Host Nick Johnson discusses inspirations and currents trends in the hospitality and arts industries with female leaders from both. Jessica Taylor, mixologist for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and Janna Hymes, Music Director of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, share a few drinks and classical music selections in this episode.
Nick Johnson (00:00):
Hello, and welcome to Classical Pairings, a podcast exploring interactions between music and all things, food and drink. I’m your host, Nick Johnson. I could listen to you talk about cocktails for a long time.
Janna Hymes (00:11):
I know, it just sounds like music when you talk.
Nick Johnson (00:12):
In each episode, we pair a leader in music with a leader in the food and drink industry, and we talk connections, similarities, and differences. What drives a person to become a musician or open a brewery or start a restaurant? Are they passionate dreamers or just crazy? I’m a musicology professor, but I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of cocktails and beer. So I’m always excited to talk with people that share my combined passions. And as our name suggests, we’ll spend some time eating and drinking sample selected just for us. And I’ll try to pick classical music. I think pairs well with whatever we’re sampling. You can tell me what you think of my choices by following me on Twitter @Musicology_Nick. My guests for this episode included Jessica Taylor, a mixologist with Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and Jenna Himes, the music director of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra. We recorded this episode in Jessica’s mixology lab on the Southwest side of Indianapolis. And we’ll jump in with Jessica explaining how she stays inspired to create new cocktails year in and year out. Later in this episode, we’ll pick music to pair with different cocktailsJessica whipped up for the occasion.
Jessica Taylor (01:20):
I’ll take a trip, whether that is, uh, something on my own or with my husband or with another group of bartenders or distributors or mixologists, uh, within distributors, um, to learn about the different spirits and to learn about what’s trending in cocktails. And sometimes just going back to basics and let’s talk about 25 classic cocktails and the history of where those came from to always remember where we came from so that we can continue to build.
Nick Johnson (01:51):
That sounds like a pretty good trip.
Nick Johnson (01:51):
A trip based around classic cocktails. I like that idea. Yeah.
Jessica Taylor (01:55):
Yeah. I mean, one trip in particular that I’ve taken for many years now is, uh, every July in New Orleans, there’s this wonderful conference called Tales of the Cocktail. It’s been going on… I don’t remember exactly how many years, but I want to say somewhere in the vicinity of 13, 15 years, somewhere around there, and the entire conference is about education and obviously there’s some imbibing going on…
Nick Johnson (02:21):
Jessica Taylor (02:21):
But, um, they bring in spirit producers from all around the world and bartenders from all around the world. And everybody hangs out in New Orleans in the middle of July when it is very swampy and sips cocktails. And, um, it’s the largest bartending conference in the world, to my knowledge. I think last, last year or the year before it had 30,000 people.
Janna Hymes (02:45):
Jessica Taylor (02:45):
It’s a pretty good amount of people that show up for this thing. And it’s just back to back from day one through the final day, there are seminars all day long that lasts somewhere around 45 minutes to an hour, and these classes could be anything from Whiskey 101 to, uh, The Science of Carbonation and How To Carbonate Cocktails Yourself. It could be just anything under the sun. So, uh, people like myself travel down there every year to learn, um, you know, what’s new and what’s trending and maybe a hot new product that’s coming out and things like that.
Nick Johnson (03:23):
This sounds a lot more fun than the music history conferences that I go to for my job. [Laughter] I mean, we imbibe as well but it’s not- that’s not the place and the time…
Jessica Taylor (03:30):
There’s certainly some hard work involved. Um, there’s generally, uh, some cocktail tasting that goes along during the classes, but, um, for the most part, the imbibing happens either in between class or after classes for the day. So all classes wrap up by five o’clock.
Nick Johnson (03:47):
Jessica Taylor (03:47):
And then there are, um, industry get togethers if you will, that happen all around the city. So it is a lot of fun.
Nick Johnson (03:56):
So what’s your, um, favorite New Orleans cocktail? I’m a big Sazerac fan, which I believe started in New Orleans?
Jessica Taylor (04:03):
Yeah. Yeah. I do love a good Sazerac, and it’s a wonderful cocktail because it’s so simple.
Nick Johnson (04:11):
Don’t tell- When, when I have friends come over, that’s the one I show off with.
Nick Johnson (04:13):
I make them a Sazeracs and they think I know what I’m doing. So it’s a really complicated cocktail. Right?
Jessica Taylor (04:17):
Very difficult. Actually you have to have very precise tools that you can only get from a certain place. [Laughter]
Nick Johnson (04:25):
Jessica Taylor (04:25):
Um, yeah, but you know what, sometimes the, the simplest recipes are the most difficult cocktails for people to reproduce because, um, the idea is that it should be a consistent cocktail. So every time your friends come over, if you’re making Sazeracs, hopefully they taste the same every time, you know.
Nick Johnson (04:43):
Depends on how many I’ve had before they get there. [Laughter]
Jessica Taylor (04:46):
True, they start getting a little heavy handed and two ounces becomes four and yeah. [Laughter]
Nick Johnson (04:50):
But do you have a favorite new Orleans? I actually interrupted you at the time, I’m sorry.
Jessica Taylor (04:52):
Oh no. I was going to say Sazerac, I do really love a Sazerac. Um, uh, there are lots of New Orleans cocktails that are wonderful for sure. Um, I think a Pimm’s cup is really nice as well. It’s very light and refreshing, lower ABV.
Nick Johnson (05:06):
Intimidated by that one. I haven’t made that one.
Jessica Taylor (05:08):
Oh, it’s, It’s great. It’s, it’s what I would call the patio pounder. So it’s lower ABV. You can drink them all day. I think if you were a little more sophisticated, you’d probably call it a session cocktail. So…
Nick Johnson (05:19):
A session cocktail, I’m not that sophisticated.
Jessica Taylor (05:22):
Yeah. So it’s a patio pounder. You can drink some all day. It’s great.
Nick Johnson (05:24):
Jessica Taylor (05:24):
Um, but I think my all time favorite is probably a Sazerac it’s just such a classic and it’s beautiful and wonderful. And I particularly care for them with cognac over rye. Um, they were made with cognac at one time.
Nick Johnson (05:37):
Really? I did not know that. Okay.
Jessica Taylor (05:38):
It’s a wonderful, wonderful drink, with extra bitters. I like the Peychaud’s Bitters in there, a lot.
Nick Johnson (05:43):
Okay. Okay. I’ll have to try that. That’ll impress my friends even more when I tell them that this is a very difficult cocktail, that I’ve been slaving over here for a long time putting this together. Um, anyway, so sorry. I got sidetracked there by cocktails, Janna, as you probably understand. Um, so I had asked if you have any, uh, I’m curious what you do to maintain your creative energy.
