Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 14th, 2018

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  St Patty’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 tipsalcohol.com  Its only $40.

Let’s talk Irish Whiskey!  The first thing to know about Irish Whisky is that it is spelled with the “e”, as is generally done for American whiskeys.  One way to remember which have the “e” and which don’t is:

  • 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)

We talk Irish Whiskey this week with Teeling Irish Whiskey.

Cocktail of the Week:

Irish Coffee

  • 1 ½ oz Irish Whiskey
  • 4 oz Strong Black Coffee
  • Lightly Whipped Heavy Cream
  • Grated Nutmeg

Our Sponsor this week is Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club.  They’ll send you a box each month with everything you need to make 4 portions of 3 different craft cocktails, (except the booze), you just need to buy one bottle...with everything in the box, you can make the 3 different drinks.  The box for March was called “Kiss Me I’m Whiskey!” for St. Patrick’s day. Hazel did a cocktail party with that box with some non-bartender friends and did it as a FB Live event. You can still see those videos on the Bartender Journey FB page.  


Use the coupon code “bartenderjourney” 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

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How are Cocktail Enthusiasts Influencing the Cocktail Scene?

March 8th, 2018

We talk with Eric Kozlik from the Modern Bar Cart Podcast and Embitterment Bitters.

Eric’s podcast is interesting and well researched. We discuss bitters and the effect that hobbyist Bartenders are having on the cocktail industry as a whole.

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #244!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Android or Stitcher Radio.

Hazel is doing a FB live cocktail party using the Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club’s “Kiss Me, I’m Whiskey” box.  So I hope you’ll tune in for the fun and check out the live event on our FB page. It’s Sunday March 11, 2018 at 5pm Eastern, please join in and make yourself a drink and help support the show! The bigger the numbers, the better when we go pitch this to potential sponsors! More details on our Facebook page.

Cocktail of the Week:

Snow Globe Mandarin Margarita

  • 2 oz Patron Silver
  • ¾ oz Grand Marnier
  • ¾ oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Mandarin Orange Juice
  • ½ - ¾ oz Simple Syrup
  • 4 drops Orange Bitters
  • 8 drops Sea Salt Saline Solution

Shake and serve up.


Last year I was honored to be chosen to take a trip to visit the Patron Hacienda.  That’s a trip that USBG members can apply for. You can hear all about that trip on show #202, (web site link), or look back in the podcast feed for the show titled Hacienda Patrón - Tequila from Farm to Glass (Apple podcast link).  I hope you’ll check that show out if you haven’t already.  There’s lots of great info in that show about how tequila is produced.

Eric Kozlik sent over a coupon code for our listeners - if you’d like to order some of the Embitterment Bitters use the code BARTENDERJOURNEY (all one word, not case sensitive), for 15% off your order.  That’s at modernbarcart.com

If you’d like to support this show, please check out our Patreon campaign.  All the info is at bartenderjourney.net/Patreon

Toast of the Week:

You are bound by nothing.

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Philip Duff - Director of Education for Tales Of The Cocktail

February 28th, 2018

This week on the show we talk with Mr. Philip Duff, who is among other things, director of education for Tales of the Cocktail.

Well we continue to talk about TOTC, as it became official last week, (Mid February 2018), that Gary Solomon Jr,Neal Bodenheimer of Cure and Cane & Table have taken over leadership of Tales.

We spoke to Gary Soloman and Neal Bodenheimer about all this on show #241, just 2 episodes ago. 

First, l want to thank some great people that chose to help support this podcast. As I mentioned on the previous episode, my family suffered a devastating loss recently. Things are pretty complicated right now…I have a special needs son, and all of a sudden there is one less parent to take care of him, so I wont be returning to my Bartending gig for awhile. I kicked off a Patreon campaign to help support this show. I want to thank Zeke from Chicago, Ryan, PM - Pooch. Also, our friend David Eden-Sangwell from the Bartender HQ podcast, Dylan, Hazel and the Gnarly Gnome from the Cincy Brewcast, a podcast about the Cincinnati craft beer scene.  And I also want to thank Dean and Leonardo for helping out.

If you’d like to support this podcast, go to bartenderjourney.net/patreon, where you can hear the previous episode, with more details and find a link to the Patreon campaign.


Cocktail of the Week:

St-Germain brand ambassador Marlo Gamora turned me on to this drink. Its an upside down martini with a splash of St-Germain.

  • 2 oz of a good quality Dry Vermouth (fresh)
  • 1 oz Gin
  • ¼ St-Germain Eldeflower Liqueur
  • Lemon Twist

Delicious and low ABV.

Book of the Week:

How to Drink French Fluently: A Guide to Joie de Vivre with St-Germain Cocktails

Tales on Tour will be in Edinburgh Scotland April 7-10, 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

 Toast of the Week:

I wish you all the joy you can wish.






