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Regarding Cocktails Hardcover – October 31, 2016
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As featured in Bloomberg Pursuits, Domino, The Globe & Mail, Food & Wine, Image, Lucky Peach, Orlando Weekly, Robb Report, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, Wine Enthusiast, and Wired, and on Chowhound, The Daily Beast, Eater, Epicurious, In Good Taste, Remodelista, and Tasting Table; as heard on Heritage Radio
"An enlightening glimpse into one of the people responsible for America's craft cocktail movement." —Epicurious
"A gorgeous gift with style kudos." —Image Interiors & Living
"Overflows with a wealth of knowledge and also offers a window into his methodical thinking process, where no detail was too small to mull over patiently." —The Daily Beast
"The cocktail bible... Makes one feel even more fortunate that we have this knowledge written down in black and white for us not only to learn from, but give us inspiration to evolve and continue our quest to enter mixology Valhalla. Sasha Petraske will be there waiting for us, Martini in hand I'm sure. Thank you for guiding us out of the desert and into our own secret oases where the milk & honey will be forever plentiful." —InGoodTasteUK.com, William Hanley
"The most beautiful cocktail book of the year." —Bloomberg Pursuits
"A brilliant, bittersweet drink manual from the late creator of this century's most influential drinking dens." —Food & Wine Online
"This book, a true labor of love, helps immortalize [Petraske's] voice and ensures that his gentle but uncompromising influence will endure for generations to come." —Tales of the Cocktail
"This sleek little volume, packed full of staple recipes and inventive new takes, will quickly become a best-loved reference book for any arbiter of spirits." —Travel + Leisure Online
"Recipes, anecdotes and all manner of tipple-related pearls of wisdom form the late, great bartender of New York City's speakeasy style Milk & Honey." —The Lady
"[B]eatifully illustrated." —Chowhound
"Should be on every drink lovers' bookshelf for its simple, delicious - and meticulous - recipes." —Daily Telegraph
"Read it and you'll be an instant mixologist." —Remodelista.com
"If you're looking for a more classically-oriented take on cocktail history and recipes, I recommend the late Sasha Petraske's Regarding Cocktails." —Saveur Online
"[G]rounded in exacting taste, and nothing less than perfection." —Wired
"Easily the most buzzed booze book of the year... Essential reading for cocktail geeks." —American Way Magazine (American Airlines in-flight magazine)
"More than just a recipe book, it's also a home bartending guide and liquid memoir." —Wine Enthusiast
"Thinking about building your dream library and brightening your coffee table with eye-candy and conversation starters? Look no further than Phaidon books." —Big Life Magazine
"This is a book that regards the home cocktail party as a serious endeavor - in a good way." —Forbes Online
About the Author
Sasha Petraske opened Milk & Honey, a speakeasy cocktail bar in New York, in 2000. He later had ventures in New York, London, and Australia. Sasha and his bars won numerous competitions and awards. He lived in New York until his untimely death in 2015. His wife, New York-based Georgette Moger-Petraske, is a spirits writer.
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Top Customer Reviews
If those words carry meaning for you, then so too do the drink recipes in this book. If not yet, for the reader of this book they soon will. Here, at last, is Milk & Honey resurrected on the page. One can, if they were lucky, recall the short, candlelit bar and the quiet excitement of ducking in off of a Chinatown street and being served essentially the perfect drink for whatever your palate in what was the most exciting bar in the world during its time. The book is not just Milk & Honey, of course. It is Little Branch and the John Dory Oyster Bar and Dutch Kills and White Star and everywhere he touched and everyone he worked with gathered up in a collection of recipes and elegiac words.
Sasha Petraske left the world too young, but as an old soul he left behind an entire culture of service and drink preparation that lives on in his many acolytes. This book collects, essentially, the favorite recipes of Sasha and those who worked with and for him, each introduced with a short paragraph explaining the drinks background and meaning and seasonality. The framing idea of the book is the framing idea of mixology as Sasha and his ventures expressed it: every cocktail is a variation of one of five types of drinks: the Old Fashioned, the Martini or Manhattan, the Sour, the Highball, or the Fix. There are five chapters of recipes he enjoyed (largely designed by his acolytes or developed in concert with him, and attributed appropriately) with an additional chapter on non alcoholic and sweeter large format drinks. The recipes reflect the elegance and simplicity that Mr. Petraske stressed: unlike other recent bar books that seek to be the last word on all cocktail making and which call in each recipe for very specific brands, here liquors are specified by type and perhaps origin, but in the context of a simply presented list of ingredients followed by detailed instructions on assembly and only occasionally the introducing paragraph will name a particular brand. An aesthete and something of an obsessive compulsive when it came to lists, Petraske would doubtless be pleased by this layout. Each facing page contains an impressionistic line drawing of the drink that reflects the ratios called for in the recipe. Some of the great classics are here, but the recipe reflects the particular way Sasha preferred them, so too are the more famous originals of his and his extended bar family. The beginning and end of the book contains framing essays, some by Petraske but others by his wife and friends describing the philosophy of work and dress that Petraske lived and sought to impart upon others. Reflecting his particular sense of humor, cocktails for cats are also described.
You can find Petraske's work living on in his colleagues now bringing their own voice to the great bars of LA, Chicago, NYC (Attaboy, the now transformed original Milk and Honey space led by Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy), Melbourne, and London, or you can recreate these recipes at home. I think that this book will give you recipes that feel both familiar and surprisingly new at the same time, the kind you would get when you let a great bartender who knows what you love make a drink, bartenders choice. While Petraske is missed, this book is not to be.
There are recipes in here, which are fine; but the title tells it: Sasha Petraske *Regarding Cocktails.* the guides in the back, written by various other probably cool people, are great reads, too.
This inscription, borrowed (I believe) from The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book and hung in the M&H restroom, summarizes the halcyon days of one of the Great Spaces in NYC.
While this book does capture some of that magic, it is equally exceptional in the brilliant simplicity of its recipes. Unlike many cocktail tomes available, the recipes in Regarding Cocktails are almost all accommodated by a well-stocked home bar and competent tender. Buy the other books for the coffee table, but keep this one at the bar.
For those of you who had the Pleasure of hours spent in the low lights and easy conversations of M&H and "proved able to carry it" join me in a toast of thanks to Georgette,Dale, Robert and the rest who contributed.
To Sasha: your example is commended to your posterity. RIP.