Janna Hymes (06:05):
Well, like Jessica, I travel a lot. I think that I get very inspired when I go to different places and I try to hear the local music and the local orchestra and that can be Vienna or London and they’re great orchestras. Um, and I also, I get very inspired by nature. So I have a home in Maine as well, and I hike and I, I do a lot of things where I’m outside and just, um, I love that, that’s- that’s uh, if you read about composers like Beethoven and Mendelssohn and Mahler, they used to walk and get inspired and it’s, it’s so true. It just really helps. I do a lot of research. I do a lot of reading, um, and I just really, um, get deep into the score. And I always think what was the composer’s intentions? And I always, always in the back of my mind, I think about our audience and I think about what, what is it that, why are they in the hall? How do we keep them coming? What is it that we can do to please them? Because ultimately, while we’re playing this incredible music, if it’s a classical concert, for example, um, with staples like a Beethoven symphony and a Mozart overture and a Mendelssohn concerto or something, th- that’s music that’s been around a long time and they’ve probably heard many times before. So what is it that we’re going to do to make it fresh? I always talk from the stage, but from the minute they enter the theater to the time they step out, we want this experience to be unique and exciting and something that’s memorable to them.
Nick Johnson (07:21):
Well, you mentioned drinks, and I know that Jessica was working on some cocktail prep earlier, and I think maybe we’ve reached the time, um, that why don’t we go ahead and sample some of these. All right. So we’ve done a little bit of a reset here because Jessica is ready with our first cocktail. Um, I’m already excited looking at the color of this. I’m looking at this bottle I’ve never seen before. It’s beautiful. So Jessica, take it away. Tell us what we’ve got here.
Jessica Taylor (07:42):
All right. So we’re starting off with something relatively simple. This is just a riff on a classic Negroni. The Negroni was invented in 1919, and it’s a very simple, lovely cocktail comprised of equal parts, gin, Campari, which is a bitter apéritif, uh, and Sweet Vermouth. And so what I’ve done today is changed it up just a little bit. Um, we’re using a different gin. We’ve got, uh, Copper & Kings, which is a wonderful distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Um, this is their Symphony In Orange gin. So this gin is actually aged in orange Curaçao barrels.
Nick Johnson (08:22):
Jessica Taylor (08:22):
It’s a lovely gin. And then, um, instead of just Campari, I actually split the modifier. I did part Campari. And the other part I did Aperol, which is a little bit of a lighter apéritivo. And I infused that Aperol with some fresh strawberries. And then instead of Sweet Vermouth, I’d lightened it up, uh, to pair better with the Aperol. And I’m using the Martini & Rossi Bianco Vermouth. And the Bianca is nice because it’s got beautiful citrus and vanilla notes, really lovely on its own on the rocks with a twist of lemon, but it just pairs really well with the cocktail and it doesn’t overshadow anything. So…
Nick Johnson (08:58):
You said “modifier” is a word that… I heard in that you said, that the Campari, is that a common term? I’ve never heard that before in a cocktail.
Jessica Taylor (09:06):
It is. So… the base spirit would be your main think… Full-proof spirit. So your vodka, gin, rum, tequila, things of that nature. A modifier is going to be something that you use likely in a smaller quantity. Um, but it’s used to modify the base spirit. So modifiers, think of liquors–
Nick Johnson (09:25):
So it still has an alcoholic content, it’s not soda water or something. It has to be-
Jessica Taylor (09:25):
Nick Johnson (09:25):
Jessica Taylor (09:25):
Soda water would be a mixer.
Nick Johnson (09:34):
Okay. I’m going to use that word. It’s going to impress everybody. Okay.
Jessica Taylor (09:38):
Yeah. Maybe not your Sazeracs, but with other cocktails. Yes, yes, absolutely.
Nick Johnson (09:40):
Janna Hymes (09:40):
This looks so good. I’m probably going to down this in about two seconds.
Nick Johnson (09:44):
That does look beautiful.
Jessica Taylor (09:46):
This is a sneaky cocktail. It’s everything I named in here has an alcoholic content. So it’s all spirits. So it’s what we would call a spirit forward cocktail. Okay. But it is very easy to drink them. So what I’m doing for listeners is I’m taking a wide peeler or a vegetable peeler, so like your potato peeler at home, and I’m just peeling a nice wide swath of the orange peel. And I’m going to kind of hold that long ways and I’m just going to give it a little squeeze. And for those of you watching, you can see the orange oil coming out. And I don’t want to squeeze it directly over the cocktail because there’s lots of different oils in there. And I don’t want to just bombard the cocktail with all that orange oil. I also don’t want to like rub it around the rim and really jam the orange oil in there because then the first two or three drinks, all you’re going to taste is orange oil. So instead I just lightly mist it and I let the oils kind of float over and I might do some like Ninja wafting and push it.
Nick Johnson (10:44):
Okay. All right. Thank you.
Nick Johnson (10:51):
Do you have a name for this?
Jessica Taylor (10:52):
I thought you two could name it today, based off one of the songs that come to mind.
Janna Hymes (10:59):
Nick Johnson (11:01):
So I’ve, I’ve had several Negroni’s and they…to me tend to be a little too bitter.
Jessica Taylor (11:05):
They are. They are, and this is…
Nick Johnson (11:06):
This is not.
Jessica Taylor (11:06):
This is very approachable.
Nick Johnson (11:09):
I like it. This is dangerous. You’re right about that.
Jessica Taylor (11:14):
Right. So it’s nice because the bitterness is still going to cleanse your palate enough. It’s not, there’s not a ton of sugar going on here, so it’s not just coating your palate, but the bitterness just kind of helps wipe everything clean. Um, but it makes you want to keep going back for more. And there’s enough going on with this, you know, with the beautiful gin that’s aged in the Curaçao barrels and the nice fruitiness that you’re getting from both the modifiers and that strawberry. Um, and then again like that vermouth is just so light and delicate and it’s just enough citrus notes and the vanilla that just kind of gives that like creamy… Um, it’s subtle, but mouth coating.
Nick Johnson (11:55):
Yeah. I could listen to you talk about cocktails for a long time. [Laughter]
Janna Hymes (11:59):
I know, it sounds like music when you talk. You know, it’s funny ’cause I’m trying to think of music that is a little deceiving. So music that when you listen to it, you want more, but it’s a little bit bitter, but it’s also a little bit sweet. So what would that be? I’m trying to think about music like that… But it is it’s, it’s pretty, um, engaging. I mean, you do want more, you take a little sip and then you want another sip because it’s, it’s very interesting. It’s complex, but it’s also simple at the same time.
Jessica Taylor (12:26):
Yeah. Very simple in the build. One ounce, one ounce, one ounce. Very, very easy, but very, to your point complex, because think about, so this is gin. So we have a lot of botanicals going on in here. And then they took that gin and aged it in Curaçao barrels. So we have even more depth of flavor going on. And then vermouth, you’ve got more botanicals along with wormwood, which is giving some bitterness.
Janna Hymes (12:50):
So I would compare this to something like the Goldberg variations of Bach. It starts pretty simple. And then it just keeps building and building and building and building, which is exactly like a layered piece, which is exactly what this drink is. It’s layered.
