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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Sam Ross & Monkey Shoulder

March 23rd, 2017

On this week’s episode, we chat with two awesome gentlemen: Sebastien Derbomez, U.S. Monkey Shoulder Ambassador and Sam Ross of the newly opened Diamond Reef in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

It is Bartender Journey Podcast # 205! 
Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.

Sam Ross who 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 aobut Attaboy..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, inspiriting an entire industry.

Cocktail of the Week:
Monkey Jam Sour
2 oz Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey
1 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juiceo
½ oz Simple Syrup
2 Bar Spoons
Dash Orange Bitters
Shake well with ice.  Double strain into a Collins Glass filled with fresh ice.  Top with a little club soda.  Stir.  Express oils from orange twist into glass.  Add twist to glass.

Book of the Week:
This week's book and review comes to us from Hazel Alvarado (who helps me out so much on the show.) 
Malt Whisky Yearbook 2017: The Facts, the People, the News, the Stories by Ingvar Ronde
The Malt Whisky Yearbook is published annually and contains current information on 400+ whisky distilleries around the world, whisky shops, whisky websites and new bottlings. Part reference guide, part Industry commentary, this 12th edition includes chapter such as “Watch Out! The Millenials Are Coming”, “Global Giant – Diageo, the First20 Years” and “Whisky Pricing – the Elephant in the Room”. Its paperback format featuring concise distillery summaries, tasting notes on choice expressions and current industry statistics makes it a  perfect addition to your spirited reading library!

Toast of the Week:
May you live all the days of your life. Cheers

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You can leave ratings and reviews right from your iPhone...just go into the podcast app and use the search function on the bottom to find Bartender Journey.  Click on the purple Bartender Journey icon, then/ "Reviews"/ "Write a Review"

Shout out:  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. "

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Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller - Jeff Arnett

March 15th, 2017

This week on the Bartender Journey Podcast we talk with Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. I spoke with Jeff at San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Its the Bartender Journey Podcast # 204!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.

Jack Daniel’s is such an iconic brand with so much history. Jeff shared some great information with us, including facts about why Jack Daniel’s is not called “Bourbon”. He said, in fact it legally could be classified as Bourbon.

But when the man who started the brand, Mr. Jack Daniel in the mid 1800’s he decided that he wanted to differentiate his whiskey and embraced the classification of Tennessee Whiskey.   Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 whiskey follows all the requirements of Bourbon, with the addition of a charcoal filtering process. This filtering is legally called the "Lincoln County Process,” by the state of Tennessee. It is also known as “charcoal mellowing,” and occurs before Barreling.


Cocktail of the Week:

I was trying to come up with interesing & sophisticated cocktails for St Patrick’s Day and came up with this one. I first called it the Emerald Sour, but after hanging out with my friend Hazel and describing the drink to an Bartender Carl at Swift Hyberian Lounge, it was decided that the name would be changed to “Man in the High Castle” which the name of a book that Carl had just finished. There is also a TV show on Amazon Prime Video by the same name. The two appear not to be related.

“Man in the High Castle” Cockail:

  • 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 year old Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Myers Lemon Juice, (freshly squeezed – peel lemons before juicing to make Oleo Sacrum and Twists).
  • ¾ oz of Myers Lemon Oleo Sacrum syrup*
  • Dash of Salt

Shake with ice. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass containing fresh ice.

Garnish with Myers Lemon Twist and a Sprig of Fresh Thyme, (slapped to release aromatics).

(If you don’t have Myers Lemons you can use regular ones).


*Myers Lemon Oleo Sacrum Syrup

  • Peel 2 lemons before juicing them: Use a Y-peeler and try to get only the yellow zest – as little of the white pith as possible.
  • Put them in a sealable container, or better yet use a if you have a vacuum sealer, place in a vacuum sealer bag. Cover with ½ cup sugar. If using the vacuum sealer…seal it. Otherwise cover tightly.
  • Let sit for at least 4 hours at room temperature, or overnight.
  • Add ½ cup warm water and stir to dissolve.
  • Use a fine strainer and discard all the solids.


Book of the Week is
A Spot at the Bar: Welcome to the Everleigh: The Art of Good Drinking in Three Hundred Recipes
By Michael Madrusan & Zara Young

Michael’s Bar The Everleigh is in Melbourne Australia. He studied under Sasha Patraski and worked at the original Milk and Honey. His goal with Everleigh was to bring the Milk and Honey concept to Australia, and in fact Sasha was his business partner on this venture. 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 I’m going to tell you how to get it for only $100.

