Jessica Arnott is the ‘Lord of Liquor’ at Tiny’s Liquor Emporium in Perth’s CBD. Tired of the reputation Jägermeister has developed as a mixer for Red Bull, she has taken this unique amaro and developed the sophisticated Wednesday Cobbler cocktail.
You have been challenged to make a cocktail with Jägermeister. Tell us about the liquid and the inspiration behind your creation.
Jägermeister gets a bit of a bad wrap from its previous life as a not-so-responsibly consumed BFF with ol’ Red Bull, but really, for a group of people as obsessed with amaro as bartenders, we should be taking a second look. It’s complex and rich with a charming, warming spice profile. I’ve been vibing on blackberry recently, and as a general rule, I put sherry in almost everything, so I just tried to create a smashable cobbler with some acid and dryness to balance out the sweetness in the Jägermeister.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in
By the time I finished high school, I had been working in cafes on the weekends for a couple of years already. I was not keen on university at all, so hospitality seemed like a natural choice. Due to some very cool parents, I had been frequenting Sydney institution The Bayswater Brasserie (RIP!) since I was a toddler and the manager took a chance on me. I was eighteen and working with a great team that included Naren Young and a teeny-tiny Charlie Ainsbury. It was an amazing and inspiring start to my career.
You’re a cook, bartender and ex MasterChef contestant –
if you have to choose liquor or food, what would it be?
That’s a horrible predicament to ponder! Professionally I would choose liquor. I love that you’ll never finish learning and I love the camaraderie of the bar industry. I’m better at front of house to back of house, plus I still get a creative outlet through flavour. I still love food and cooking has improved my drink making a lot, it will always be a massive part of my professional life, but I prefer to keep it as a side hobby than my every day.
What advice can you give to anyone looking at joining the industry as a profession?
When you work with talented people, watch them like a hawk and be a complete sponge for everything they do well. Study their every move and emulate it. Also, go to every training that you get access to. We are so lucky in this industry that spirit brands provide us with so much free training. I know it might suck to give up your day off, but not only will you learn new skills and be inspired, it’s fantastic for networking and the more you are seen at these events, the more opportunities will flow your way.
If you could do one guest shift with anyone in the world, where would it be and who would it be?
Look, I wouldn’t say no to travelling anywhere to work with anyone. Any opportunity to travel and learn is a good one. I spent ages trying to think of fancy overseas bars to say, but deep down, my inside voice keeps saying “Dominion League. Get Dominion League back together. DOMINION. LEAGUE.”
This now-closed bar in Perth was my spiritual home and my favourite place I’ve ever worked. It made me fall back in love with bartending after being out of it for a while. Hell, let’s get the band back together and take it on the road. DOMINION ON TOUR!
What’s your go-to drink after a long shift?
Mid strength sour beers and shots of brown liquor!
25ml Barbadillo Amontillado sherry
25ml Blackberry verjus shrub
2 x Dash salted wattleseed and vanilla bitters
Garnish: Two blackberries and rosemary flowers
Method: Add all ingredients to a julep cup, fill with crushed ice and churn well. Top with more crushed ice, garnish and serve
Glassware: Metal julep tin