SPEAKEASY SWAGGER: World renowned mixologist, Sasha Petraskeof Milk and Honey and Little Branch famebrings 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 Ws 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 mixerslike ginger ale and apple juiceare freshly made in-house. The iceyes, iceis the coolest feature. An illuminated 150-pound block sits at the center of the bar and is chipped to order "Basic Instinct" style. Other varietiesincluding spears and spheresare used depending which drink you choose. Early favorites include The Bees Kneesa delicate gin-based concoction ripe with clover honeyand 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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