Its 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

  • Email gaz at
  • Put the code BUY-BACK in the subject box.
  • Please mention to gaz you heard about it from me, Brian Weber of the Bartender Journey Podcast!
  • Please cc me on the email so I know you are going! My email is


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

  • Bar Institute is hitting the road for a six week tour stopping in 25 cities in the US and Canada this Spring. 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 (I’m guessing) don’t have cocktail conferences very often.
  • CONTEST! Win some swag:
    Go to for details on the swag give away.
  • Toast of the Week:
    In Beer there is strength
    In Wine there is wisdom
    In Water there is bacteria
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Diversity Awareness (& Some Turmoil) in the Cocktail World

March 9th, 2017

It’s been quite a week in the cocktail world.  Our cocktail 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 (Tales) during Mardi Gras wearing blackface.

Its the Bartender Journey Podcast # 203!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.

Ann Tuennerman and her Husband Paul Tuennerman, who was co-owner and chief business officer of Tales, were on prepairing 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 video was pulled off the internet of course, but someone got a screenshot of Ann in the blackface and Ann's comment on the for the video which said “Paul G Tuennerman, interviewing me on Mardi Gras Morning from the Zulu Den. As he said ‘Throw a little Black Face on and you lose all your media skills.’ He did his best as the interviewer”.

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”.

Many people were deeply offended. Josh Davis, who apparently posted the original screenshot that quickly went viral, wrote the following as a Open Letter:

“This has been one of the most emotionally draining weeks, as a black man who has dealt with the daily trauma of racism throughout my life. At this point I thought I had become desensitized to the hurtful actions of others, but this week proved that the pain I have often displaced and neglected is still present.

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.

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. You can find this video on the Bartender Journey Facebook page.

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.”

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".

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Hacienda Patrón – Tequila from Farm to Glass

March 1st, 2017

I was honored to have the opportunity to travel to Mexico recently as a guest of Tequila Patrón. The trip was a is a program developed in conjunction with the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) and Tequila Patrón.

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 all over 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 were treated to lunch at the beautiful Hacienda Patrón, and then given a thorough tour of the distillery, (more about this later).

Cocktail of the Week: Margarita

  • 2 oz
  • 1 Lime Juice
  • ¾ oz Grand Marnier
  • ¼ Simple Syrup

Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or a double old fashioned glass with fresh ice. Lime garnish.

Book of the week ¡Tequila!: Distilling the Spirit of Mexico

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.

Tequila can only be made in 5 regions of Mexico and must be made from at least 51% Blue Weber Agave (yes Weber…that’s my last name…no relation unfortunately to the botanist Frederic Albert Constantin Weber who this plant was named for in the early 1900s. 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 sprits into that bottle or adding raw sugar before distilation 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.

Tequila styles:

  • Silver - which can legally be aged up to 6 months, but many producers, including Patron, choose not to age their Silver Tequila, (also can be referred to as to “blanco” or “un-aged”
  • Reposado - aged a minimum of 6 months in oak barrels.
  • Ano - aged a minimum of 1 year.
  • Extra Ano – aged a minimum of 3 years
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Distilled Knowledge

February 15th, 2017


This week on the show we’ll talk to Brian Hoefling, author of Distilled Knowledge: The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions.

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #201!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.

This past Monday - just a couple days before recording this podcast was recorded - I did not know that in less than a week I’d be traveling to Mexico as a guest of Patron Tequilla! I’ll be staying at the Patron Hacienda where they actually make the Tequilla. I’ve spoken to other people who have made this trip and every one of them tells me its an amazing experience.

Of course I’ll have the portable audio recording rig with me and will be bringing you my adventures down there on future episodes of the show.

We have so much coming up for you on the show – we’ll be talking with Master Distiller of Jack Daniels Jeff Arnet, Sam Ross of Milk and Honey Fame, a really interesting and smart gentleman named George Bressler, we’ll talk to the Brand Ambassadors from Monkey Shoulder, Drambuie and Black Bottle Scotch, plus author and bartender Lou Bustamante.

Please Subscribe to the Bartender Journey Podcast so that you get the new episodes as soon as they become available.