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Real Talk from Bartender Journey

February 19th, 2018


First, Thank You for listening to the Bartender Journey Podcast and joining me every week as I chat with industry experts about bartending culture and spirits.

You may have noticed that there hasn't been a podcast episode for a few weeks or blog posts. Life happens and instead of posting about it here, I decided to have some real talk with you, my listeners, on the podcast episode.

Please listen there and join us next week as we resume our regular schedule featuring an interview with Industry Expert, Philip Duff.

Also, it would mean a lot if you could take a moment to visit our Patreon Page and an consider supporting Bartender Journey.

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Tales of the Cocktail 2.0

January 17th, 2018


  • As you probably know, Tales of the Cocktail is one of, if not the, biggest and most important cocktail conferences in the world. Tales is going through a transition. After much controversy, which we wont rehash, but reported on extensively first in episode #203, Tales is in the process of being reorganized as the Tunermans are selling their shares.
  • Listen to Bartender Journey Podcast No. 241 by clicking on the player on this page or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Android or Stitcher Radio.
  • This week we will talk to the two gentlemen that are in the process of purchasing those shares and will take over management, Gary Soloman and Neal Bodenheimer. We’ll hear about their plans for Tales.
  • And next week we’ll continue the conversation about what is being called “Tales 2.0” with Mr. Philip Duff. I hope you are subscribed so that you get the new episodes as soon as they become available, downloaded directly to your phone. For free!


Cocktail of the Week:

Sazerac – The official cocktail of New Orleans as proclaimed by the Louisiana House of Representatives in a 62-33 vote in 2008.

  • We’ll use David Wondrich’s recipe from his great Esquire Drinks
  • 2 ½ oz Rye Whiskey.
  • 3 drops Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • Cube of Sugar
  • Absinthe rinse


  • Muddle the sugar cube with a few drops of water and the bitters. Add the whiskey. Stir well with ice.
  • Put a little Absinthe in an Old Fashioned glass. Roll it around and discard (or drink!) Strain Cocktail into the glass. This drink is unusual in that it’s served in an Old Fashioned glass without ice.
  • Express the oils from a lemon twist over the drink and drop twist into the glass.


  • This is of course a variation on an Old Fashioned.
  • We spoke extensively about the Sazerac cocktail with Elizabeth Pearce, Drinks Historian and author of The French Quarter Drinking Companion way back in episode #132
  • First I’ll remind you, I am Brian Weber. Please follow me on IG at Bartender Journey. Also visit our web site at bartenderjourney.net. You can find the show notes and lots of other recourses there. Please consider visiting our Tip Cup page and help support this show. If this show has helped you out at all, entertained you or just kept you company, please go to bartenderjourney.net/tipcup and leave a little something to help support this show.
  • We are going to have to figure out how to pay for the trip down to Tales this year…you know I did some work for them for 3 years, recording seminars and producing another podcast for the Tales 365 members, but our arrangement has come to an end. I always get great content for the show at Tales – last year I think we got 4 show’s worth of great material.


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Speedrack - All Female Bartending Competition

January 11th, 2018

The Speedrack Northeast semi-finals took place at the Melrose Ballroom in Queens NY on January 7, 2018. This is the 7th season of this great event.

Speed Rack, was founded in 2011 by Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero.

This from speed-rack.com:

“The service industry can sometime be thought of as a man’s world.

"Mix and Marrero have been able to shine a spotlight on female mixologists thriving behind bars around the country; and while they are at it, raise money for breast cancer research, education, and prevention.

“The idea was to create a cocktail competition for the ladies -one that celebrated women, was created by women and supported women; in and out of the spirits industry. In their first year, Speed Rack met over 200 bartenders across the country and raised over $69,000.”

That was the first year. This is now the 7th season of Speedrack!

The competition is held in cities all over the country with the final held this year on May 8, 2018 in Chicago.

We really encourage you to attend, volunteer or even enter the competition.

It is such a fun time. Its like a rock concert for Bartenders!

The brand sponsors have tables set up all around the venue offering cocktails and samples of their products.

For Dry January, our friend Mimi Bernham made a delicious N/A punch with Perfect Puree ingredients. Perfect Puree makes great pureed products, mostly fruit, which are awesome in cocktails. The Carmelized Pineapple is one of my favorites! Perfect Puree is really good about shipping samples btw. This is for foodservice professionals only, but they will ship some frozen samples to your bar or restaurant if you go to their website.

