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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

In Memoriam: Sasha Petraske (1973-2015)

August 21, 2015. I'm sure most of you have heard of the untimely death today of Sasha Petraske, founder of Milk and Honey in the Lower East Side and eventually London, The Varnish in Los Angeles, Dutch Kills on Long Island, and a few other important bars around the world.

Though I never got to meet the man, or even, I’m ashamed to say, drink in one of his bars, I feel a great deal of sadness at his passing. Sasha was one of the earliest adopters of modern craft cocktails in this country, and we all owe him a debt. He advocated for so many things that drinkers around the world take for granted: good ice, attention to detail, measuring pours, and professional demeanor as a standard for bartenders.

When Milk and Honey opened, no one else was doing what he did. The entrance was hidden to the public. He did no advertising. There was a code of conduct, mainly for gentlemen. He enforced the dictates of polite society and a time long gone by on a crowd of people more used to Alabama Slammers as the pinnacle of the drinking experience - yes, Dale DeGroff has a contemporary recipe in The Craft of the Cocktail.

Here’s a great video  with a short interview and a drink – the Bee’s Knees.

Sasha was just married a few months ago to Georgette Moger. He had moved to Hudson, New York to work as a consultant. If you’re out tonight, or feel like a cocktail at home, please join me in raising a glass to Sasha Petraske.

Zachary Pearson, Editor

Recent Additions

  • Tin Can Telephone — Apple brandy, Sweet vermouth, Salers Gentiane, Bénédictine, Orange bitters, Lemon peel
  • Nuclear Club Cocktail — Jamaican rum, Bianco Vermouth, Falernum, Herbal liqueur, Orange bitters, Lime peel
  • As I Lay Dying — Cognac, Apple brandy, Braulio, Apricot liqueur, Peychaud's Bitters
  • Entrelacement — Bourbon, Amaro Sibilla, Absinthe, Cherry syrup
  • Fleet Following — Calvados, Chinato, Grapefruit juice, Ginger syrup

Recent Discussion

  • Re The Federal Buffalo Stamp, 10 hours 11 minutes ago yarm commented:

    Via online flashcards: -- Rocks glass
    4 pieces ginger
    0.75oz lemon juice
    0.75oz maple
    2oz bourbon
    -- Candied Ginger

    Also the name is "Has Mahmood"

  • Re A Roman Holiday in Kentucky, 3 days ago bkemp1984 commented:

    Me likey.....though I did use rye, Gran Classico, and Chinchón, a Spanish anisette.

  • Re Lady Sniper, 3 days ago Artur B commented:

    Interesting at first but weird bitterness in long finish.

  • Re Between the Sheets (Jerusalem's), 4 days ago dramari commented:

    Used Grand Marnier no 2 in lieu of Cointreau. Also needed a little luxardo maraschino cherry juice.

  • Re Tarzan Boy, 5 days ago Shawn C commented:

    I used JM Rhum Agricole Blanc (110 proof), Dolin Dry & Blanc Vermouths, Campari, and Small Hand Passion Fruit Syrup. It can be weird/undpredictable how disparate flavors and fruits can combine to make something unlike any of them. The "chocolate" notes that appear in the Tin Can Telephone are a more tasty example (for that I was using Cinzano sweet vermouth as a first pass, rather than something like Cocchi di Torino which is known for providing a mild chocolate note.)