Introducing the Gentleman Jack Culture Shakers New York City Class of 2024

Meet the Gentleman Jack “Culture Shakers” Class of 2024: New York City edition! The Culture Shakers initiative stands as a beacon of recognition and support for Multicultural bartenders ascending in the realm of mixology, revolutionizing cocktail culture in their respective cities while imprinting their unique legacies upon the bar scene. In 2024, the program maintains its commitment to spotlighting a fresh wave of talent, with a dynamic cohort from NYC. These trailblazers, armed with creativity and innovation, challenge conventions and redefine the boundaries of bar culture.

Embodying the essence of Gentleman Jack, a Tennessee whiskey distinguished by its smoothness and approachability, the Culture Shakers epitomize the spirit of craftsmanship and dedication. Like the whiskey’s meticulous process, these bartenders exemplify a commitment to authenticity and excellence, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Through their passion and determination, they embody the ethos of Gentleman Jack, embracing the role of creators who strive to craft what’s genuine and aspire to leave a lasting legacy.

New York City  Culture Shakers Class Of 2024

Melissa “Melly” Rogers

What makes the City you live and work in an exciting place to be in hospitality right now?

It’s New York City, the city that never sleeps with all of the bright lights and opportunities. Everyone travels to NYC, whether it’s to work or simply just to enjoy our city. And almost everyone who comes to NYC wants to have a great drink at an aesthetically pleasing bar.

How does your personality influence your bartending approach, technique and style?

I’m an outgoing individual, so I’m usually the first to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. I tend to make everyone feel that each drink I curate is made specifically just for them.

What does being a Culture Shaker mean to you & how can bartenders use their influence to impact positive progress in the industry?

Being a Culture Shaker is an honor. I’ve been bartending for about 9 years now and each year, I feel myself getting better and better along the way. Bartenders are mini-therapists in a sense – with each interaction, we have a really geniune opportunity to connect. It’s not only about servicing our guest, it’s about giving them a full hospitality experience.

Tell us how you used Gentleman Jack in your signature cocktail.

Gentlemen Jack is a smooth whiskey so I wanted to highlight all its notes and enhance the flavor. Peach and ginger are the perfect ingredients to balance it in a cocktail.

Ginger Peach Snap

  • 3 oz Gentlemen Jack
  • 0.5 oz Peach Puree
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 2 pieces of muddled Ginger

 

Shake all ingredients over ice, smoke glass with ginger, kremove smoker and strain over sphere ice cube into a rocks glass over large cube. Garnish with ginger skin and smoked rosemary.

Jorge Lopez

What makes the City you live and work in an exciting place to be in hospitality right now?

New York City is the most diverse city in the whole world. I can visit different countries just by taking a train or a long walk around different neighborhoods. Each street can represent a different culture, which I try to learn from and use as inspiration for my craft.

How does your personality influence your bartending approach, technique and style?

My personality is full of intensity with creativity sprinkled in to drive my inspiration. I love working the service bar, because my competitive nature drives the speed of the drinks I keep coming out. I thrive in high volume atmospheres with the show of the bartender.  So, the way I shake is important because I want the furthest table away from the bar to want to get a drink from me.

What does being a Culture Shaker mean to you & how can bartenders use their influence to impact positive progress in the industry?

As Culture Shakers, it is our responsibility to be teachers to the future generations of bartenders and hospitality professionals.  We need to influence the next wave employees in our bars as the new class of bartenders to see the potential in become in a professionals if they give it their all. What we do now as mentors will set them up for success everyday.

Tell us how you used Gentleman Jack in your signature cocktail.

The taste notes of vanilla and hints of banana in Gentleman Jack play well with the coconut cream and the peach nectar. It has enough strength and structure to create balance. The finish lingers with a unique sweetness of caramel, brown sugar and honey.

Gentleman’s Peach

  • 2 oz Gentleman Jack
  • 1 oz Coconut Cream
  • 1.5 oz Peach Nectar
  • Dash Apricot bitters
  • Madagascar Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • Frozen Peach Dehydrated Slices

Put Gentleman Jack, coconut cream, apricot bitters and peach nectar into shaker. Shake ingredients and put into rocks glass over ice. Top with whipped cream and micro plane shave a generous amount of frozen peach slices over the whipped cream.

Shane ‘Breez’ Smith

What makes the City you live and work in an exciting place to be in hospitality right now?

For starters, it is NYC. Furthermore, Harlem is Harlem. We are the epitome of fun. With full creative control at the bar where I work, we are the curators of the music, the cocktails and vibes. And if you know, you know.

How does your personality influence your bartending approach, technique and style?

As a musician, performer and vibe curator, my personality shines all throughout my approach to the bar. My technique stems from the many mentors whom I hold near and dear, thanks guys.

What does being a Culture Shaker mean to you & how can bartenders use their influence to impact positive progress in the industry?

Being a Culture Shaker means raising the bar. It means being 4 steps ahead. Staying ready, not getting ready. It means it is our responsibility to teach and, at the same time, always being willing to learn and grow so that we can continue changing the game.

Tell us how you used Gentleman Jack in your signature cocktail.

This was one of many created with Gentleman Jack recently.  I made herbaceous tea based elixir that plays well any whiskey, but especially with the oak, tropical notes and the subtle nuances of Gentleman Jack. Perfection.

Easy Rider

  • 1.5 oz Gentleman Jack
  • 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Fantastical Herbaceous Elixir
  • .25 oz French Alps Mountain Sage Herbal Liqueur
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger Beer

Shake all ingredients and pour into a grand footed chalice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a flamed dehydrated lemon with rosemary accent.

Adrian Fernandez

What makes the City you live and work in an exciting place to be in hospitality right now?

Harlem is HOT. Harlem has always set the pace for new and innovative culture and creativity

How does your personality influence your bartending approach, technique and style?

I love to learn what excites and interest a customer, giving them a new way to image their spirit of choice. Combining elements that are not part of an everyday experience. New day new experience

What does being a Culture Shaker mean to you & how can bartenders use their influence to impact positive progress in the industry?

Culture give you the opportunity to add your individual imprint to elevate the industry and to use the skills that make you one of kind.

Tell us how you used Gentleman Jack in your signature cocktail.

I used Gentleman Jack as a base spirit for it’s caramel and vanilla notes to marry the coffee and the oils in the lemon together giving you a dimensional cocktail.

What is your Gentleman Jack recipe?

  • 2 oz. Gentleman Jack
  • .75 oz. coffee
  • .5 oz. lemon juice & zest
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • .25 oz. amaro

Strained into rocks glass over a large cube of ice. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel and 2 coffee beans

Please Drink Responsibly.
Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel’s are registered trademarks. ©2024 Jack Daniel’s. Tennessee Whiskey, 40% ALC/VOL, JACK DANIEL DISTILLERY, Lynchburg, TN. 

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