Sasha Petraske to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th Annual Spirited Awards®

Posted on: Jul. 17, 2016 | | By: Alex Smith

NEW ORLEANS – July 18, 2016 – Tales of the Cocktail®, the world’s premier non-profit cocktail festival, and presenting sponsor William Grant & Sons are proud to announce Sasha Petraske as the 2016 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th Annual Spirited Awards®. The award will be formally presented at the Spirited Awards® ceremony being held on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans.

“I regret not being able to give this award to Sasha in person. He has always been so deserving of it. His impact can be felt and tasted at practically every cocktail bar around the world,” said Ann Tuennerman, Founder of Tales of the Cocktail®. “He is dearly missed by our industry. It just felt right that we honor him for what was truly a lifetime of achievement.”

In 1999, Petraske opened one of the world’s most influential bars Milk & Honey on New York’s Lower East Side with a vision for reviving the cocktail glory days of the early 1900’s. Petraske’s love for vintage clothing, jazz and old-fashioned ways inspired him to open a place that encompassed just that. Milk & Honey captivated the cocktail world with its expertly designed, pre-Prohibition drinks, unique yet precise rules of decorum and sophisticated atmosphere.

“Sasha Petraske was a friend of mine and I will miss him,” said Simon Ford, Spirited Awards® Chairman. “He was also a visionary for our industry and undoubtedly the most influential person on the global cocktail community for the past 20 years. I will miss his friendship and the industry will miss his creativity. This is a tragic loss.”

Milk & Honey was not Petraske’s only contribution to this industry. He also opened Milk & Honey in London, White Star in New York, The Varnish in Los Angeles, Dutch Kills in New York and the Everleigh in Melbourne. He also served as a mentor to leading bartenders in the cocktail industry, many of whom began their careers at his bars. Mickey Mcllroy, Sammy Ross and Richard Boccato are just three of the numerous bartenders who credit Petraske for their success. Sadly Petraske passed away in August of 2015 at the young age of 42.

Chivas Regal and the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society are partnering to create a cocktail calendar for the 2017 year proceeds benefiting the Houston Street Charities in Sasha’s name and the Cocktail Apprentice Program. Tales of the Cocktail’s® apprentice program was designed to give up-and-coming bartenders the chance to learn alongside some of the biggest names in the industry while also providing additional opportunities for career growth.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is one of more than 26 awards that will be handed out at the 10th Annual Spirited Awards® ceremony. Held annually during Tales of the Cocktail®, the Spirited Awards® have become the most highly respected and coveted awards of the spirits industry, recognizing bars, bartenders, writers, ambassadors, and more. For more information about the Spirited Awards® and Tales of the Cocktail® 2016, visit

About Tales of the Cocktail®

Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail® has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail® is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques.

Tales of the Cocktail® also produces a number of other events and programs such as Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, Tales 365®, Tales of the Toddy® and New Orleans Daiquiri Month, all to further the mission of supporting and growing the international cocktail community.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society

Tales of the Cocktail® is produced by the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), a non-profit organization committed to supporting, promoting and growing the cocktail industry in New Orleans and around the world. In addition to offering opportunities to learn and acquire new skills through Tales of the Cocktail® events and Tales 365®, the NOCCPS invests proceeds back into the spirits industry. Since 2008, the NOCCPS has invested more than $600,000 into programs like the Cocktail Apprentice Program, a tuition reimbursement program, the Apprentice medical aid fund, education scholarships and a new health and wellness program for members of the hospitality industry.

For more information on Tales of the Cocktail®, visit the website at

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