Meet the Bartenders of Jack's Black Book

Each year, we travel around the country with Jack Daniel's Brand Ambassador Eric "ET" Tecosky as he meets up with old and new friends and discovers how they are using Jack Daniel's in their mixology. He compiles his journey into a little black book; below are a few of the bartenders who will be gracing the pages of the upcoming Jack's Black Book.

RHIANNON ENLIL
Erin Rose, New Orleans, LA




What's your favorite memory with ET?
We spent a late evening in a pretty great bar in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The bartender at Evangelo's was this older gent, who kept pouring us shots of whiskey and told us about his father who was in WW2. It was one of those late nights where you lose complete track of time, just listening to a great bartender telling good stories, and the next thing you know, it's after 3 am and you've shared half of a bottle of Jack with a friend.

What's your favorite local spot to enjoy Jack Daniel's?
I really love Sylvain, which has great cocktails and really friendly staff. Plus, the food is outstanding.

What one bar tool would you take with you on a desert island?
A desert island? Maybe the smartest answer is the Coco-Jack!

What drink reminds you of a great memory?
I once woke up with such a fierce hangover, I thought only a Ramos Gin Fizz would cure me. After brainstorming where I could get one at that hour, I realized my only option was to make it myself. My head ached so badly, I had to sit down to shake the drink. But every single sip brought me exponentially back to life, so now whenever I drink one, I remember its unworldly healing powers.

What is your favorite Jack Daniel's cocktail?
Where I work, we will always cheers with a shot of Jack Daniel's in memory of a great friend to the bar, Asa French.

Favorite spot in the country to bartend?
I still think New Orleans is a great city to work, because most people here are specifically looking to have a great time. We have a rich history of cocktails, but we also have a laissez-faire attitude and sincere warmth in service, so everyone is comfortable. We will serve you a shot of whiskey and a joke, or make you an expertly crafted Sazerac-no pretense, no pressure, just a true joie de vivre.

Favorite cocktail garnish?
Nothing beats a giant bundle of bright fresh mint to put your nose in when drinking a julep.


NATALIE BOVIS
The Liquid Muse, Santa Fe, NM



What's your favorite memory with ET?
My favorite memory with ET was at Tales of the Cocktail 2015. I was up early to lead the Mind Body Spirits bartender wellness program, and I was walking in the French Quarter to get a coffee. I ran into ET on the sidewalk, and he had an adorable Pit Bull puppy with him that he had rescued from some rough guys on the street who weren't treating it well. He'd been up all night taking care of the puppy and he looked pretty beat. I volunteer at animal shelters, so, of course, my heart melted, and I joined him on his quest to find a safe place for the dog. We called a shelter but didn't leave the puppy there because we didn't like the look of it when we got there. Meanwhile, we were posting photos and updates on Facebook. By the afternoon, a local bartender had seen our online pleas and she adopted the dog. We went to visit her at the bar where she worked, that evening, and she showed us photos of the pup happily hanging out with her other Pit Bull rescue at her house. That day isn't only my favorite memory with ET; it was also my best day in the ten years I've attended Tales of the Cocktail!

What's your favorite local spot to enjoy Jack Daniel's?
Anywhere, really. I like whiskey. I especially like it with barbecue.

Molecular mixology, yay, or nay? 
I'm more into seasonal, fresh ingredients with a culinary slant. My third cocktail book Edible Cocktails: Garden To Glass focuses on that concept. I love shopping the Farmers Market for beets, carrot, stone fruits, honey, flowers, spices, roots and other items that I can use in my cocktail development. Basically, if I can cook with it, I can make cocktails with it!

Where's the most unlikely place you've had a great drink?
We have a dive bar, here in Santa Fe, called The Matador. It is dark, located in a basement, they blast punk rock music, and it's known as a late night shot-and-beer kind of place-popular with bartenders when they get off work. However, there are a couple of bartenders there who are passionate about mixology. If you go earlier in the evening, before it's packed, they can make classic cocktails that rival fancier places in town. 

