juice.

Daiquiri Test
-1 oz Real McCoy Silver Rum Aged 3 Years
-½ oz Lime Juice
- ½ oz - less 10 % - Simple Syrup

Taste of Daiquiris:

  1. Lime flavor not very pounced. A little artificial tasting. Bitter on the back palate.
  2. Fresher, but a little flat. Acidic.
  3. Sweetest of the three, yet most appealing and complex. Fresh and interesting. Adding .75ml (=0.4oz) more lime juice, (with an “eyedropper”), made it perfect…the best of the three by far!


The difference was striking. Method #3 produced far superior results over the others. The Daiquiri was vibrant, fresh, and complex. Method #1 was flat, one dimensional and less fruity.

So, it looks like the motorized juicer will be gathering dust in my bar, and we’ll be setting the lime juice oils free with the hand juicer!



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Bar Insitute, USBG & Dad’s Hat Rye

May 24th, 2017

This week on the Bartender Journey Podcast we have not one, but two guests -- plus two road trips!

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast # 213!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.

  • At Bar Institute in Brooklyn, we spoke to Mr. Josh Davis. He’s a Bartender, and a fine Gentleman from Chicago who also recently started working with Bar Institute.
  • We also talk to Mr. James Menite who is a Bartender at the iconic Plaza Hotel. Another fine Gentleman from NYC, who also is the vice president of the local USBG Chapter. We talk to James on a USBG day trip to the Dad’s Hat Rye
  • Book of the Week:
    Cocktails: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Klaus St. Rainer. Mr. Rainer is owner and bartender at The Golden Bar in Munich Germany. This is a nice book with lots of great cocktail recipes and some good advice too.
  • Cocktail of the Week:
    Smooth Criminal
    (Bartender Journey variation)
    From our Book of the Week
    • 1 Large Chunk Fresh Pineapple - Grilled
    • 1 ¾ oz Rye
    • 2 tsp Orange Curacao
    • 1 tsp Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
    • 1 tsp Simple Syrup
    • 1 Dash Angostura Bitters
  • Muddle the Pineapple. Add remaining ingredients. Shake with ice. Double strain into a Highball glass filled with Fresh Ice. Grarnish with a piece of grilled Pineapple and a sprig of mint.
  • How do you take care of your mint behind the bar? If you have a good method, please let us know! Post your ideas on the Bartender Journey FB page!
  • USBG NY had a great time spending the day with the very small team of great people that produce the delicious Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye. As mentioned, we spoke to John Cooper from Dad’s Hat Rye on Bartender Journey #102
  • You can get more information about the USBG at org
  • Bartender Journey really wants to get you involved and get to know more about you. PLEASE visit net/survey. You can record the answers to the questions with a voice recorder app on your phone and email the file to Alternatively, on that same page, there is a link to a google form where you can just enter your answers. We’d really appreciate it!
  • Toast of the Week:

The Lord gives us our relatives,

Thank God we can choose our own friends!
-From the book: Toasts: Over 1,500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces Compiled by Paul Dickson


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Bartender Spotlight Series - Craig Schiedlo

May 17th, 2017

Today we’ll be talking to Craig Schiedlo. He’s a Bartender and good friend from our USBG NY chapter.

  • Next time on the Bartender Journey Podcast a lot more about the United States Bartender’s Guild James Menite, who is the vice president of our local USBG NY chapter. We’ll talk about some of the great benefits of joining and also about his job – bartending at the the iconic Plaza Hotel.

Cocktail of the Week - from our guest on the show this week – Craig Schiedlo
The Wind Tunnel:

  • 2oz Cedar Ridge Rye
  • 1/2 oz Marie Brizzard Anissete
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • Orange Flower Water.
    Strain over a Collins glass garnished with a lemon wheel anise star and a spray of orange flower water.

