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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

  • Songs My Mother Taught Me — Mezcal, Cardamaro, Amaro Montenegro, Fernet Branca, Bitters, Orange peel
  • Calexico — Aquavit, Rye, Herbal liqueur, Bitters, Ancho Reyes Verde chile liqueur, Lemon peel
  • Rare Hearts — Cognac, Bourbon, Herbal liqueur, Cardamom bitters, Lemon juice, Vanilla syrup
  • Long Peninsula Iced Tea — Light rum, Curaçao, Cola, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Brewed Tea
  • Blueberry Patch — Rye, Ginger liqueur, Blueberry syrup

Recent Discussion

  • Re Alpine Bird, 3 days ago HallA commented:

    It's good, there is a weird, pleasant note that I'm reading as coconut-ey off the combination of the braulio and the pineapple. Lots of foam.

  • Re Calexico, 3 days ago Mixed up in Na… commented:

    This is a remarkably well-balanced and interesting drink with a bit of heat in the finish. Substituted Tattersall aquavit and Old Forester 100-proof rye, as that is what we had on hand.

  • Re Poppies in October, 3 days ago BamBoozled commented:

    Tasty AF. Used Rittenhouse rye and subbed Italicus liquor for black tea liquor

  • Re Stigmata, 4 days ago lesliec commented:

    I agree with a previous comment about being 'thin'. Maybe swap amaro/vermouth quantities? But it's pleasant anyway.

  • Re Meatpacker, 5 days ago Biff Malibu commented:

    Cut the bitters - they are out of place.