Nick Johnson (13:02):
Yeah. It’s very, the Bach is… Even if you don’t know anything about music theory or counterpoint, there’s something immediately that grabs you.
Janna Hymes (13:10):
Nick Johnson (13:10):
And you can immediately enjoy, just even just one of the layers.
Janna Hymes (13:15):
Right. And it starts very simply and, and you’re, you’re sort of mesmerized. And then as it goes on, there are more and more layers. I mean, I might drink Aperol spritzer and I just love it, or I might have a martini and I love it, but I never know what’s in it. I just know if I have a good bartender that I have a great drink.
Jessica Taylor (13:31):
Janna Hymes (13:31):
So, um, I’m one of those, but I definitely taste different- well, you described it. So then I started to taste it cause you described it. And I think there’s music that is like that. You’ll, you’ll put a simple theme and then all these variations, by the time you get to the end of the piece, it’s like, all this stuff is going on.
Nick Johnson (13:46):
Yeah, and they’re all working together.
Janna Hymes (13:47):
Nick Johnson (13:47):
Yeah, as you said it, I was like, “Oh yeah. Now I’m tasting the vanilla, now tasting-”
Janna Hymes (13:51):
Cause I taste it!
Nick Johnson (13:52):
So when you listen to Bach, you’re like, “Oh, now I’m hearing the upper part. You know?”
Janna Hymes (13:55):
That’s it, that’s it.
Jessica Taylor (13:56):
And there’s certainly something to be said as well. And this, we do this with, um, wine tastings with spirit tastings and I thoroughly enjoy doing this with cocktail tastings is try a cocktail blind and listen to a certain piece of music and then try the cocktail again, listening to a different piece of music. And you’re going to have a very different reaction to what you taste.
Janna Hymes (14:26):
Well, and another great example of that is let’s say you go to dinner and you’re at a restaurant and you’re having a beautiful French meal. The music that’s on at that restaurant will completely change how your meal is.
Jessica Taylor (14:37):
Janna Hymes (14:37):
It’s the same thing. It’s that, because it sets up the ambience. So if you walk into a restaurant and they’re playing, you know, like really cool jazz, you kind of start feeling relaxed. You just sorta sit down and then your dinner’s kind of more relaxed. But if they’re playing like hip hop, like really something aggressive or something, you walk in and you’re kind of like on edge and it’s a different experience. And that’s the same, I think with this.
Nick Johnson (14:58):
Yeah. Why don’t we listen just a little bit…
Music Plays (15:19):
[Johann Sebastian Bach, “Goldberg Variations”]
Nick Johnson (15:23):
So we’ve been listening to the, the Goldberg variations here. Uh, this is the cocktail that Janna picked to go- I’m sorry, the, the piece of music to go with this cocktail. Uh, what did you think about it, Jessica? Did he do, do you feel that this is a good pairing?
Jessica Taylor (15:35):
I do. I like how it started off very soft and inviting. And I think that’s exactly what this cocktail starts off. It’s just, it’s very soft and you hear the ingredients and if you’re not familiar with those ingredients, they might sound intimidating. But as soon as you try the cocktail, Oh, this is soft. I can handle this. This is good. And then as the piece progresses and it gets kind of a flutter going on and that’s, I feel like that’s the point when you start discovering the complexity, the real depth of flavor in the cocktail.
Janna Hymes (16:10):
And that was, we listened to Glenn Gould playing, which is of course, one of the greatest recordings of that piece. I know as a pianist and many people listening will know if they even hear this piece, how incredibly difficult it is to play that piece. That’s also where the complexity comes in, not just what we’re hearing, but to play that piece. It’s one of the hardest pieces for a pianist. So that, and that just builds as you hear it and you think, wow, how can any one person play that? And it’s a little bit like that when you drink this at first, it’s very soft and soothing and you go out and then all of a sudden you get the bitter, you get the sweet, and then it gets more like you said, vanilla, and then you get the gin and the orange, and there’s all these incredible layers, which is what that piece is all about. I love that. I thought that was a fantastic pairing.
Nick Johnson (16:51):
Yeah, this is fantastic. So hopefully if you’re, if you’re listening at home, you follow the directions and made yourself one of these to listen to, uh, or hopefully will after this, but I think we’ve got another cocktail ready. Right?
Jessica Taylor (17:00):
Nick Johnson (17:00):
I, uh, I, I’m excited to see where we’re going to go next.
Jessica Taylor (17:03):
Nick Johnson (17:03):
I am very excited because we’re about to have cocktail number two here, and this is one of the most beautiful drinks I’ve ever seen. All sorts of things are floating in this glass. So go ahead and take it away. Jessica, tell us what we’ve got here.
Jessica Taylor (17:17):
Well, I think the theme today has been, uh, simplicity, right? And sometimes we think simplicity means that there’s not much going on. Um, but in the way of cocktails, simplicity can sometimes be some of the hardest things to achieve and some of the most complex things that we taste. So what I’ve done here for us for our third drink is I’ve made almost a vodka tonic. Really simple. Anyone can put this, this cocktail together. This is very easy. So, uh, let me talk about what’s in it. And then I’ll kind of explain what else is going on. Cause there’s a lot of pretty things going on that might be confusing. So, um, the spirit in this cocktail, it’s just two ingredients. Aside from garnishes. The spirit is this Ketel One Botanical. And, uh, there are three, uh, three versions of this and I chose the peach and orange blossom. And what I love about this product is it kind of bridges the gap between vodka and gin. So in gin, typically speaking, we’re using a neutral grain spirit of vodka, basically, that we are either flavoring or redistilling with Juniper and other botanicals. Juniper is what’s going to give you that kind of, for lack of a better phrase, that Christmas tree it’s, that Piney kind of taste. And a lot of people don’t care for that taste. And that’s okay. That saves the gin for me. I will drink it all totally fine. But what Ketel One has done with their botanical line is they’re distilling actual botanicals, but no Juniper. So this is not gin. This is vodka, but it’s not what I would call flavored vodka. So we’re not making vodka and adding peach flavoring and orange blossom water, orange blossom flavoring. They’re actually distilling those botanicals.
Nick Johnson (19:04):
Jessica Taylor (19:04):
So what the end result is this light, very beautiful and incredibly aromatic spirit. Um, it is absolutely lovely on its own. It’s wonderful with club soda. Today, I paired it with a tonic because a vodka tonic is a very, very popular cocktail and this is something that you can make at home. And the tonic that I chose to pair it with today is the fever tree aromatic tonic. So the tonic itself has kind of a pink hue and that’s because they’re adding aromatic bitters to that tonic. So it’s kind of, it’s, you’re ready- your finished mixer. All you have to do is pour it. So I chose to put it in this nice, beautiful stemmed, uh, Riedel flute so that if we choose to drink from a straw, we certainly can. But what I like to do is drink it without the straw, because since this flute comes up and is a very small area at the top, it forces all those aromatics up top. And when you go to smell… you smell all kinds of beautiful aromatics, it’s very subtle, but there’s a lot going on there. So…
Janna Hymes (20:13):
Are we tasting?