Cocktail of the Week:

January Punch 

Courtesy of Mimi Bernham

  • 40 oz water 
  • 7 Rosehip Tea bags (Onno Behrends Brand) 
  • 24 oz The Perfect Puree Prickly Pear 
  • 18 oz Ginger Beer 1
  • 6 oz seltzer 
  • 12 oz pure Acai Juice 
  • 5 oz lemon juice 
  • 3 oz grapefruit juice 
  • 3 tablespoons Sorghum Syrup
  • Method: Allow tea bags to steep for 40 minutes.  Squeeze tea bags, and discard. 
  • Combine lemon juice and sorghum syrup and shake well to thoroughly blend. 
  • Add all ingredients, except for the Ginger beer & seltzer, to a punch bowl and stir to blend. 
  • Add seltzer and ginger beer, and gently stir as to keep some bubbles. 
  • Add ice to chill the punch; 
  • Make an ice ring with rosemary, lemon wheels and fresh cranberries. The aromatics from the ice ring further enhance the punch. 

Makes approximately 3.5 liters of punch

Mimi was our guest on Bartender Journey #161

To attend speedrack its only $25 (or $30 at the door), 100% of which goes to 9 different Breast Cancer charities. According to the speedrack website, approximately $100k is now donated each year.

You can also go as a volunteer.

The format of the competition is this:

In each city 8 ladies are chosen to compete in the semi-final.

It’s a round robin format, so in the first round the ladies are on stage 2 at a time in 4 heats. There are 4 that move on, and again they compete 2 at a time until there are 2 left for the final.

There are 4 judges who call out what drink they would like.

Both competitors are making all 4 drinks per round. Like it says in the title Speedrack, its all about speed. The ladies are timed.

In one round Becca Pesce was up against Samantha Casuga.

Both ladies Bartend at Dead Rabbit. Becca is our good friend from USBG NY. Becca also works for Angel’s Envy as a Whiskey Guardian, as they call their Brand Ambassadors.

The 2 bars are on the big stage and the contestants build their round of drinks as quickly as possible. And these are not simple drinks! There are drinks like the Lion’s Tail, the Cooper Union and the El Diablo. At least it’s a finite list – the competitors are given a list ahead of time of possible cocktails they may be asked to make.

And taste counts too! The judges can add penalty time based on taste, presentation, technique etc.

Becca won her first round, but unfortunately Becca her next round to Haley Traub.

Haley moved on to the final round.

As I record this in mid January 2018 there are 4 dates still to come, plus the final in Chicago. The 4 remaining semi-finals are in New Orleans, Phoenix, Washington D.C. and Boston.

Book of the Week:

Julie Reiner was one of the judges. She wrote:

The Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion

I spoke to Julie way back in 2015 at Tales of the Cocktail.

In the final round Celeste “Lucky” Dittanmo of Whistle & Tins in Maplewood NJ was up against Haley Traub of Dutch Kills in Queens. Haley was victorious and moves on to the finals in Chicago.

I hope you’ll attend, volunteer or compete. All the info is on speed-rack.com and there are lots of videos on facebook – just search for speedrack (one word - no space).

I hope you checked out the previous episode of Bartender Journey. Podcast #239 is all about the Classic Daiquiri. I spent a lot of time on that episode and I think it came out pretty good, if I do say so myself! So please go back and listen to that one if you haven’t already.


Here’s to God’s first thought, “Man”!

Here’s to God’s second thought, “Woman”!

Second thoughts are always best,

So here’s to Woman!

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The Classic Daiquiri

January 3rd, 2018

The Daiquiri.  A drink everyone has heard of, but likely the many people think of as a pink slushy containing copious amounts of inexpensive nondescript alcohol.

What the Bartending community sometimes refers to as a “Classic Daiquiri” is a very different drink than the slushy artificially colored and flavored thing many people think of as a Daiquiri.  While a frozen Daiquiri can be delicious, a “Classic Daiquiri” is  simply 3 ingredients, shaken until very cold and served without ice in a chilled cocktail glass. It is arguably one of the most important drinks for any Bartender to master. 

This wonderful cocktail, (I start to crave one as I write this at 10am), is a delicate balance of Rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup.

Just as the simple omelet is considered a gage of a Cook’s talent, a Bartender’s Daiquiri is a clue into a Bartender’s skill, methodology and education.

What makes this drink so important?  For one, the Bartender must perfectly balance the three ingredients.  Too much lime juice, or not enough sugar and the drink will be too tart and make your face pucker.  Too much sugar and the result will be obvious.  Not enough Rum and the drink will be “flabby”.  As it is shaken, a fourth ingredient is added - water.  Diluting the drink with the perfect amount of water from the melting ice is a technique that takes skill, precision, instinct and experience.

There is another reason that this cocktail is so important for the Bartender to understand and be able to prepare properly.  This drink is a basic “sour” style drink, like a whiskey sour.  Just as the culinary world has 5 “mother sauces”, we have categories of cocktails. The sour is the basis for countless drinks. 

