paris

BBaF Podcast Episode 3: Regarding Cocktails with Georgette Moger-Petraske

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I’m really excited for you all to listen to this week’s episode of the Bit by a Fox podcast. It’s a special one. I spoke with my friend and author, and someone who has seen first hand the bloom of the cocktail movement in New York City and internationally, Georgette Moger-Petraske. Georgette is also the widow of the late Sasha Pestraske, the legendary bartender who opened a little speakeasy cocktail bar in the lower east side of Manhattan about 18 years ago called Milk & Honey. Sasha and his bar are really responsible for much of what we’ve come to know about modern day craft cocktails. Milk & Honey has been called one of this century’s most influential drinking dens. Sasha was extremely well regarded as a leader in the industry until his untimely death in 2015. He was 42.

Georgette and Sasha had only been married for a few months at the time of his death – interrupting their life together as well the cocktail book they were to create together. Only a brief outline existed when Georgette made the decision to write what was to be Sasha’s first cocktail book, Regarding Cocktails. I wanted to talk to Georgette about her story, how she met Sasha, her husband’s legacy, his iconic bar Milk & Honey, and how Regarding Cocktails is a tribute to him as a man and also a love letter to all he contributed to the cocktail world.

Listen to Episode 3: Regarding Cocktails with Georgette Moger-Petraske

A girl and her book. Georgette and Regarding Cocktails outside Paris bookstore La Belle Hortense. (taken by moi)

Recent photos from Paris Cocktail Week taken by Philippe Levy.

We ended our episode this week with the Gin & It cocktail, a favorite of the couple’s – so much so it was passed out in mini mason jars at their wedding.

Gin & It – served up in a coupe glass
2 oz Gin
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
garnish: lemon twist

Stir the gin and vermouth in an ice-filled mixing glass until sufficiently chilled. Strain into an chilled coupe glass. Twist the lemon peel over the glass to extract the oils. Then garnish the drink with the twist.

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This Year: European Capitals – Because They’re worth it

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Let’s face it, Europe is one heck of a long way.  It’s expensive to get there, it’s expensive when you’re there and hey there’s so much of our own country that you haven’t even seen yet.  So why do so many of us do it?  What’s the point? You’ve seen all these places in the movies anyway.  Is it all it’s cracked up to be?  Well let me try and persuade you that yes it is all that it’s cracked up to be and that there’s nothing unpatriotic about enjoying a few European cities.  So put your doubts aside for a minute and consider what’s on offer back in the old countries where so many of us came from.  

Paris

I’ll start with the obvious one, Paris France, that big old romantic cliché that has seduced so many Americans.  Stroll about the streets of Paris, and if the weather’s decent it’s a great city for strolling, and you’ll soon feel that every cent that you spent getting there was worth it.  It’s partly that you’re surrounded by buildings older than anything we’ve got over here and it’s partly that those famous sights are famous for a reason: I defy you to stand beneath the Eiffel Tower and not be impressed by this incredible structure.  Paris of course is stuffed with famous art and that may or may not be your thing but it’s so much more than just a giant museum, it’s a completely different way of life and it’s a memory you’ll always carry with you.  

Now if you go to Rome you’re going to get something completely different.  I reckon you can always tell a lot about a place by the kind of river that runs through it: the Seine is broad and majestic, the buildings on either side a series of grand palaces; the Tiber, that runs through Rome, flows in a deep trench, it boils and spits and forces its way between rocks. It’s as though the temperaments of the two nations are reflected in their rivers. Paris is laid out like a chess board, it’s neat and orderly, Rome is all over the place and you never know what you’re going to find around the corner.  Right in the middle of everything you’ve got these huge ruins: the Colosseum and the Forum.  Absolutely amazing.  

London

Fly to London and you’ve got something different again.  The river Thames is busy like the city.  It’s not drop dead gorgeous like Paris, it’s not dramatic and a little bit hysterical like Rome, it’s a mish-mash of old and new, it’s about as multi-cultural as you’ll get but at the same time just so British and a lot more fun than you might think.  Have I convinced you? Probably not.  Every European city is different and every single one will give you something special.  If you’ve got the cash you can stay in some wonderful old hotels or if you want to save a bit of money try a short term let or if you really want to save money and meet the locals you could take a chance on air b&b.  Whatever trip you plan, whichever European cities you decide to visit, I promise you that you’ll collect a whole load of great memories.