Back From the Classic: Tales from Manhattan’s Cocktail Convention


For those who couldn’t wait until next July to hightail it down to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, Manhattan had its own cocktail extravaganza this past weekend. Bartenders and drinks enthusiasts from the country congregated at the Astor Center for seminars on everything from the history of the cocktail in New York to how to throw a killer cocktail party at home. The latter was hosted by the ever-elusive Sasha Petraske, who had just returned from D.C., where he has been hard at work opening POV Bar at the W. Petraske’s guidelines for the perfect boozy bash drew on his rules for being behind a professional bar: use fresh citrus and good ice. But, the press-timid owner of Milk & Honey and White Star also offered a few tips for shopping at restaurant equipment wholesalers, like the ones that line the Bowery.

“Just pretend you work in a bar or they won’t even [serve you],” he told his audience.

But Petraske wasn’t all drinks and jokes. He also offered this important nugget: “Cut people off. If you think someone is too drunk, don’t serve them just to be polite. You can always give them a non-alcoholic cocktail. If they can tell, they’re probably not too drunk, after all.”

Back in his bartending days, he had to cut off a customer or two. In fact, he has been known to take blacked-out patrons back to their apartments to ensure they get home safely.

“If that strikes you as above-and-beyond the call of duty, you should not be a bartender.”

Are you taking notes, mustachioed self-proclaimed mixologists everywhere?