- Photo: Christian Harder
- WM Farmer & Son's Prescription Julep
Over the past decade, the craft cocktail movement has enjoyed a rousing resurgence. The return to pre-Prohibition-style, artisanal drink-making is thanks in no small part to Sasha Petraske, founder of the legendary Manhattan bar Milk & Honey and author of Regarding Cocktails. Petraske's exacting approach set the tenor for a new generation of bars the nation over.
The last project Petraske worked on before passing away in 2015 was the bar program at WM Farmer & Sons in Hudson, a boutique hotel and rustic-chic restaurant on Hudson's Front Street. "One of our guiding philosophies is to work with people who are masters of their craft," says Kristan Keck, co-owner of WMFS. "Sasha was incredibly fastidious and particular. He loved simplicity, keeping things as basic and true as possible. His whole thing was juicing daily and making the freshest cocktail possible."
After Petraske's death, his business partner and longtime friend Richie Boccato took over the bar program. "Sasha built it, but Richie has really nurtured it and cared for it like his own," Keck says. While Petraske favored whiskey, Boccato leans toward rum. In the coming months, WM Farmer & Sons will debut a new rum room. "Richie has this infectious affinity for rum," Keck says. "This will be a nice way to share that."
In honor of the Kentucky Derby, here is WM Farmer & Sons' chosen julep variation—with a rum float. "The original mint julep was made circa 1790," says head bartender Sean Meagher. "Ours is adapted from a recipe found in an 1857 issue of Harper's Monthly. Rye and cognac work side by side in this split-based cocktail, and the rum float adds a vegetal note that plays well with the spice from the rye."
WM Farmer & Son's Prescription Julep
- 8-10 Mint leaves
- 1 white sugar cube
- .25 oz. Simple syrup
- .5 oz. Rye whiskey
- 1.5 oz. Cognac
- Jamaican rum float
- Garnish with a healthy mint bouquet and grated nutmeg.