Nick Johnson (20:14):
Yeah, you can taste, I’m smelling at the moment but…
Jessica Taylor (20:17):
You can taste and I can talk and then I’ll taste with you.
Janna Hymes (20:19):
Okay. We smelled, can we taste now?
Jessica Taylor (20:20):
Yeah, you go right ahead. So if you want to do something, something as simple as a vodka soda or a vodka tonic or gin and tonic at home, but you want to kind of fancy it up, maybe you’re having a get together. You have friends and family coming over or you’re having a dinner party and you think, “I don’t want to just give them vodka tonic, it seems like I’m not trying hard enough.” So what I’ve done is I thoughtfully, uh, prepared some garnishes that pair, well, the botanicals that we find here in this particular, uh, botanical spirit. So, um, peach. So I have some dehydrated peaches. So that’s just going to reinfluence that, that peach, when you, um, when you smell it, when you see it on the label, and then I took it a step further, trying to think a little bit outside of the box and thought what else pairs well with peach? Immediately, what I go to is a wonderful book, uh, called The Flavor Bible. And it essentially is this great index that you can look up an ingredient and it tells you lists of “this goes really well with this ingredient, stay away from this ingredient,” things like that. And raspberries go really, really well with peaches. I think everybody knows that, you know, a raspberry tastes great with something peach. Um, and then I also paired some dragon fruit in there and the dragon fruit is really nice. It doesn’t have a ton of flavor on its own, but the flavor it does have is just ever so slightly acidic. Don’t think lemon, far less acidic than that, but it has this real earthy character to it. And I like that earthiness because it goes with the tonic really well. So that, that quinine, that Cinchona bark, very, very bitter, very earthy. So that’s actually going to pair, you would think because of this, but it’s actually pairing with the tonic more than it’s pairing with the spirit itself. And then I added some star anise, which again, you know, kind of in that baking spice-ish realm, that goes- kind of along with the tonic as well.
Nick Johnson (22:13):
So you think about some of the, some of these add-ons you were thinking about the spirit and some you were thinking about the tonic.
Jessica Taylor (22:19):
Yeah. To really help, to help blend them together to really kind of meld them into one cohesive cocktail.
Nick Johnson (22:26):
Jessica Taylor (22:27):
And what you end up with is something very attractive for those of you who are just listening. I wish I could figure out a way to project the image to you…
Nick Johnson (22:36):
We’ll have some pictures on the, on the website that they can see also to, to see how beautiful this is.
Jessica Taylor (22:41):
But get creative, don’t feel like you have to do exactly what I did here.
Nick Johnson (22:45):
Yeah. I can see- that you could, you could mix it. This would be a fun way to experiment with a really basic cocktail and then experiment with other elements.
Jessica Taylor (22:53):
And you could even set up something at home, like a vodka tonic bar where you create small little dishes of various garnishes and then you have say three or four different vodkas to choose from and maybe two or three tonics to choose from and then little tongs and your guests can garnish. You can make suggestions and help them along the way, but to take something so basic, so simple as a vodka tonic and turn it into something really fun and just a really cool experience.
Janna Hymes (23:21):
Kind of like Subway.
Nick Johnson (23:25):
A little bit, I guess, yeah.
Janna Hymes (23:27):
So, you know, the think that I think, um, most, um, comparing to what we do is that is the variety. So we’ve had three different drinks. This one is very different from the other two. It’s really beautiful. Um, not that those weren’t, but this is really exotic I think. And one of the things that I think we, I can compare to what I do is that we have a variety of music throughout our year. We, we play Beethoven, we play, uh Khachaturian, we play Berlioz, we play Stephen Sondheim, we’re doing a Sinatra concert. All the music that we play is so varied. And I think that that you’re showing there are some basic things that are the same vodka might be the same with a twist, meaning a different type of vodka, gin might be the same, but a different type of gin. We have violins, we have violas, we have the same instruments, but when we play different music, it’s completely different and it’s a completely different experience playing Berlioz and Mozart. And the audience feels that. When I taste this, there are some similarities only in the fact that it’s alcoholic, but there’s great variety. And this is a really beautiful drink. For me, this one is really vibrant, um, but it’s kind of earthy too because of the fruit. And I feel kind of, I don’t know, there’s something grounded about this. There’s something kind of, uh, um, well exotic and also, uh, I don’t know, like almost ethereal but also kind of hardy to this drink.
Jessica Taylor (24:49):
Yeah. And I think it’s important to note that it’s something familiar. So you may have never had Ketel Botanical and you’ve, I could guess, Almost certainly never had it with peaches and raspberries and dragonfruit.
Nick Johnson (25:06):
I’ve never had it, you were safe in this assumption. I’ve never had anything quite like this…
Jessica Taylor (25:07):
But you’ve had a vodka tonic.
Nick Johnson (25:08):
Jessica Taylor (25:09):
So you’re familiar.
Nick Johnson (25:10):
Jessica Taylor (25:11):
And I think that’s so important in this day and age of craft cocktails and 12 ingredients and tinctures and bitters and smoke and all these things is sometimes that can be intimidating.
Nick Johnson (25:23):
Jessica Taylor (25:23):
And what’s so important in, in our business is that it’s hospitality first. So when I see some incredible bartender create this really cool menu, but every ingredient on the list, I may know what most of them or all of them, probably only most of them are, but does a guest know that? Does the average guest know what a tincture is? I highly doubt it. So having something to compare it to something that is familiar, like if I were to have something like this on a menu, I could list, um, you know, botanical spirit paired with fresh ingredients, seasonal ingredients, something like that. And if a guest was unsure, I could say, “Oh, it’s basically just a vodka tonic. And we use really fresh and cool seasonal fruits and spices to pair it with it.” And then they feel safe and they feel comfortable because you go into a bar and you should never feel dumb. Right. But sometimes if you read, and it could go for food or drink, but if you read a menu and you don’t know what half the things are, you’re very unlikely to ask the person taking care of you, “What is this?” Because you don’t want to seem dumb.
Janna Hymes (26:32):
Well, the other thing is, if you go to a restaurant and they say, come over and they say, would you like a drink? Is this going to go with my Mac and cheese? Maybe not. Is it going to go with my steak? Maybe so. So, so to learn how to have a drink, add to the meal that you’re about to have, I mean, I can sort of relate this to programming, a concert. So if I have, um, a concert that we’re going to play and it’s a masterworks concert, we do five a year. How do I pair those pieces together? So am I going to do all Beethoven? Probably not. I’ve conducted all Beethoven conscious before. They’re great, but I like variety. And so I want to put something very different from Beethoven. So maybe start with a new piece, maybe Michael Doherty, or, you know, one of my friends, who’s a composers, put them on and then maybe do a concerto that’s edgy and then maybe do a flowy, whatever it is. And I look at key relationships and I look at the instruments that are playing and I look at timing and I look at the color of the piece and that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re almost more like a composer than you are a conductor. You’re, you’re, you’re inventing, you’re taking different elements and you’re putting this in, which is what composers do. They’re taking the same notes basically, unless it’s, um, some kind of different music, but in our world, um, in the classical world, they’re taking the, the, the notes that we have. Um, and they’re, they’re arranging those notes in a certain way to create a sound that they want. And that’s what composers do. And I can’t imagine having a blank piece of paper and writing a piece for orchestra that is new and fresh in this day and age with all the music that’s been written, how hard that must be to be a composer. But I love being able to take that music and making it come alive on the page and doing premieres and doing pieces by my friends and, and playing them with the orchestra and they’re in the audience. And how many times do I wish Mozart were there, ’cause I have so many questions.
