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

201

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:
Negroni
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

199

  • 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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Dueling Podcast! Bartender Journey & Bartener HQ.

January 4th, 2017

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast Number 196!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes or on Android.

  • This week on the podcast its a "dueling podcast"! We talk to David Eden-Sangwell.  He is from England and has a podcast of his own called Bartender HQ.  He works for a restaurant group and oversees the bar program for about 8 bars and restaurants.  
  • We chat about the wide-ranging Beverage Program that David manages, Cask Conditioned Beer and Cocktail Conferences.
  • If you would like to hear the Bartender HQ side of this "dueling podcast", you can hear it here. David is planning to attend Tales of the Cocktail On Tour in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2017, and asks for advice on surviving Tales.
    • This week on the podcast its a "dueling podcast"! We talk to David Eden-Sangwell.  He is from England and has a podcast of his own called Bartender HQ.  He works for a restaurant group and oversees the bar program for about 8 bars and restaurants.  
    • We chat about the wide-ranging Beverage Program that David manages, Cask Conditioned Beer and Cocktail Conferences.
    • If you would like to hear the Bartender HQ side of this "dueling podcast", you can hear it here. David is planning to attend Tales of the Cocktail On Tour in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2017, and asks for advice on surviving Tales.

      It's the Bartender Journey Podcast Number 196!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes or on Android.

    Book of the Week:

    • Flavor Bible.  This is not strictly a cocktail book - its aimed more at chefs - but its extremely useful for creating cocktails.  It allows you to look up an ingredient and see a long list of flavors that complement it.  For instance, if you need to make a cocktail containing Kumquats, this book will give you about 40 ingredients that enhance the flavor.

     Cocktail of the Week:

    Brown Derby

    • 5 oz 
Bourbon
    • 1 oz 
Fresh grapefruit juice 

    • .5 oz 
Honey syrup*


      Shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass.

     Modified Brown Derby

    • 2 oz Bourbon


    • 1 oz 
Fresh grapefruit juice
    • .5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice


    • .5 oz 
Honey syrup*
    • 
.25 oz Grapefruit oleo sacrum syrup


                            Shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass.

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BarCraft Live!

December 28th, 2016

Our live online cocktail party was a lot of fun!  Brian was joined by Stefan Giesbert, Producer of the German Language Cocktailpodcast.  The live event has passed, but listen in to the replay here!

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast Number 195!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes or on Android.

 

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Jack Daniel’s Scottish Bartender Competition at Dead Rabbit

December 21st, 2016

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast Number 194!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunesAndroid or Stitcher Radio.

  • This week on the show, we continue on with our Repeal Day adventures. On the last podcast we chatted with Kara Newman, author of Stir. Sip.
  • From there we move on to the East Village to a Bar called Miss Lily’s and met up with Ben Jones, who just launched an interesting Brand called Rhum Shrub JM.
  • From there we will move downtown even further to Dead Rabbit, where Jack Daniels sponsored an event with 3 bartenders from the UK who won a trip to NY and then onto Tennessee to see the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
  • Book of the Week. It’s a great one – the Canon Cocktail Book by Jamie Boudreau. Jamie owns the Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium in Seattle Washington and has put together a fabulous book. Its not just recipes, although there are plenty. There is a very valuable section in the book titled Starting Your Own Bar: Tips and Advice. This section is worth the cost of the book alone and talks about everything from “are you sure you want to do this?”, to finding partners, the bar name, concept locations, and so on.   I was hoping to get Jamie on the show, but so far we just haven’t been able to work it out. He is a very busy man. He’s also involved in the Small Screen Network – if you haven’t heard of that, check out Jamie’s channel, called Raising the Bar. Morganthalar and Robert Hess have channels as well.
  • So honestly get this book – you will not regret it! The recipes are great as well.
  • Cocktail of the Week: Jungle Bird, (Tiki, and festive!)
    • 1 ½ oz Rum
    • 1 1/12 oz Pineapple juice
    • ¾ oz Campari
    • ½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
    • ½ oz Simple Syrup
    • Shake
    • Strain – crushed ice or oldfashioned glass with one large ice cube
    • Garnish Pineapple leaf or wedge
  • At The Shepherd & the Knucklehead of Hoboken our friend Craig Schiedlo is doing an event on Jan 24, 2017.
  • “Its an Industry Party and Educational Event. There will be 3 hour long classes, followed by a party after. One of those classes BTW will be tought by yours truly and Hazel Elvarato! Starting at 12 will be Brockmans Gin, followed by a presentation by Melleti about how liquors and amaros are made and used, ending with what you and hazel will be teaching which is personal branding. My goal is to get all the bartenders to attend all classes. The party will go as follows: there will be a list of spirits. Each Bartender gets to choose one spirit and be the only bartender to do so. By choosing their spirit they are choosing to bartend for 30 minutes to showcase what they are capable of doing by crafting their favorite cocktail with that spirit. Bartender must bring lemon or lime juice and all sugar syrups. I will supply all listed liquor. Party will start at 4:30pm until 8:30pm”.

 

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Shake. Stir. Sip. with Author Kara Newman

December 7th, 2016

  • This week on the Bartender Journey Podcast we celebrate Repeal Day! As you may know, here in the States, Dec 5 1931 was the end of Prohibition. Bartenders across the US now celebrate this un-official holiday, on Dec 5!  It's a great day to be a Bartender or to be anyone who enjoys cocktails!
  • It's the Bartender Journey Podcast number 193!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunesAndroid or Stitcher Radio.
  • I spent Repeal Day wondering around NYC – talking to interesting people and drinking great cocktails.  There was no shortage of events to attend!
  • I started by talking with Kara Newman - an author and influencer in the cocktail scene. We met at Swift Hiberian Lounge in Lower Manhattan.
  • Kara and I have run into each other a few times, but most recently when she was a was a judge at the Diplomatico Rum World Tournament where I was a contestant.
  • Kara wrote Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts
  • Next week on Wednesday December 13, 2016 at 3pm Eastern time we are doing our online cocktail party! We are calling it BarCraft Live! And we are doing it in conjunction with listener to the show, and a podcaster himself, Stefan Giesbert. He does the German language Cocktail Podcast. We have a tasting menu of 5 cocktails that we are gong to be making and we’d love to have you join us live via video stream!
  • To join us, go to net/events, fill out your first name and email address and we’ll send you the cocktail menu, the recipes and the details on how to join us.
  • We did a little back and forth on the technology to use for the video stream. We did a test, and it turns out the best solution is Google Hangouts. There is a limitation on how many can join a Google Hangout, So please go to net/events to RSVP!
  • The Cocktail of the Week is a classic equal parts cocktail - the Corpse Reviver #2 :
    Equal parts (3/4 oz each)
    Gin, Lillet Blanc, Orange Liqueur, Lemon. Dash of Absinthe
    Shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled Coupe glass.
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