Sasha Petraske, founder of the legendary bar Milk & Honey, and considered by many to be the Godfather of modern cocktail & bartender culture, has died. He was 42. Sasha was one of the featured interviews for the documentary Hey Bartender. At 9:00pm Eastern Monday August 31st, bartenders and friends of Sasha the world over will be having daiquiris in his memory. [more inside]
Lawyers need bartenders more than bartenders need lawyers. When it comes to cocktails and the names they’re given, a recipe can’t be copyrighted and a name isn’t usually trademarked, and there’s no governing body, no law of the liquor land that stops the duplication of a recipe or a cocktail name. Which makes cocktail naming—shall we call it mixonymics?—special among naming practices in the modern world: It’s the bartender tribe, not the law, that defines prior art."Swizzle Me This," Michael Erard, The Morning News (single link)
"Gourmet ice, often heavily filtered and hand-cut to guarantee the optimal amount of dilution, has officially become part of cocktail culture." That is all.
A retro set of cocktail napkins showing Eisenhower-era damsels and drunkards, with captions by The Bard. via
Tiki: How sex, rum, World War II, and the brand-new state of Hawaii ignited a fad that has never quite ended. (via)
You've Come A Long Way, Baby: Unfortunately, you picked the wrong one, dear old Old-Fashioned, dean of cocktails. Robert Hess's definitive essay on the ever-changing ways of making one shows just how contentious a cocktail recipe can be. It also bears sad testimony to how the great classics are being fruited up, iced up, fizzed up, shaken till obliteration and generally girlied, dumbed and boozed down. So how do you stand on the cherry, the pineapple and the orange? And don't even bother commenting if you're a seltzer fan! ;)
For Lent, I'm Giving Up Not Drinking Cocktails - What About You? I collect cocktail books but there are two web sites* that are just as good as the best bartender's bible. The first is Dale DeGroff's. The second, sadly discontinued but still invaluable, is Paul Harrington's. Both are very personal and reveal a deep knowledge and love of this quintessentially American and civilized art form. Cocktails may very well be the only truly democratic and universally accessible pastime. They can be made at home quite cheaply by anyone and be just as delicious as the very best served in the very best bar to the richest imbiber in the world. Not to mention their incredible Valentine's Day potential... so what's it to be, pal? *Webtender, Drinkboy and Esquire's cocktail guides pale by comparison