Nick Johnson (28:17):
Janna Hymes (28:17):
So I love, I love that, but I think that you are more of a creative, uh, you’re using these, this is your Viola and these are, this is your oboe and you’re taking those, those different instruments and you’re creating something and we are your audience.
Nick Johnson (28:32):
Janna Hymes (28:32):
And we’re drinking them and we’re getting a certain feeling about it and we’re reacting to it, whether it’s, wow, it’s a little this, it’s a little that. I hear the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances in this piece. Um, ’cause the opening that is very grounded. Um, but again, earthy. And I think it, I think to, to me, this is earthy because of the fruit. So I’m feeling, I’m feeling that, you know, this is not a light drink. This is, um, not just a, uh, a tonic, uh, a vodka tonic it’s, it’s got more depth to it because of what you’ve added. Um, but I, and I think the Rachmaninoff, I think the opening of that piece, I can really…
Nick Johnson (29:09):
Well, the thing that struck me about this drink compared to music is that I- it’s so gorgeous. And so look at the pictures if you’re just listening, but there’s all these beautiful things floating in the beverage that I tasted this with my eyes long before I’d actually smell, even hit my nose. Right. I could just look at it and start to imagine what this was going to be like. And I’ve often heard that we often hear with our eyes in some ways, when you’re at a live concert and you’re watching the orchestra and the conductor, um, you, your hearing experience is really impacted by what you see and how the, um, I’ve seen videos of you conducting that in a very passionate. And I think they really, they can bring in the audience to sort of understand, you know, these are the really important moments, maybe in the piece, by the way you’re responding, or the way the instrumentalists are moving at the singers or whatever the case might be. And so in this, I think, I don’t know, in the music world, I’ve heard you sort of, you can hear with your eyes a little bit. And so if you think about, you don’t want to, you know, you don’t want your orchestra at all to be looking… Frowning and being bored, right. You need to have some life and the audience respond with that. I’m assuming you guys think about that a lot.
Jessica Taylor (30:13):
Nick Johnson (30:13):
Like you taste it with your eyes a little bit before it actually hits you.
Janna Hymes (30:18):
But this is deceiving because it doesn’t really taste the way it looks.
Jessica Taylor (30:20):
Nick Johnson (30:20):
Yeah, that’s true.
Janna Hymes (30:21):
It’s very fruity, but it’s got a clear liquid and then when you taste it, it’s, it’s very different.
Jessica Taylor (30:27):
Janna Hymes (30:27):
So that was deceiving.
Nick Johnson (30:29):
But it’s certainly… Interesting visually, like I can’t stop looking at it.
Janna Hymes (30:32):
Nick Johnson (30:32):
I’ve been spinning it this entire time ’cause I keep looking at the different angles of this. It’s really fascinating.
Jessica Taylor (30:37):
Well, and certainly you’re going to look at a cocktail long before you taste it. You’re going to look, and especially with the way this cocktail is designed, you’re forced whether you realize it or not, you’re forced to smell before you drink. So you look, you’ve made some sort of assumption by looking right. Then you smell… you’re probably starting to get a little more of an opinion on it and maybe confirming some of what you saw and then you taste… And to your point, it certainly is a bit deceiving. It throws you off a little bit, but from looking at the bottle from knowing that we’re talking about a peach and an orange blossom botanical spirit, right.
Nick Johnson (31:18):
Jessica Taylor (31:18):
And I looked and I saw, okay, there’s some peach, all right. When I smelled and then I tasted that confirmed all of that. So it’s, it’s done deliberately, right? I, the peach is in there because I want to make sure that, you know, there’s peach because you will taste that, first and foremost. And then the baking spices from the tonic are going to come after and that’s why those are added. And then the other things were just added because they compliment those flavors so well.
Janna Hymes (31:44):
And that’s kind of what the Rachmaninoff does. I mean, I have to say it’s, that was a perfect description. It starts off, it’s kind of earthy. It’s got this incredible rhythm going. And in the first movement there’s a saxophone solo that who, first of all, saxophone with orchestra? Not typical. Um, and all of a sudden this amazing solo comes and you melt into that and it’s a solo and it’s so incredibly gorgeous. And then it goes back to that opening music again. And this sort of does that
Music Plays (32:39):
[Sergei Rachmaninoff, “The Symphonic Dances”]
Nick Johnson (32:47):
That is such a, such a glorious and gorgeous piece of music. So, so what do you think, Jessica, what do you think about this pairing?
Jessica Taylor (32:54):
I love it. It is… From someone who has no education or background in music, that was very unexpected. And I think that that’s what this cocktail is. And there are some really, to me, very evident ups and downs of that. And, um, some parts that were, um, a little bit softer, but the, I think the piece overall, um, I don’t really know how to describe it other than to say it was a little bit punchy and just incredibly unexpected. And I think that that’s what this cocktail is. It’s… The cocktail is very drinkable and it’s lovely and it would appeal to a lot of people. Um, but on the surface, it’s just very unexpected. You don’t expect all of that flavor and all that earthiness to kind of come through and it does.
Nick Johnson (33:49):
Janna Hymes (33:51):
Yeah. And that piece has an incredible energy, right? From the beginning, that rhythm, it just, you know, you just get right into it. And then all of a sudden it changes to a more fluid, um, section. And then of course the sax solo later on. So it’s unexpected, as we talked about… Layered, incredibly gorgeous, which this drink is incredibly gorgeous and, but it has bite to it and this drink has bite to it. So all of the elements that we talked about that are in this drink, there’s a little bit of acidity in that piece. Um, it’s punchy, it’s, um, it’s somewhat aggressive, but it’s also incredibly lyrical and it takes you on a journey that anybody would relate to. And that’s what this drink does. This drink could be for anybody. For me, it looks a little bit like a woman’s drink only because it’s pinkish and it’s got like, I don’t see, well, you’re drinking it-
Nick Johnson (34:39):
Janna Hymes (34:39):
But I mean, I don’t know if a guy would order this necessarily because they’re, if- guys are funny, sometimes I think, would you order this?
Nick Johnson (34:45):
They can be, I would order it, but, um, like I wear pocket squares, so… [Laughter].
Janna Hymes (34:49):
You’d order anything!
Nick Johnson (34:50):
I don’t know, I’d order anything! If I think it tastes good, I’m going to order it. But I know what you mean. Yes. I have. I have friends who would not order a cocktail that wasn’t brown.