Book of the Week:
The World of Spirits and Cocktails: The Ultimate Bar Book 2011
by André Dominé

Amazon Review:
“This book thought me more than I imagined it would. It got me through some of those Customer interactions that I knew we're coming my way. It filled my brain up with facts and information that I would not have found elsewhere.

Unfortunately, this book is out of print and its about $85 on Amazon! But maybe try The Bar Book, or The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes

Bar Institue:

One Fair Wage Campaign

  • According to com:
    “The restaurant industry is America’s fastest growing economic sector; it's also among it’s lowest paying. Tipped workers are paid a separate, lower minimum wage that starts at $2.13 an hour at the federal level — a rate that hasn’t changed since 1991.”
  • “Although employers are legally required to “top off” a tipped worker’s pay when tips don’t add up to at least the minimum wage, enforcement is so lax and disorganized that wage theft has reached epidemic levels.”


One point that was brought up at Bar Institute was that many consumers are now interested in where their food (and beverage) was grown - was it organic, local, even how were the farm workers treated & paid enough? Maybe the conversation about “how are the restaurant workers treated and are they paid enough?” will open up.

There is a well known shortage of good bartenders, so just please make sure you are getting paid what you are worth…obviously being a real asset to the establishment puts you in a good spot. Find out more

Apparently its World Gin Day on Saturday June 10, 2017. On the next show we’ll talk all about gin with Tristan Stephenson, who has a new book called Gin Palace.


We have a special 20% discount on VIP tickets to the Whisky X in NYC! Join Hazel on June 8th  for whiskies, food trucks, live music and more! Use offer code WHXHAZEL to get these perks:

  • Meet and greet 60+ whisky ambassadors and distillers and enjoy premium pours
  • Chocolate Whiskey truffles  from Louisville’s Art Eatables
  • Complimentary cigar at the Club Macanudo onsite lounge
  • Swag from Hudson Made personal care products
  • Free cocktail and a haircut from Blind Barber
  • Access to the Food Truck caravan
  • Access to the onsite US Barrels Cooperage pop up
  • VIP area access to Grammy winner Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys live concert

Free shuttle bus from local train stations and the first 500 attendees get a $25 Uber Voucher.

Buy your tickets at and use offer code WHXHAZEL to get your $60 VIP ticket.

Hazel hopes to see you there!

  • Which best describes you?

    • Working Bartender
    • Working Bar Back
    • Aspiring Bartender
    • Cocktail Enthusiast
    • Spirits Enthusiast
    • Other?
  • If you are working Bartender, how many years experience? 
  • How did you discover Bartender Journey?
  • Where in the world are you? 
  • Do you have any suggestions for the Bartender Journey Podcast, subjects you'd like covered, or questions you'd like answered on the show? 

Go to for the list of questions, then record the answers on your phone with a voice recorder app. Email it to me at and you will probably hear yourself on the show! And don’t worry if you mess up…just start over or keep going…we’ll edit it to make you sound good.




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Social Media for Bartenders with Nico Martini

May 10th, 2017

  • This week on the Podcast we speak with Nico Martini. His company Hypeworthy does digital marketing…mostly for the Hospitality and Spirits industries.
  • Johnnie Walker Benders' Batch
    Triple Grain American Oak Blended Scotch Whisky
    Aged 10 years in American Oak Casks.
    This is the first U.S. release in the new experimental Blenders' Batch series, with limited availability.
    It is extremely rare to see the words "Grain Whiskies" on a bottle of Scotch.  Also to see the word "Blended" displayed so prominently.  Consumers (often blindly), flock to Single Malt Scotch, and automatically assume they are far better quality than Blended Whiskies.  Johnnie Walker has, of course built their entire business on Blended Whiskies and produces excellent products.  This is a good tasting Whisky at a very reasonable price point.  You can see Brian’s tasting notes here.
  • Cocktail of the Week:
    Blood and Sand
    • 1 oz Blended Scotch Whisky
    • ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
    • ¾ oz Cherry Herring
    • 1 oz (Blood) Orange Juice
    • Shake and strain into a chilled Coup. Orange twist
  • Book of the Week:
    The Bar Book – Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. Whenever someone asks me, “what book would you recommend?” I immediate say “Bar Book”. This book has everything you need as far as technique goes.
  • Let’s get you involved with Bartender Journey!  Here are the questions:
  • Which best describes you?

