The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2016

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Page 87 of 124

december 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  87 Eventually his search brought him to Las Vegas, where he held two competitions: one at Intrigue Nightclub inside the Wynn and one at the newly-opened Libertine Social inside Mandalay Bay, for which the ultimate winners would earn a coveted spot in his Jack's Black Book, Volume 2. The competition at Libertine Social, put on by Liquid Vessel, took 13 Las Vegas bar- tenders through a test of their mixology skills. Judges Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist; Andrew Pollard, Breakthru Beverage Nevada; and Xania Woodman, Vegas Seven, based their scores on taste, presentation, originality and inspiration. Each bartender had their own story, as did Tecosky. Tecosky's story and love for Jack Daniel's runs deep. He attributes influences of Frank Sinatra from his dad and rock 'n roll from his mom as inspirations that virtually converged at Jack Daniel's. "Sinatra was a very big fan of Jack and every rock and roll star drank Jack Daniel's, including my favorite band, Led Zeppelin, so I knew the brand and the culture," says Tecosky. "But, ultimately, it is the whiskey in the bottle that keeps me coming back for years and years." After 13 unique cocktails presentations and a final round of six, Eric Hobbie of Giada at The Cromwell, scored the highest number of points in the competition, which sealed his spot in Jack's Black Book. "My grand- father's name was Jackie and [he] loved to drink Jack," says Hobbie. "He would take my father and the boys out for ice cream sodas after church every Sunday. So I wanted to do a play on a dessert ice cream soda cocktail called Jackie Baby." While the judging was strictly based on points, Tecosky says, "He had a nice story about his father, growing up on cream sodas and how he tried to make a grown-up version of it. That resonated with me. His presentation was phenomenal and the drink tasted good." Yet another addition makes it into Jack's Black Book, commemorating the 150th anniversary of America's oldest registered distillery, with Hobbie's winning libation, Jackie Baby, which celebrates American history in more than one way. —Marisa Finetti Competition judge Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, and Jack's Black Book author Eric "ET" Tecosky at the Arcade Bar at Libertine Social inside the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. PHOTO: MONA SHIELD PAYNE PHOTO: MONA SHIELD PAYNE HOTO: MONA SHIELD PAYNE Eric Hobbie won first place with his drink Jackie Baby, using Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. Jackie Baby by Eric Hobbie, Bartender, Giada "For a nostalgic reason, I took Maraschino cherry stems and put them on the cher- ries," Eric Hobbie, Giada, explained. ◗ 1½ oz. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey ◗ 6 oz. Not Your Father's Cream Soda ◗ 1 oz. Cherry Heering infused with Amarena cherries Combine whiskey, Cherry Heering and cream soda in a sundae glass and top with a scoop of barrel-smoked maple Jack Daniel's gelato. Garnish: macerated Amarena cherries steeped in Cherry Herring, injected with smoked sea salt caramel and dipped in 90 percent cacao.

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