What bartender behavior drives you crazy?
When someone talks down to me, or any customer. 

Best cocktail name you've ever come up with?
Flor de Maria. It's means "Mary's Flower" and made with tequila and hibiscus flowers. It is a tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe, an iconic figure in Mexican culture, and a prominent one in New Mexico.


JESSICA WESTERGOM
The Sand Dollar Lounge, Las Vegas, NV



What's your favorite memory with ET?
My favorite ET memory is when we first met at a Women of Whiskey brunch last year, hosted at Giada, located inside The Cromwell. We bonded over our roots, both being from around the Philly area. We joked about how we pronounced words like "water" (or "woodier" as we say it).

What's your favorite local spot to enjoy Jack Daniel's?
My favorite spot to enjoy Jack has to be at the Sand Dollar; I may seem biased because I work there, but it's the best local live music venue, and they have a Gentleman Jack program, where you can buy your own bottle and sip it while you listen to Rock 'n' Roll.

What drink reminds you of a great memory?
Jack neat or on the rocks reminds me of the average night hanging out with my friends, whether it be at home or at a great bar. Nothing better than just straight whiskey.

Favorite spot in the country to bartend?
I love bartending in Vegas. You get to see and meet so many new people every day. You get the locals and your regulars, but it's so special serving people from all around the world and giving them a memorable Vegas story or experience.

What bartender behavior drives you crazy?
I hate when bartenders preach about what YOU should have or try to school and educate the guest when they come to the bar. Guests come to relax and unwind, not hear the bartender's idea of what you should be enjoying. If they ask the bartender for advice or an opinion, that's one thing, but unwanted education bothers me. If I want a dirty martini, just make me a dirty martini.

What's the first drink you ever made?
The first cocktail I ever made was an Appletini at my first service job back in Philly. I was terrified and had no idea what was in it. Looking back, it's pretty funny that I was scared of a cocktail I've never actually had myself. 


ERIC ALPERIN
The Varnish, Half Step and Penny Pound Ice, Los Angeles, CA



What's your favorite memory with ET?
My engagement party at Jones Hollywood and 4 am burgers in New Orleans.

What's your favorite local spot to enjoy Jack Daniel's?
Jones Hollywood.

Favorite cocktail garnish?
A long orange peel.

Where's the most unlikely place you've had a great drink?
I had a great Gin & Tonic at Monte Carlo, a bar in Los Angeles on 3rd by Vermont. It's an old epic dive joint.

What cocktail ingredient do you want to see used more often?
Crystal clear and dense block ice.

What bartender behavior drives you crazy?
Ignoring the guest. A guest will feel more at home if there is acknowledgement, even if the bartender is busy.

Molecular mixology: yay, or nay?
Anything that positively furthers the craft behind the bar is fine in my book. The act of tending bar is about people, so in my mind any molecular research needs to be experimented with and perfected in the back of house. If it makes sense in a particular bar program, then all systems go. Otherwise molecular mixology fan fare behind the bar just for the sake of it is risky to the guest experience and, additionally, a bar's bottom line.


VINCENZO MARIANELLA 
Copa d'Oro, Santa Monica, CA



What's your favorite local spot to enjoy Jack Daniel's? 
I still love The Well.

What drink reminds you of a great memory? 
I'm old . . . way too many.

Favorite spot in the country to bartend?  
Beside Copa d'Oro, I wish I was working at Employees Only in NYC or in a five-star hotel in London.

Molecular mixology, yay, or nay?  
It depends on the place. At a regular bar, no, but at a fine dining or Michelin Star restaurant, why not? 

What bartender behavior drives you crazy?  
The mixologist one.

What's the first drink you ever made?  
If I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, how can I remember the first drink I ever made? I remember the first one I had, and it was a Bloody Mary.

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