Milk & Honey Founder Sasha Petraske Found Dead in Upstate NY

Posted on: August 24th, 2015 at 5:17 am by
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Photo: Village VoiceSasha Petraske – the cocktail maven who helped open the door to nightlife saturation on the Lower East Side – died on Friday in Hudson, New York. Wife Georgette Moger discovered his body. The cause and time of death are not known. Petraske was 42, and passed shortly after his mother.

His founding of cocktail den Milk & Honey in 1999, and later White Star on Essex Street, helped catapult Petraske into the stratosphere of the city scene. The New York Times noted the following in its obituary:

Mr. Petraske’s role in the modern cocktail revival is difficult to overestimate. The opening of Milk & Honey in 1999, in a small space on an underpopulated block of the Lower East Side, helped usher in a new interest in cocktails across America.

Unmarked and unadvertised, the tiny bar nonetheless quickly became a phenomenon, known for its unapologetic dedication to expertly made pre-Prohibition cocktails, as well as its eccentric reservation system and exacting rules of decorum.

Mr. Petraske’s influence can be seen in myriad details now common to cocktail bars around the world, including hidden entrances, a focus on classic cocktails and a formal attire adopted by bartenders.

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