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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Liquid Diet: Drinkshop

click to enlarge IN THE MIX: Mixologist Sasha Petraske
  • IN THE MIX: Mixologist Sasha Petraske

SPEAKEASY SWAGGER: World renowned mixologist, Sasha Petraske—of Milk and Honey and Little Branch fame—brings a piece of New York to the new W Hotel in Downtown Atlanta. Petraske has enlisted the always-stylish and incredibly talented Eric Simpkins, formerly of Trois, who fits perfectly with Petraske's philosophy and vision. While the approach to drink making is decidedly old-fashioned, the decor is anything but. The W’s signature contemporary touches abound, from the sleek construction materials to the long low-profile tables surrounded by wide retro-modern chairs. Vintage influences pop up in smalls touches including the arm garters worn by male barkeeps and the well-chosen barware.

POST-PROHIBITION: While the beer menu definitely caters to the hotel set, the range of obscure boutique spirits is bound to impress even the most seasoned cocktail aficionados. All of the mixers—like ginger ale and apple juice—are freshly made in-house. The ice—yes, ice—is the coolest feature. An illuminated 150-pound block sits at the center of the bar and is chipped to order "Basic Instinct" style. Other varieties—including spears and spheres—are used depending which drink you choose. Early favorites include “The Bees Knees”—a delicate gin-based concoction ripe with clover honey—and anything made with emulsified egg whites. Feeling a bit peckish? Hungry imbibers can happily nibble on a small selection of dishes from the neighboring BLT Steak kitchen.

Drinkshop, 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. 404-582-5800. Mon.-Sat., 7p.m.-2:30a.m.; Sun., 7p.m.- 12:30a.m. www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/index.html.

(Photo by Ben Rose Photography)

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