For more details and cocktail recipes please visit bartenderjourney.net/daiquiri

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Bartender Craig Schiedlo plus Filibuster Distillery

December 20th, 2017

We chat with Bartender Craig Schidelo about Bartending, Competitions and how to advance your career.

We’ll also talk to Sorab Silawri from Filibuster Distillery. Filibuster put on a nice Holiday gathering at Club Macanudo, with some nice cigars and great Filibuster whiskey.

Book of the Week:

Bourbon Curious by Fred Minnick

This book gets into serious detail about Bourbon, with an exploration of many brands broken down into categories: Grain-Forward, Nutmeg-Forward, Carmel-Forward, Cinnamon-Forward, and Select Limited Edition and Special Releases.

Very helpful is the chapter “How to Taste Bourbon”. This chapter gives great practical information about improving your tasting skills and even gives some homework! There are worksheets, for example, what are your top ten memories and what are the aromas associated with them? There is also a long list of flavors that you can expect to smell and taste in Bourbon – everything from Allspice to White Pepper.


Cocktail of the Week:

New Yorker

This is from the Speakeasy book from the Employees Only Bar, but Bar Manager Robert Krueger found it in an book from the 1930’s called Booth’s Cocktail Book.

1 ¾ oz high proof Rye, such as Wild Turkey 101

1 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

¾ oz Simple Syrup

Place above ingredients in a Collins glass with ice and give a brief shake, (“short shake”).

Top with 3 oz Club Soda and then float ¾ oz of dry Red Wine on top.  (Try using an iSi Soda Siphon for the Club Soda)

This is a variation on the New York Sour with the addition of Club Soda. A nice drink and very festive looking.

Toast of the Week:

From the book Toasts

Here’s to the present – and to hell with the past.

A health to the future and joy to the last!

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Meehan’s Bartender Manual

December 6th, 2017

Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan is, true to its name, a Manual.

It details how to layout a bar from start to finish. The section called “The Physical Bar” is extremely specific, starting with the location for your establishment – considering everything from the population density to income levels and more. Then the theme of the bar, or even, “do you really want one of those”. Then moving on to building the interior, the book gives detailed measurements of the ideal distance from the back edge of the bar to the front of the back bar, where the ice bins, coolers POS and more should be placed.

The book gives specific case studies and detailed technical drawings of famous bars such as the NoMad and Dead Rabbit.

There are pages about the sequence of building one round of 11 particularly complicated cocktails. I’ve been thinking about that section constantly at work, trying to maximize my workflow.

Information about icing, stirring, shaking, tasting and much more.

Then there are also 100 great cocktail recipes.

Honestly, this is a must-have book. There are many important details on designing a bar, service plus spirit & cocktail knowledge.

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Kuma Turmeric Liqueur, Plus Reimagining the G&T

November 29th, 2017

We’ll talk with Chet Holstein who makes Kuma Turmeric Liqueur in Washington State. We’ll talk about his unusual and delicious product.

Plus the humble Gin and Tonic - how can we change things up a little?

It’s the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 236! 
Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Android or Stitcher Radio.

Tonic began as a medicine many years ago.

According to Wikipedia:

"Quinine was added to a drink to protect against malaria. It was originally intended for consumption in tropical areas of South Asia and Africa, where the disease is endemic.

"Quinine powder was so bitter that British officials stationed in early 19th Century India and other tropical posts began mixing the powder with soda and sugar, and a basic tonic water was created. The first commercial tonic water was produced in 1858.[1] The mixed drink gin and tonic also originated in British colonial India, when the British population would mix their medicinal quinine tonic with gin."

Many bars are making there own Tonic syrups, which are then mixed with seltzer to make Tonic water.  Brands like El Guapo Bitters also sell great bottled Tonic syrup.

There are many possiblities for a G&T.  I love a healthy dash of fresh lime juice in my G&T.  You can add some of Chet's Kuma Turmeric Liqueur, or some El Guapo Rose Cordial, (which is up for a 2018 Good Food Award btw).

Another option is to serve your G&T with fresh herbs & fruit in a big wine glass, the way they often do in Spain.

Book of the Week:

Ed McMahon's Barside Companion

Upcoming Episode - Classic Daiquiri.  Your chance to be involved!

We are planning a future episdoe dedicated the Classic Daiquiri. We’d love for you to be involved! Record your favorite Daiquiri recipe or story with a voice recorder on your phone and email to brian@bartenderjounrey.net

If we have any subscribers that represent a Rum brand and would like to send some samples along for us to play with, please get in touch! You can use the same email address brian@bartenderjounrey.net

So get your input for the Daiquiri show to me by 12/20/17 and we’ll aim to release that episode as the first Bartender Journey episode of 2018.

Toast of the Week:

Here’s to our guest! Friends of our Friend’s is double our friend. Here to them!


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