Book Of The Week:

Distilled Knowledge: The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions, by Brian Hoefling

Cocktail Of The Week:

Add the Tequila, syrup and salt to a highball glass. Stir well to combine. Fill with ice. Top with Seltzer and stir again.
Squeeze the juice from ¼ lime into the glass and add the lime to the drink.

Toast Of The Week:

Until we meet again – wishing you celebrations, learning and good spirits.

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Bartender Journey - 200th Episode Anniversary Edition

February 8th, 2017

It has been quite a Journey!  The Bartender Journey Podcast has been going strong for nearly 4 years.  We have spoken to authors, bartenders, bar owners and major influencers in the industry.

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #200!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.

Join us for some clips from past shows, (Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Jim Meehan, Gary 'gaz' Regan, Dave Pickerell) plus a discussion with fellow bartender and podcaster Ozeal, (No Permission Needed podcast).

Cocktail of the Week:
Equal Parts

  • Gin
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Campari

Build in an Old Fashioned Glass over ice.  Stir.  Express oils from an orange twist.  Drop twist into glass.

Book of the Week:
The Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with Recipes & Lore by Gary Regan

Toast of the Week:
To Longevity,
Good Friends,
And a Glass That's Never Empty

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Meaghan Dorman & Tom Richter

February 1st, 2017


  • This week on the Bartender Journey Podcast, we talk with Meagan Doorman, the bar director at the two Raines Law Room locations, Dear Irving and The Bennet, all in Manhattan.
  • We’ll also talk to Tom Richter. Tom Bartends at Dear Irving and also has a company that makes Tonic syrup called TomR’s Tonic.
  • Michael Rodgers organized the Dear Irving Pop Up during SACC. He’s the treasure of the SA chapter of the USBG.
  • Book of the Week:
    Boston Official Bartender's Guide: 75th Anniversary Edition.
    The Mr. Boston Bartender Guide was my very first cocktail book, way, way back. I wish I could find that old book I bought when I was probably 17 years old!
    • There have been many editions since its debut in 1935, and the most recent version is edited by our friend Jonathan Pogash. This is an iconic book with tons of cocktail recipes.


Cocktail of the week:
Bronx Cocktail:

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice

Glass: Chilled Coupe

Garnish: orange twist

  • Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, strain into a chilled glass and garnish.
  • Toast of the week:
    "May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,

    The foresight to know where you are going,

    And the insight to know when you have gone too far."
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Jazz Tx - Music Venue with Great Cocktails!

January 25th, 2017

On the Podcast this week we talk to Jake Corney (GM) and Derik Cortez (Head Bartender) of Jazz Tx in San Antonio, Texas.

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #198!  Listen with the audio player on this page, on the Bartender Journey web site, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.

  • Book of the Week:
    Amaro The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, by Brad Thomas Parsons
  • Amaro is such a fascinating category that we don’t talk about enough on Bartender Journey.  First of all, what is it?  According to Brad’s book it’s “the collective class of Italian made aromatic, herbal, bittersweet liqueurs, traditionally served as a Digestif after a meal”.
  • To sum it up into a short sound bite:  it’s a bittersweet, herbaceous liqueur.
  • Amari (plural) are an acquired taste, but  once you go down the rabbit hole, you open up into a world of  new and interesting flavors.
  • Cocktail of the Week:  Aperol Spritz.  It’s a very popular drink right now.  Its low ABV and very tasty.  Its also quite festive looking if you build it in a big wine glass – that how I do it at my bar. 
  • The recipe is easy to remember its 3-2-1. 
  • Ingredients:
    3 oz Procecco (or other sparkling wine)
    2 oz Aperol
    1 oz Sparkling Water
  • Build in a big wine glass with ice, or you can do it in a double old Fashioned glass or even Highball glass.  Stir.  Garnish with an orange slice.
  • Toast of the Week:
    "To making it count."
 - Jack, "Titanic"
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San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2017

January 18th, 2017

We are just back from San Antonio Cocktail Conference!

Listen to our overview of this great event!

Lots more from San Antonio Cocktail Conference will be coming up in the next few weeks!

The Cocktail of the Week:

Classic Daiquiri

  • 2 oz Silver Rum
  • 7/8 oz to 1 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (to taste)
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • Shake with Ice. Strain into a chilled Coupe glass

Book of the Week:

  • Regarding Cocktails by Sasha and Gorgette Patraski. Gorgette finished the book after Sasha passed and it’s a wonderful book. I highly recommend that you buy it!
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