Janna Hymes (34:59):
Sure. Well, you know, they’ll just get a scotch on the rocks.
Nick Johnson (35:01):
Yeah, exactly. Which is, I think sad because there’s a whole world of cocktails out there and they’re all delicious in their own way and in their own situation. So… I agree with you though.
Janna Hymes (35:12):
This is sort of intellectual, it’s sort of beautiful. Well, it’s definitely beautiful, it’s a little bit soft and all of these elements that are combined are in that music. And that’s one of my favorite pieces of music because of the complexity and the different emotions that you get performing it and playing it. I love that piece so much.
Jessica Taylor (35:29):
I think that we kind of maybe briefly touched on it, but I think the, the piece that you chose is very visual piece. I immediately, you start to look, look, look what they’re doing. And I looked and again, having no education, no music background. I was like, Oh wow.
Janna Hymes (35:46):
Jessica Taylor (35:46):
I, they were very deliberate in their movements when they were playing that certain part. And this cocktail is very visual, right?
Nick Johnson (35:54):
Janna Hymes (35:54):
Jessica Taylor (35:54):
It’s very deliberate in certain parts. So you can definitely tell there’s, there’s a peach that’s distilled in there. You could definitely tell there’s some baking spice going on, like it’s very deliberate. And my paired, those garnishes, at least a couple of them very deliberately.
Nick Johnson (36:08):
The dragonfruit, I mean, you notice this right away.
Nick Johnson (36:10):
Well, the dragon- yeah, this dragon- I mean, I don’t know this, that is, wow. I just want to live in that. That is, if you’re looking, it’s got a pink rind and then it’s white with black polka dots. Like I want to dress like that. I want sheets like that, I just love everything about that, you know.
Jessica Taylor (36:27):
It’s got like an Alice in Wonderland kind of feel to it.
Janna Hymes (36:28):
Yeah, exactly. And that piece is that way you know, you just, you get… You’re like enveloped into the whole sound. It’s, it’s the kind of piece where when you listen to it, you don’t walk away going “Well, that was nice.” No, that’s not your reaction. Your reaction after that piece is “That was monumental. It was amazing. I was on a trip, like no other.” That’s what that piece does to you and you don’t even need a drink to feel that way!
Jessica Taylor (36:54):
Nick Johnson (36:54):
But it doesn’t hurt.
Nick Johnson (36:54):
So is this, um… all of these, uh, different, some, some dried and some fresh fruits, is this a current trend? Is this popular in cocktails right now? I’m wanting to think just a little bit about, I’m gonna ask you a similar question about sort of trends in the art music community, but is this something that is becoming more and more common?
Jessica Taylor (37:14):
Certainly. So something like, um, citrus fruits or apples or peaches, or definitely pineapple as well, um, they’re wonderful garnishes. Sometimes it can be difficult for a bar to always have fresh of all of those things, because it takes something like peaches or pineapples or apples in a cocktail, right. As a garnish, if you have that in one cocktail and it’s only used as a garnish, so you’re slicing up a peach every single night and you’re putting it in the garnish tray and let’s face it as, as an entire shift goes on. So we’re looking at probably eight hours. It gets a little sad and very wilted and frumpy and not very delicious.
Janna Hymes (37:59):
And they’re seasonal!
Jessica Taylor (37:59):
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Um, but you can take something like a dehydrator, which is relatively inexpensive. It’s like anything else. They can be very expensive if you want a really nice one, but you can pick one up for $40 or less usually, and you can take that fruit and still cut it and kind of manipulate it into the size or shape you may want and then dehydrate it. And then as long as you store it in an airtight container, it’s good for a very, very long time. So I often, as do a lot of bartenders, will dehydrate citrus and I won’t, I wouldn’t ever not use fresh citrus in my bar, but maybe for some of my signatures, I would use dehydrated citrus.
Nick Johnson (38:43):
So you’ll always have it basically.
Jessica Taylor (38:44):
Yeah. Um, and it creates a different element to your cocktail. So as this cocktail sits and that dehydrated peach in there is kind of marinating and infusing, it’s going to rehydrate because we have liquid in there. Right. So it’s going to impart more of that peach flavor and add more complexity as the cocktail sits. I mean, we’re going to drink it before that happens.
Nick Johnson (39:08):
I’m even noticing them plump just a little since we’ve been talking for the last little bit.
Jessica Taylor (39:11):
Janna Hymes (39:11):
Do you think people, when they talk about going to the islands and they always talk about the drinks, do you think that what they’re really reacting to is the fresh fruit?
Jessica Taylor (39:19):
Um, I think personally what they’re reacting to is… Not to say that there aren’t amazing drinks there, ’cause there absolutely are. But I think what people are reacting to in that scenario is the emotion, the feeling, the everything else about it, right?
Janna Hymes (39:33):
So the sun and the beach and the water.
Jessica Taylor (39:35):
You’re there, more than likely, on vacation, right. You’re already in a pretty good mood. It’s going to take a lot to make you unhappy. You had alcohol to that mix. You’re probably just going to get happier. Right. So, you know, having a, that’s why frozen cocktails are so popular, you know, in, in that kind of setting.
Janna Hymes (39:55):
They just taste better there. [Laughter].
Nick Johnson (39:55):
Jessica Taylor (39:55):
It’s all about escapism, right? So you’re just looking to relax and not think about work and the a hundred things you have to do. And the phone calls and emails that you have to return. You’re just thinking about kicking back and cooling off and enjoying that cocktail. And if that cocktail was made with, you know, the finest rum sourced from the best islands, it may help, it certainly may help, but it doesn’t have to be the absolute best product in the whole world for you to still have a good time.
Janna Hymes (40:20):
Yeah. They just taste better there… Those kinds of drinks.
Jessica Taylor (40:23):
Nick Johnson (40:23):
Those tastes pretty good right here though.
Janna Hymes (40:27):
Um, I meant like, I guess the fruit drinks and that fruit, you know, if you get a mango daiquiri, then mango is unbelievable and the pineapple is just like so fresh.
Jessica Taylor (40:37):
Yeah. Fresh is always best. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. You know, if I’m making, if I’m making a pineapple cocktail here at the office, I’ll usually, depending on the group, I’ll take the time to get my juice extractor and I’ll extract fresh pineapple.
Nick Johnson (40:52):
Jessica Taylor (40:52):
Um, it takes a lot more time than opening a can, but it creates a better product. And if I’m serving to 500 employees here that I may not be doing that much, but maybe opening up, but you know, if I’m serving to a group of 40 or 50, then yeah. Fresh is going to taste wildly different.
Janna Hymes (41:12):
But you know what, it’s kind of the same as when you make a pie, if you make your own crust, you know. And I always make my own crust. I never buy the store-bought crust because that’s how I was taught from my mom and that’s, and it’s easy to make and it’s always flaky and delicious. And people are like, “Whoa, this pie is so delicious.” It’s because the crust is made from scratch and it makes a big difference.
