Friends Remember Lower East Side Cocktail Innovator Sasha Petraske

Photo: Hey Bartender.

Photo: Hey Bartender.
Photo: Hey Bartender.

News broke on Friday afternoon that Sasha Petraske, credited with reviving cocktail culture, was found dead in his Hudson, NY home at the age of 42. The cause of death was not immediately made public.

Petraske opened the widely influential Milk & Honey, at 134 Eldridge St., in 1999. He was behind many other innovative cocktail bars, including old Lower East favorites such as East Side Company Bar and White Star (both on Essex Street).

Three years ago, Petraske handed the Milk & Honey space over to his trusted bartenders, Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross. They renamed the place Attaboy, staying true to their mentor’s vision, but adding their own individual accents.

Here’s their tribute posted Friday on Instagram: “We lost our chief today. His influence in the cocktail world is well documented. His generosity, heart and friendship are what were way more important to us though. We are devastated. Thanks for giving two upstart foreigners a chance 12 years ago. You are the reason.”