When Kirby Farmer and Kristan Keck were opening Wm. Farmer & Sons they had the late Sasha Petraske — the legendary bartender who changed cocktail culture with his speakeasy-style bar Milk & Honey in New York City — consult on the barroom and train their bartenders. Bartender Gregg Jaffe tells us, “I am one for legacy. What makes this bar unique is that it‘s one of the last places Sasha touched before his untimely death. We are carrying a true cocktail tradition; something bigger than ourselves, something we could not have done on our own.”
How did you train to become a bartender?
A few of us went through a six-week intensive program before we opened. After juicing limes one day, Sasha said they tasted slightly bitter and thought maybe we had been pressing them too hard. He grabbed a few of the limes from the bucket and, like a madman, began licking the outside of the limes looking for an answer. It was this meticulousness that propelled the beginning days at Farmer. I learned a great deal of the fundamentals of bartending from Sasha, and even more so, I saw in him what it took to build character — spirit, passion, and devotion.
Favorite cocktail to drink
The Bee’s Knees is one of my favorite cocktails to drink for its simplicity and because it dates back to the Prohibition era. Hudson has an illustrious past. In fact, the word “cocktail“ first appeared in America in a Hudson newspaper. When I drink the Bee’s Knees I feel out of time, but maybe that’s the gin.
What does “craft cocktail” mean to you?
Craft cocktails are a matter of simplicity: very few ingredients, exact measurements, and balance.
1 oz gin
1 oz Cynar
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 orange slices
Combine the gin, Cynar, lemon, simple syrup, and orange in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe.
20 S. Front St., Hudson; 518.828.1635; www.wmfarmerandsons.com