    • Working Bartender
    • Working Bar Back
    • Aspiring Bartender
    • Cocktail Enthusiast
    • Spirits Enthusiast
    • Other?
  • If you are working Bartender, how many years experience? 
  • How did you discover Bartender Journey?
  • Where in the world are you? 
  • Do you have any suggestions for the Bartender Journey Podcast, subjects you'd like covered, or questions you'd like answered on the show?  

Go to for the list of questions, then record the answers on your phone with a voice recorder app. Email it to

  • Toast: To Days of Ease and Nights of Pleasure!
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Derby, Bourbon & Juleps with Woodford Reserve

May 3rd, 2017

This week we talk about how to taste Whiskey with Woodford Reserve Bourbon Brand Ambassador Walter Easterbrook.

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Lawman Plans To Retire and Bartend Full Time

April 26th, 2017

  • This week we talk with George Bressler. Mr. Bressler has worked in Law Enforcement for many years, and now plans to retire and work as a Bartender.
  • It's the Bartender Journey Podcast # 209!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.
  • This week on the podcast we talk to a really interesting guy named George Bressler. He has worked part time in Hospitality, but full time for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. After a long and distinguished career in Law Enforcement, he plans to retire and take up Bartending full time.
  • George wrote a fascinating Guest Blog Post for Bartender Journey. Read it on our Blog Page.
  • Cocktail of the Week:
    George Bressler enjoys Jack Daniels on the rocks, (Jack Daniels Master Distiller Jeff Arnett was our guest on Bartender Journey # 204).
    Technically Jack Daniels on the rocks is not a “cocktail”. The original definition for “cocktail” was “sugar, bitters and spirits of any kind”, but we’ll go a little off the deep end this week and enjoy some Jack Daniels on the rocks as our cocktail of the week!
  • Book of the Week:
    Toasts, Over 1500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces compiled by Paul Dickson.
    Dickson quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson in the introduction to this book: “Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it”. Mr. Dickson goes on to say says in the introduction: “There are a number of old thinks that we are well rid of – child labor, the Berlin wall, scurvy, glass shampoo bottles and too many others to mention, but there are still others that we are foolish to let slop away. Toasting is one of the latter”.
  • Toast of the Week:
    “I would rather be with the people in this room, than with the finest people in the world”.
    -Steve Martin as Cyrano in Roxanne
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Black Bottle Scotch with Mal Spense

April 19th, 2017

  • This week we talk with Mal Spense from Black Bottle Scotch. I meet Mal through my friend Hal Wolin, who I know from the USBG.
  • Its the Bartender Journey Podcast # 208!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.
  • If you are new to the show, the USBG is the United States Bartender’s Guild and there are chapters throughout the US. It’s a great organization. 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:

  • 2 oz Blended Scotch Whisky Black Bottle
  • ½ oz Lime Juice
  • Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • Top with Ginger Beer
  • Candied Ginger Garnish
    You could build it in a glass, but I think its best to put the Whisky, lime juice and Bitters in a shaker, give it a quick shake, add the Ginger Beer to the Shaker, and stain that into a glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Book of the Week:

The Curious Bartender: An Odyssey of Malt, Bourbon & Rye Whiskies by Tristan Stephenson

Tristan’s books are so well researched and well laid out. There is so much valuable information in these books…he talks about the different classifications of whiskey, processes of how its made, has specific brand recommendations and then cocktail recipes. The Curious Bartender is a series of books by Tristan Stephenson … he has a new one about Gin, which we will talk about on an upcoming episode and maybe even get him back on the show again. He was on episode 122 of Bartender Journey.

