Jack From Brooklyn…A Surprise Meeting at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic
I agreed because I like Emily and respect her sophisticated palate. Plus, Sorel is a gorgeous new product that deserves your attention!
But what exactly is Sorel?
Sorel hails from the Caribbean. It is, from the their graphically extremely attractive website, Jack from Brooklyn:
The brightness of Brazilian clove. The warmth of Indonesian cassia. The heat of Nigerian ginger. The woody bottom of Indonesian nutmeg. The full, aromatic body of Moroccan hibiscus. Pure cane sugar. The finest 100% organic NY grain alcohol.
WRR: 1. Where are you from? And now? What did you want to be when you grew up?
I’m a native New Yorker; born and bred. Birthed in Queens, schooled in Manhattan, living in Brooklyn since my divorce in ‘97. If you cut me, I’d bleed asphalt. I studied illustration at the High School of Art & Design, and dreamed of being a sculptor. I started working as an art director two months after graduation, and enjoyed a quarter-century career that spanned the words of finance, advertising, and publishing.
WRR: 2. Do you cook? What is your favorite food? IF you cook, who taught you? Mother? Father? Grandparents?
I was pretty much raised in the kitchen, on my mother’s apron strings. My dad was infamous for his inability to as much as boil water, which made my mom that much more determined that all of her boys should know how to cook. My job as a child was to be the official taster. Mom would fix a meal, and in the process, ask me: what does this need? In this manner I became acquainted with the nature of spices; their fragrances, their potency, how one spice could balance, compliment, or overpower another. This is where my love of cooking and my mastery of spices was born.
WRR: 3. Is there anything that brings a tear to your eye when you taste/drink it? Why? Or cook? A favorite recipe? Care to share?
I will admit with no shame: I make the best burgers in Brooklyn. They have come to be known affectionately as “Jack’s Famous Fireburgers” owing to the single Habanero pepper finely diced into every five pounds of meat. I love potent spices but preach respect for them: you should always feel the heat, but never taste the burn.
WRR: 4. If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would that be? Doing what? With whom?
In the spring of 2010, I was diagnosed with a spinal tumor. My doctor said there was a 95% chance it was something called an Ependymoma. A quick google search told me this was bad: a malignant tumor in your lymphatic system is essentially a death sentence. I put my affairs in order. I submitted to neurosurgery, to discover in the recovery room the tumor was actually a schwannoma: benign. Having dodged that bullet, I found returning to my day job as Director of Stuff and Things at Hoity Fashion magazine was now untenable. I only wanted to do things that mattered to me with people i cared about. So when longtime friend Alan Camlet introduced me to Tim Kealey, with a view to making my (famous among friends) recipe for sorrel into a market-ready product, I leaped at the chance. The company–like our first product, Sorel–was born in my kitchen. I can’t imagine anything or anywhere being better than where I am, right here, right now.
WRR: 5. You use Social Media, how do you anticipate it will help you in your business?
As a new brand with limited marketing budget, social media has been the grand equalizer. It allows us to compete for national and international attention with the big boys. It helps to build stronger connections with our audience, and has generated tremendous press for us. In all fairness, we have retained the services of social media strategist extraordinaireLori Edelman of Second Self Media. Any success we’ve enjoyed on the interwebs is directly attributable to her guidance.
Thank you Jack for your kindness. I anticipate great things from you in the very near future!
Cheers to you my friend! wb
Warren Bobrow is a mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer. In 2010, Bobrow founded “Wild Table” for Wild River Review and serves as the master mixologist for several brands of liquor, including the Busted Barrel rum produced by New Jersey’s first licensed distillery since Prohibition.
Bobrow has published three books on mixology and written articles for Saveur magazine, Voda magazine, Whole Foods-Dark Rye, Distiller, Beverage Media, DrinkupNY and other periodicals. He writes the “On Whiskey” column for Okra Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and has written restaurant reviews for New Jersey Monthly.
His first book Apothecary Cocktails, was published in September 2013; and immediately went into a second printing. In 2014, he published Whiskey Cocktails. He was born and raised in Morristown, NJ, on a Biodynamic farm.
Warren Bobrow in this Edition
COCKTAIL WHISPERER, Editor
Apothecary Cocktails: Mexican Sleep Cure
Billy Reid: Bourbon, Branch and a Splash of Southern Lore
Blue Hill/Stone Barns: Time Exists in Harmony with Nature
The Cocktail Whisperer asks Anthony Bourdain Four Questions about Scotch
The Five Questions: Andrew Bell, American Sommelier
The Five Questions Catherine Reynolds
The Five Questions: Lincoln Henderson (Master Distiller)
The Five Questions: Natalie West (Foppiano Wines)
The Five Questions: Randall Grahm
The Five Questions: Sustainable Sushi
A Glass of Bourbon, Branch, and History
Midnight in the Bronx: Visit to Hunt’s Point Wholesale Fish Exchange
A Modern Day Absinthe Alchemist
A Summer Cocktail Party for Artie Shaw
Tales of the Cocktail: New Orleans, Louisiana