Nov. 25, 2021

TCG EP 5 - The Legacy Lives On with Guest Lucinda Sterling

On this episode of THE COCKTAIL GURU PODCAST, brought to you by Hendrick's Gin, Lucinda Sterling—bartender, bar owner, and longtime managing partner at Sasha Petraske's much-loved Middle Branch in Midtown Manhattan—talks balancing life behind the bar with life as a mother with hosts Jonathan & Jeffrey Pogash.


On this episode of THE COCKTAIL GURU PODCAST, brought to you by Hendrick's Gin, Lucinda Sterling—bartender, bar owner, and longtime managing partner at Sasha Petraske's much-loved Middle Branch in Midtown Manhattan—talks balancing life behind the bar with life as a mother with hosts Jonathan & Jeffrey Pogash.

GUEST BIO

Lucinda Sterling began her journey into bartending by packing up her SUV in Denver and embarking on a cross-country road trip to the East Coast. A New York City pit stop became a permanent residence, and more than 10 years later, Lucinda still calls Manhattan home.

With no bartending experience at all, Lucinda found a road into the industry by becoming a regular at New York’s famed Milk & Honey cocktail bar in 2005, where she was introduced to owner and industry icon, the late Sasha Petraske, who hired her as a server. But more importantly, Petraske would become Lucinda’s mentor, instructor, and, eventually, her business partner.

Her first opportunity to do so came at Petraske’s second Manhattan venue, Little Branch, where she flourished as a mixologist. In 2012, she became a full managing partner in Petraske’s third bar, Middle Branch, where she helped to design the space and where she continues to run day-to-day operations.

The latest addition to the extended family of bars is Seaborne in Brooklyn, a cocktail lounge opened at 228 Van Brunt Street in Redhook in 2016. Similar to its sister bars, the emphasis is on the classic recipes for cocktails that emerged before Prohibition and shortly thereafter. Also available are slight twists on the classics, beer, wine, and light snacks.

With a degree in psychology and business, Lucinda is clearly a unique member of the mixology and bartending profession. Her diverse ethnic mix of German, Irish, Polish, French, Chinese, and Cambodian also makes for an interesting infusion of cultural influences in her cocktails and her venues. As a consulting mixologist, she created a spirit-forward cocktail menu for newly opened Garfunkel’s in New York City.

Lucinda was a Finalist in the 2013 Peter F Heering Sling Awards, while lifestyle website Thrillist recently named her one of the “14 Female Bartenders You Need to Know in NYC.” She is widely considered a leader in the female mixologist movement, which was recognized in 2013 when she was asked to contribute to the cocktail menu at New York’s Grace 365—a menu that consisted entirely of drinks made by women. Her voice and her influence in the industry, however, reach well beyond any such boundaries.


Outside of her home bars, Lucinda is a seasoned menu consultant, cocktail expert and educator, and recipe developer. Her work and insight has appeared in numerous media and publications including the New York Times, Forbes, Architectural Digest, Time Out New York, NYLON Magazine, and many more.

Today, Lucinda balances her life behind the bar with life as a mother to her baby girl, Zeta.

FURTHER READING

Press

"Lucinda Sterling Shares Her Secrets To Success In The Bartending World: With 16 years behind the bar, Vietnamese-American bartender Lucinda Sterling knows how to stand out from the competition and create memorable experiences for guests." - Vietcetera (October 27, 2021) (https://vietcetera.com/en/lucinda-sterling-shares-her-secrets-to-success-in-the-bartending-world)

"3 of the City’s Best Bartenders on How to Make Great Drinks at Home: Lucinda Sterling, Julie Reiner and Karen Fu say toss the vermouth and master the daiquiri." - Edible Manhattan (July 25, 2017) (https://www.ediblemanhattan.com/drink/3-citys-best-bartenders-make-great-drinks-home)

"14 Female Bartenders You Need to Know in NYC" - Thrillist (August 23, 2015) (https://www.thrillist.com/drink/new-york/14-female-bartenders-you-need-to-know-in-nyc)

"An Irish Pub's Toast to Women" - New York Times (August 14, 2013) (https://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/dining/an-irish-pubs-toast-to-women.html)

THE COCKTAIL GURU PODCAST is produced by 1st Reel Entertainment and distributed by Anchor.FM and EatsDrinksTV a service of the Center for Culinary Culture—Home of The Cocktail Collection, and is available wherever fine podcasts can be heard.

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THE COCKTAIL GURU PODCAST is produced by 1st Reel Entertainment and distributed by EatsDrinksTV, a service of the Center for Culinary Culture—Home of The Cocktail Collection, and is available wherever fine podcasts can be heard.

Lucinda Sterling Profile Photo

Lucinda Sterling

Lucinda Sterling began her journey into bartending by packing up her SUV in Denver and embarking on a cross-country road trip to the East Coast. A New York City pit stop became a permanent residence, and more than ten years later, Lucinda still calls Manhattan home. With no bartending experience at all, Lucinda found a road into the industry by becoming a regular at New York’s famed Milk & Honey cocktail bar in 2005, where she was introduced to owner and industry icon, the late Sasha Petraske, who hired her as a server. But more importantly, Petraske would become Lucinda’s mentor, instructor, and eventually, her business partner. Her first opportunity to do so came at Petraske’s second Manhattan venue, Little Branch, where she flourished as a mixologist. In 2012, she become a full managing partner in Petraske’s third bar, Middle Branch, where she helped to design the space and where she continues to run day-to-day operations. With a degree in psychology and business, Lucinda is clearly a unique member of the mixology and bartending profession. Her diverse ethnic mix of German, Irish, Polish, French, Chinese and Cambodian also makes for an interesting infusion of cultural influences in her cocktails and her venues. As a consulting mixologist, created a spirit-forward cocktail menu for newly opened Garfunkel’s in New York City. Lucinda was a Finalist in the 2013 Peter F Heering Sling Awards, while the lifestyle web site Thrillist recently named her one of the “14 Female Bartenders You Need to Know in NYC.” She is widely considered a leader in the female mixologist movement, which was recognized in 2013 when she was asked to contribute to the cocktail menu at New York’s Grace 365 — a menu that consisted entirely of drinks made by women. Her voice and her influence in the industry, however, reach well beyond any such boundaries.