Jessica Taylor (41:31):
Yeah. That’s a great point. And it kind of brings back to like our daiquiri. So that daiquiri that we had, everybody, everybody here loved it. But they were all surprised that it’s just three ingredients. Really? It’s just rum, lime and sugar. Well, yeah, but I used fresh squeezed lime juice.
Janna Hymes (41:51):
It makes a big difference.
Jessica Taylor (41:53):
As opposed to a sour mix or like a sweetened lime juice of any variety and fresh is going to make a very big impact. That’s a large portion of the cocktail.
Nick Johnson (42:03):
So I’m thinking about the, um, the trends we were talking about with using these fresh for stay hydrated in certain situations. Are there, um… Trends right now that you would see or in the, in the orchestra world and how do you kind of personally respond to those? If that question makes sense.
Janna Hymes (42:25):
No, that’s a great question. Um, I mean, I think as a music director, first of all, you have to learn your community. And Carmel is a certain type of community. Um, before that I was, uh, in Williamsburg, Virginia that’s, uh, Williamsburg is a completely different community than Carmel, um, made up of different types of people. There’s a college there… Um, Jamestown and Yorktown are there. So there’s a lot of history there. Carmel is a new city, vibrant, incredibly exciting. The rapid growth is amazing. So I can program differently. I also have a different orchestra. I have a different venue. It’s all different. This is like using different glasses, different elements, different ingredients. It’s always going to change. What’s- The trend is right now is in the music world is that we are playing music from all countries, all kinds of people. And we are bringing everyone together. So if there’s a piece written by a woman, if there is a transgender composer, if there is an African-American from Africa, who’s writing cool stuff. Everybody is accepted in our world. There is no discrimination and we are very peaceful and very loving people in general. And I love that about it because we are hopefully representative of our community. So what we do as an orchestra, we’re made up of all kinds of people, but we want to include everybody. It’s a safe place where people to come. It’s a, it’s a happy place. It’s a place where people come to relax, to learn. But when they walk in the door to hours later, when they leave, they are a different person. They are more enriched. They’re more relaxed, they’re happier. They are more calm, a million reactions, but all good. It’s never, oh, with hatred or, or any kind of prejudice or anger or upset about their taxes. It’s none of that. They’ve come to feel better. So we it’s a great job because we always make people feel better and it could be in an intellectual way. It could be in a very profound, emotional way. There are so many things, music evokes every, you know, imaginable feeling.
Nick Johnson (44:24):
So, um, we’ll have all the links, um, of the Carmel symphony Orchestra available. But can you tell us maybe just a couple of the highlights, uh, maybe an early 2020, or some of the concerts of the season?
Janna Hymes (44:34):
Oh gosh, we have so many great-
Nick Johnson (44:35):
I looked at the program, it does look great, but what’s a couple that maybe you’re looking forward to.
Janna Hymes (44:40):
Well, we have Beethoven’s uh, birthday coming up, his 250th birthday. So every orchestra across the world, so we’re doing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and I’m bringing some of my friends to come in and sing the quartet. And we’re using the Anderson University Chorals, so excited about that. Um, Beethoven’s Ninth, if you haven’t come, it is an experience you get to the last movement and you feel like you are- died and went to heaven, it is… Well, no, I was going to say this drink, now this is the Rachmaninoff.
Janna Hymes (45:03):
So, uh, so that’s, I think that’s a really big highlight for us. Doing the Sweeney Todd collaboration is huge. Um, and we’re bringing in Edgar Meyer, who is an incredible bassist. He plays, he has, I think, nine Grammys, uh, he’s a composer, a jazz musician, but also a classical musician. So on, on the concert that we’re doing, we’re playing a concerto that he wrote, which is really cool.
Nick Johnson (45:25):
Janna Hymes (45:26):
We’re also playing a classical piece that, uh [inaudible] bass concerto. So really excited to have him and we’ll be packed just ’cause it’s Edgar Meyer. If anybody knows any bluegrass or jazz, he’s like the bass player. So, and we went to Aspen together, the Aspen Music Festival together. So, um, yeah. And so one of the things also that we really try to do with the Carmel symphony is to be very engrossed in education. We do a side by side with the Carmel High School, and that’s one of my favorite concerts because we share the stage with them. And I always put the kids on the principal parts. So they play all the solos and our professional musicians sit next to them and just coach them. And it’s a really, really nice pairing of, of students and professionals working together. And the outcome is spectacular. We have like 200 people on the stage. It’s really fun.
Nick Johnson (46:07):
Yeah. Well, that’s fantastic. So definitely make sure to look on the website, if you’re listening to this for the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and the various offerings coming up. So if anybody wants to learn about some of all these cocktail techniques, I know you teach some classes you had mentioned, are those things that are open to the general public or?
Jessica Taylor (46:24):
Nick Johnson (46:24):
Okay, good, ’cause I’m actually pretty interested after seeing, I thought I knew some things until I saw you make cocktails- I don’t think I know anything. So how does, how do people find out more information about that?
Jessica Taylor (46:34):
Um, so we do hold, um, uh, a class, a course every year. It’s through a program that we run called the Academy of Spirits and Fine Service. And this program was actually founded in Las Vegas by a wonderful man, uh, Francesco Lafranconi. And then, um, the program grew and then, uh, Bridget Albert began teaching it in Chicago. And in 2012 we brought the program to, uh, Indianapolis and, uh, one of my greatest friends and mentors, Joshua Mason, uh, started that program here. And he has since left the company and the industry, he works for Indy 11 now, and, uh, I kind of took the reigns over a few years ago. And so I think I’ve been running the program for three or four years, somewhere in that vicinity. Um, but it’s a, it’s a course that we offer as of right now, once a year in Indianapolis, it’s open to a maximum of 25 students and it is a $250 course fee. It’s a 16 week course. So it’s very intensive. We meet once a week for three hours. Typically speaking, our classes are on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Janna Hymes (47:49):
Jessica Taylor (47:51):
Um, generally speaking, our students are bartenders or aspiring bartenders, but we have certainly had several enthusiasts take the course. Um, one of, I always like to mention to my classes, one of my biggest cheerleaders is my mother and so much so that my mother even took the course many, many months ago, and she has nothing to do with the hospitality industry, but she was just so excited about my passion for hospitality and for cocktails that she really wanted to have a better understanding of, of what goes into that, because it’s not what people used to say 20 and 30 years ago that, “Oh, that you’re just a bartender.” It’s so much more than that, it’s a career choice now. And I was discussing with a colleague of mine today that it’s a very interesting career because it’s a career that I find most people in our business don’t choose, but it chooses them. Hospitality definitely chose me. And, um, you, you have to love what you do to be in this business because I don’t know very many people in our business that are rich. [Laughter]
Nick Johnson (48:58):
Jessica Taylor (48:58):
So we live comfortable lives, but-
Nick Johnson (49:03):
There’re some similarities with the music world there. [Laughter]
Jessica Taylor (49:05):
Yeah. You do it for the passion.
