The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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Page 66 of 116

66  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2016 ON THE ROAD WITH JACK ew Orleans is the kind of town where anything and everything goes, so it's no surprise that when we walk into Mr. B's, just on the edge of the French Quarter, there's a dog casually reclining on the pool table. He's a gentle giant and warmly nuzzles up to bar regular Murf Reeves, then wastes no time getting to know Eric "ET" Tesosky, dog lover and Brand Ambassador for Jack Daniel's. It's a friendly reunion for Tecosky and Reeves, who met a few years back during Tales of the Cocktail, and have stayed in touch since. "ET's just one of those guys," muses Reeves. "A lot of these guys come down here for Tales, and you meet them, but that's it—they're always so busy. But ET always makes a point to reach out when he's in town." For Reeves, that kind of reliable connection is what being a bar- tender is all about: "I meet so many people that become 'regulars,' whether it's once a week or once a year. They get a smile on their face and say, 'Hey that guy is still here,' and when I say, 'Hey what's up, Gin and Tonic two limes!' they feel great. That's all it takes to make people happy, to show them, 'I know you; welcome back.'" It's that same comforting reliability Reeves appreciates about Jack Daniel's: "Jack never lets you down," he muses. "It's an iconic liquor that defines America in some ways. It's always been here. It hasn't changed. It's been pretty much the same since however long it's been around, and it's always in that badass black bottle," he continues with a laugh. But Reeves's personal connection to Jack goes well beyond the brand's signature face and flavor: "My real connection with Jack Daniel's is through Angelo Lucchesi," says Reeves, referencing the man who shepherded Jack Daniel's to mid-century prominence through friendships with influential drinkers like close friend Frank Sinatra. "It was a really rainy day, and I was at the bar by myself, peeling five pounds of ginger, and my rep brought him in. I asked if he wanted a seat, and he said, "Men don't sit at the bar; men stand." Lucchesi spent the next few hours telling Reeves all sorts of stories AS WE PREPARE TO BRING YOU VOLUME TWO OF JACK'S BLACK BOOK, WE STOP IN NEW ORLEANS DURING TALES OF THE COCKTAIL by Rachel Burkons / photos by Chris Granger Jack's BACK! A Jack's Black Book Sneak Peek: I met Murf at Sylvain and Rhiannon at Cure—both really great cocktail bars—now when I visit, I get to see them together at Erin Rose, one of my favorite spots in the Quarter. —Eric "ET" Tecosky

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