For this week’s Monday Booktails post, I’m making the switch over to Regarding Cocktails, a post-humous compilation of Sasha Petraske’s recipes and essays that was published by his wife, Georgette Moger-Petraske in 2016. Petraske is almost single-handedly credited with bringing elegant cocktails back into fashion, as well as kicking off the cocktail renaissance at his bar Milk & Honey in New York City in 1999. Petraske influenced an entire new generation of bartenders whose priorities were to make cocktails based on precision and craft in an environment that elevated the bar experience to a whole new level. Regarding Cocktails is meant to be a guide for making Milk & Honey quality cocktails at home, as well as a gathering of favorite stories and fond memories from a good number of the bartenders who were lucky enough to have worked under and learned from Petraske. There are also guidelines for setting up a home bar that include information on glassware, equipment, garnishes, and syrups. Petraske’s affinity for simplicity and straightforwardness are abundantly clear in the structure of the book, as it groups cocktails into five basic categories and uses meaningful and streamlined illustrations to further support this classification system. This book makes the perfect gift for both the home bartender who is just getting started, as well as the seasoned veteran who will appreciate a glimpse into the profound influence Petraske’s wisdom, insight, and vision had on the cocktail world.
Today’s Turnpike cocktail falls into the category of a sour, which is constructed from a base spirit that has sweet and sour ingredients on either side of the equation. Deceptively simple to make, sours are among the most enjoyable of drinks. The Turnpike uses a base of Laird’s Applejack and rye whiskey, a combination that I loved together, especially because I was once again able to use the Standard Wormwood rye I received in the mail just last week. I’ve fallen in love with its blend of rye mash and wormwood, which just so happens to be the the primary ingredient in absinthe. The rye whiskey that the original recipe called for was from Pennsylvania, and Laird’s is from New Jersey. The drink was named after the road that connected these two states with New York. Since Standard Wormwood is in Brooklyn, this cocktail’s name still applies perfectly. Cheers everyone. Happy Monday!
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously, Double strain into a chilled cocktail or Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge or wheel.