Three New York mixologists paid tribute to the extraordinary life and work of Mikhail Baryshnikov with specialty cocktails at a Slovenia Vodka event on Sept. 23. Held at Bar Sardine, part of the Little Wisco family of six restaurants, the bar stars included Little Wisco’s director of bar operations Brian Bartels, Kenta Goto, former head bartender at Pegu Club, and Brett Buehler, formerly lead bartender at the Upper West Side’s Fatty Crab.
Goto paid homage to Baryshnikov’s storied ballet career with “Dancer,” a cocktail made with Slovenia Vodka, sake, crème de violette and pastis, shaken and served up in a coupe glass. “I wanted to create something that was graceful, elegant and masculine,” Goto says.
Buehler recognized Baryshnikov’s work in film and television with the “Actor,” a seasonal spin on a classic Old Fashioned, mixed with Slovenia Vodka, apple cider, maple syrup and apple bitters served over ice in a rocks glass.
Bartels honored Baryshnikov’s overall legacy with the “World Citizen,” which he described as an “accessible and refreshing variation on the Pimms Cup.” It combines celery-infused Slovenia Vodka, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Pimms, lime juice, sparkling water and cucumber, served over ice in a Collins glass.
The bartenders shared their inspiration for the recipes as they mixed their cocktails and presented them to Baryshnikov. For the record, the actor/dancer/world citizen seemed to genuinely enjoy all of the drinks (though he seemed a bit partial to the Dancer).
Slovenia Vodka, which launched last year in select markets, was created by Chef Peter X. Kelly and his team to be “the culinary vodka.” Baryshnikov is behind the brand, as is actor Bill Murray. The vodka is made from buckwheat and water sourced from the Slovenian Alps.