Q & A with Jack Daniel’s Head of Advocacy for Europe and Africa Nidal Ramini
As Head of Advocacy for Europe and Africa, Nidal Ramini is the ultimate custodian of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
It is his job to ensure the legacy that Jasper ‘Jack’ Daniel began all those years ago continues: that Jack’s legacy continues to live on in every bottle of his smooth sipping Tennessee whiskey.
We had a chat with Ramini about how mixologists are now finding it easier to open their own bars, what goes into making a special cocktail and his response to one of the trending spirits in the market right one which is gin.
Q: Mixologists are now finding it easier to open their own bars or restaurants. Why do you think is this now a trend?
A: It's never easy to open your own bar believe me! There's so much more to it than just having great cocktails. However, our industry is truly global, with a lot of opportunities for international travel to do market research and talk to successful bar entrepreneurs.
Also, the role of digital and social media cannot be downplayed, the modern bartender is connected to their peers via social media which is a great learning tool.
And finally, brands are starting to realise that bartenders are thirsty for knowledge and not just brand knowledge. I think that we at Jack Daniel's are leading the way there starting with Tennessee Campus.
Q: What goes into creating a special cocktail?
A: Respecting the base spirit - don't mask the flavours.
Matching ingredients - be complimentary when crafting your drinks; try and extend the flavours.
Balance - the most important aspect of any cocktail. It's the Goldilocks theory, "Not too hot, not too cold, just right...."
Visual aspect - we all know that adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" it's the same with cocktails. You want the visual appeal to do the selling for you.
Story to tell - As I mentioned, have a story. The world is built on stories, so make sure that your drink has one.
Q: As a brown spirit, what is your response to gin? What are you doing as a brand to sustain your name and to remain as one of the best whiskey brands?
A: I love gin and gin cocktails, so I'm glad to see its resurgence. However, we can only concentrate on what we do, which is to make the best whiskey that we possibly can.
We're entering our 154th year as a brand, doing things in the same way and in the same place. Consistency and quality have always been our cornerstones and that won't change any time soon.