Don’t forget about our TipCup Page – its time to pay the folks who host out Podcast audio files again! Thanks!

We are pursuing new Sponsorship deals - please get in touch. You can email me personally at


  • CORE supports the children of food and beverage employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances or conditions.  Find them at org. You can also reach them on the phone at 404-655-4690
  • You can also donate to CORE on their site or sign up to be a CORE Ambassador, and do some good! A Bartener Journey listener heard about CORE through the podcast and signed up to be an Ambassador the other day!
  • Bar Institute is on tour this spring. They are touring to a bunch of Cities in the U.S. – hopefully one near you! Its only $5 to attend classes, which is donated to charity. There is also a pop up event in the evening, where cocktails are only $5. See the tour dates here.

Toast of the Week:

May our faults

be written on the seashore,

and every good action prove a

wave to wash them out.


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Drambuie with Vance Henderson

April 5th, 2017


  • This week we talk with Vance Henderson - National Brand Ambassador for Drambuie.
  • Its the Bartender Journey Podcast # 207!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.
  • Cocktail of the Week #1:
    Drambuie Honey Sour
    • 5 oz Drambuie
    • ¾ oz Scotch (not too peaty)
    • ¾ oz Lemon Juice
    • 1 egg white
    • 3 slices ginger
    • Muddle ginger with Drambuie. Add remaining ingredients. Dry Shake. Wet Shake. Fine Strain. Garnish with a few drops of Angostura Bitters.
  • Cocktail of the Week #2:
    Drambuie Collins
    1 Part Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
    2 Parts Drambuie
    4 Parts Seltzer
    Build in a Collins glass.  Stir well, (or toss).  Lemon garnish.
  • Book of the Week:
    Contraband Cocktails – How America Drank When It Wasn’t Supposed To by Paul Dickson

Mr. Dickson’s was recognized by the Guinness Book of World’s Records for collecting the "Most Synonyms" for any term in the English language. He compiled a list of 2,231 terms meaning "drunk"–beating out no less than Benjamin Franklin, who published his own list called The Drinker's Dictionary. Mr. Dickson’s then beat his own record and published a book called Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary containing 2,964 terms for tipsy, blitzed, roasted. The Native People of Alaska had 1000 worlds for snow…Bartenders have 2231 words for Drunk, and we’ve seen them all right?

  • “Things I’ve picked up along the way”:
    It is important to change the way you shake every so often to avoid damaging joints and ligaments – what’s known as repetitive stress syndrome. Also, please keep in mind that shaking near your ear can damage your hearing!
  • PSA:
    CORE - Children Of Restaurant Employees.  CORE supports the children of food and beverage employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances or conditions. We just want you to be aware of CORE in case you ever need them.  Find them at You can also reach them on the at 404-655-4690
  • Toast of the Week:
    To wine-those plump grapes' immortal juice

    That does this happiness produce.
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The Complete Cocktail Manual with Lou Bustamante

March 31st, 2017

This week we talk to Lou Bustamante. He is the author of The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes. This is a great book and is sanctioned by the United State Bartender's Guild.

It is Bartender Journey Podcast # 206! 
Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunesAndroid or Stitcher Radio.

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.
  • *Real Grenadine

    2 cups fresh pomegranate juice or POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice

2 cups unbleached sugar

2 oz pomegranate molasses

    1 tsp orange blossom water

    Warm juice just enough to dissolve sugar.  Add pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water.  Keep chilled.

    Morgenthaler Article on grenadine

  • This drink was was apparently named in honor of Mario García Menocal, president of Cuba from 1913 to 1921. Of course in 1920 when Prohibition took effect in the US, many people would fly down to Cuba for the weekend to get some legal booze and live it up a little. The cocktail spread around, and was soon found in some of the illegal US Speakeasies during Prohibition.


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