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 gazregan@gmail.com
  • 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 brian@bartenderjourney.net


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 bartenderjourney.net/bi 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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