Nick Johnson (49:05):
Jessica Taylor (49:06):
And so the, the course, um, our, our company operates that course, um, at a loss every year. It’s to us, it’s about giving back to the community, to the bartending community and continuing that education and offering programs that frankly, when I started in the business, didn’t exist. At the very minimum, they didn’t exist in the state of Indiana. They may have existed elsewhere, but if they did, they were in their infancy and, and our company is so much about family and community. And that’s one program that we are very fortunate that they continue to fund for us. And, you know, we do charge a fee for students so that A) they have a little skin in the game, and B) it, it offsets a little bit of the cost, but, um, it’s such a wonderful program. It does fill up very quickly. Usually when we released the, uh, the registration link, it’s usually full within three or four days. So, um, very, very quickly. But, um, if, if any of the listeners are interested and they have anything to do with hospitality industry, they could simply ask their Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits sales consultant, sales rep, um, and those folks know when we open the registration link. But typically speaking, uh, the classes start in August and we wrap up by the end of November every year.
Nick Johnson (50:23):
Janna Hymes (50:23):
Do you think your mother taking your class is like my folks coming to my rehearsals?
Jessica Taylor (50:28):
Janna Hymes (50:28):
It might be the same thing.
Jessica Taylor (50:29):
Yeah. My mom used to follow me when I, when I was in the competitive bartending circuit, my mom used to come to all my competitions and she would be the, the loudest one sometimes to my embarrassment. But the loudest one, like, “Yes, that’s the best drink. That’s my girl.” And I’m like, “Mom, shh shh shh, no clapping right now, it’s all silent, you’re the only one clapping.” [Laughter].
Nick Johnson (50:47):
Janna Hymes (50:48):
My folks used to always, um, come to my rehearsals. And my father would always say that, that he always thought that that was the most amazing thing because in two and a half hours, what you have to achieve, um, maybe three times, three, two and a half hour services is so huge for where, and, and from the beginning to the performance, the transformation is enormous. And he used to love, especially my dad, coming to rehearsals and watching the progression and how I would just be so fast and just fix the mistake and then, then come to the performance and he would be so proud. And he actually, I’ve had really great friends say to me that they liked that almost more than performance because they see the progression, they hear the progression and yeah. Always biggest fans. And I’ve done some competitions too. My folks were there and they’d be like, “She’s the sure winner.”
Jessica Taylor (51:34):
Yeah. And I love that, it’s the greatest thing in the world
Janna Hymes (51:34):
And what would we do without that? Yeah. It’s, I mean, that’s why we are doing what we’re doing, ’cause we had that support, you know, it’s really hard to-
Jessica Taylor (51:42):
We’re lucky because not everyone has that.
Janna Hymes (51:44):
Jessica Taylor (51:44):
And I’m, I’m so thankful that and incredibly supportive- I have a great support system overall. My husband is over the top supportive and my mom is just so wonderful. My whole family is just so wonderful and they, again, no one else in my family has anything to do with food and beverage industry. And they’re all just so excited for, for what’s happening in the hospitality industry.
Janna Hymes (52:10):
Well, they learn, you know, like my, I have two brothers and they’re always emailing me, “How was the concert?” Or texting me, “How was the concert?” And my kids and, you know, they they’re, they’re your cheerleaders. They want to know. And then I always send my reviews and they’re like, “Oh, I wish I could have been there. I’m coming to the next one.” You know, and that’s just a really nice little boost to the day. You know, if they weren’t doing it, would you still be doing your job? Of course. But it’s just so great to have that support system. And yeah, I love it.
Jessica Taylor (52:35):
And it’s great that you said your kids are even so supportive. I have- my daughter’s 19 and a sophomore in college, so she doesn’t slash can’t drink, but, um, we’ll leave that alone. But, um, she even has such a, a huge interest in what I do.
Janna Hymes (52:52):
They’re proud, they’re proud!
Jessica Taylor (52:52):
And that’s not to say that she wants to do that too. She has her own plan and her own interests that have nothing to do with what I do, but she just has such an appreciation and a respect for the industry, which is wonderful because I mean, let’s face it. Like alcohol is a drug, right? So it’s, it can be a risky business for some people to be in, it’s dangerous because of what it can do to people. But, um, I count myself very fortunate that I grew up the way that I did and that I’ve always respected alcohol. Um, and I love it and it’s wonderful. And it has, you know, some of the greatest memories ’cause it’s involved with celebrations and things like that. But I also know that, you know, over consumption can lead to bad things. And so I always treated it that way with my daughter as well. And she just has such an immense respect. And she’s far more interested in learning the history of, you know, a particular cocktail or a particular spirit than, you know, to talk about like, “Oh, I can’t wait till I can drink a half gallon to that.” It’s just, it’s never, it’s never been a conversation because we’ve always treated it in that respectful manner.
Nick Johnson (54:00):
Well, I think that we’ve probably drank enough of your booze and we’ve had a great conversation. I can’t, I can’t thank you both enough.
Janna Hymes (54:05):
Thank you so much.
Jessica Taylor (54:05):
Oh, thank you.
Nick Johnson (54:05):
This has been, this has been an honor for me to be with such, uh, experts and leaders in the field, two artists. Um, there- on our website, you can find all the links to the information for the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and for some of the offerings, um, that Jessica mentioned regarding, um, the mixology classes. So let’s do one final cheers. Thank you so much. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much.
Nick Johnson (54:29):
I’d like to thank our guests, Jessica Taylor of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits and Janna Hymes music, director of the Carmel Symphony. I’d also like to thank Victoria Berry of Auberge Restaurant and Bar. If you’d like to learn more about Carmel Symphony’s 2019-2020 season check out CarmelSymphony.org. We’d also like to thank our sponsor, Matinee Creative for supporting this podcast. If you like what you heard and want to hear more great classical music, you can tune into Classical Music Indy’s syndicated broadcast on your favorite local radio station. Just check out ClassicalMusicIndy.org, And click “On-Air” for schedules. You can find more Classical Pairings and NOTE Magazine along with features on other great local artists. Check out ClassicalMusicIndy.org to subscribe. Our executive producer is Anna Pranger Sleppy and the production team comes from WFYI. I’m your host, Nick Johnson, and be sure to catch all our episodes by subscribing.
Interested in improving your quality of life? Classical Pairings podcast host and musicologist Nicholas Johnson offers this shortcut: turn on some music and mix a cocktail. Words by Crystal Hammon If Nicholas Johnson’s progress in baseball had gone as …
Clara Schumann was, by all accounts, one of the best pianists of the 19th century. She was also a gifted composer and brilliant conveyer of emotions. September 2019 is her 200th birthday, and we celebrate with a charming, family-owned local winery. Hea …
Let the divine combination of chocolate and great music melt away your stress. Suzanne Litteral (get it?) has been crafting divine chocolates for over a decade. Using local ingredients, this little shop in Fountain Square whips up some fantastic treats …