Jessica Fesler is a geek when it comes to whiskey knowledge, and she’ll be the first to admit it. The lead bartender at Town Square’s Double Helix saw her career and interest parallel the whiskey industry’s recent rise.

“The history and the lore is what makes whiskey so amazing. (With an 18-year scotch), think of everything that’s happened to you in the last 18 years and then put a flavor to that, and just imagine that that’s actually what had to happen for this spirit to come to fruition. That’s far more exciting than a vodka, which could’ve been made on Monday,” she jokes.

Fesler admits that a well-stocked back bar like Double Helix’s can be intimidating, but she tries to minimize any anxiety. That’s whether the customer is a high-rolling aficionado ordering a $220 per-ounce pour of The John Walker Scotch whisky or, more often, someone venturing past Jack and Cokes for the first time.

“Talk to me. You can get some hands-on experience. I’ll taste you on three or four different whiskeys before I pour one for you, so you get something you’ll really like.”

New York Sour

New York Sour

Although Fesler spends a lot of time reading up on spirits and craft cocktails, she likes to keep active. She’s taking a break from Krav Maga due to a hand injury, but that doesn’t keep her down: She’s starting jujitsu to keep active.

So when you drink with Fesler, you may find a new favorite whiskey and maybe even get a few pointers on your roundhouse.

The New York Sour

The New York Sour is Fesler’s way of trying to get more women to try whiskey. This otherwise traditional sour recipe, which uses Rittenhouse rye for the whiskey base, has a unique petite sirah float. The full-bodied wine holds its own with the rye, making for a very interesting yet accessible assortment of flavors. It officially debuts in February, along with Double Helix’s new Ladies Night … but if you ask nice, Fesler might mix one up for you before then.