Raising the Bar

Sasha Petraske lets us in on what the cool kids are drinking and where they’re doing it

We sat down with SASHA PETRASKE, one of the most influential barmen in New York City and the creator of the ultra-hip and exclusive MILK & HONEY. When he launched the ’20s style speakeasy fifteen years ago, he was widely credited with making cocktails cool again. Since then he’s been on a winning streak with new bars all over the world, from THE VARNISH in Los Angeles to THE EVERLEIGH in Melbourne, Australia. His next creation, THE FALCONER, is due to open this August in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

7 Questions for the MIXMASTER

1 How did you reach such iconic status?
Pure luck. Opening a cocktail bar in 1999 was like being a computer programmer in the ’80s. You didn’t have to be great, you just had to be there.

2 What makes a great bartender?
The ability to put one’s ego aside and be of service to other people first.

3 Where do you go for a night out in NYC?
Dutch Kills in Long Island City.

4 What are your three favorite drinks to serve and consume?
Old Fashioned, the Pisco Sour and the Archangel—an Aperol, gin and cucumber cocktail by Michael McIlroy, owner of Attaboy.

5 If you could make one trend disappear, what would it be?
Flavored vodka, and now, even worse, flavored whiskies!

6 Who do you think is the most iconic bartender in NYC?
Well, one can’t play favorites with one’s own kids, so I would have to remove all my bartenders from the running. That being said, Kenta Goto, formerly of Angel’s Share, currently working on his own project in New York.

7 What’s the hottest cocktail trend you see right now?
Aged Cachaca [popular Brazilian spirit] in cocktails, sometimes aged in hardwoods rather than the usual oak.



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