Jessica "Jesi" Goodwin has actually been in the service industry for about 10 years now, starting back at a little restaurant in her hometown of Madisonville. Since then she's worked every job from busser to bar back. In New Orleans, she honed her skills under bartender Tomas Garcia at Lüke, discovered high volume bartending at Eiffel Society, and spent a year working closely with the cocktail program at Atchafalaya, before settling in at at Oxalis, where you'll currently find her behind the bar. While learning from one of Nola's finest bartenders (and Oxalis owner) Sonali Fernando, Goodwin continues to impress the likes of local mixology legends, including Chris Hannah of The French 75.
What flavors and ingredients are you obsessed with using right now?
I'm all about bitter, floral and herbaceous flavors right now. I really enjoy delicate and floral aperitifs and incorporating fresh herbs into my cocktails, so Oxalis is the perfect place for me. Oxalis is a plant, and we are focusing on basing our program around herb-based cocktails. I also love agave spirits.
What cocktail book has influenced you the most?
It's hard to say only one. The year that I had the opportunity to work behind a craft cocktail bar, I bought The Essential Cocktail by Dale DeGroff. This book and my mentor, Tomas Garcia opened my eyes to the world of cocktails and the possibilities of working in this field. I've spent the most time with Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh, PDT by Jim Meehan and The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart.
What do you see as the next cocktail trend?
Definitely rum and tiki bars. I also think tequila is becoming more popular with a few tequila and taco places opening up this year.
Best hangover cure in three words?
Frozen coconut water.