Michael Madrusan to bring famed bar Milk & Honey to Melbourne

Michael Madrusan to bring famed bar Milk & Honey to Melbourne

The master mixologist is in Hong Kong fixing up Old Fashioneds in MO Bar and told us about his plans to open a branch of Milk & Honey in our region

michael madrusan the everleighMichael Madrusan.Michael Madrusan's life is contained in a glass. He is part of a growing club of maniac mixologists who are more alchemists than bartenders, obsessing over just-chiseled ice and homemade tinctures.

The guy was behind reknowned cocktail bars PDT, Milk & Honey as well as Little Branch in New York. These bars have been leading the cocktail culture renaissance around the world, their influence reaching to the industry here in Hong Kong.

Madrusan's latest project is to bring the Milk & Honey concept to Australia. We're hoping he will consider opening in Hong Kong too in the near future.

Find Michael Madrusan making impeccable cocktails at MO Bar for the final evening of the Master of Mixology event.

See World's best bartenders fix us a strong one in Hong Kong for details.

CNNGo: Tell us about the Milk & Honey in Melbourne.

Michael Madrusan: It’s going under the name of The Everleigh. The mixologists will be myself, and my wife, Lauren Schell.

CNNGo: Will it have the same policy as in New York City and London of accepting guests by referral or appointment only?

Madrusan: It will be similar policies to NYC, with a little more flexibility in regards to reservations. It will be first come first served.

Ultimately, we encourage gentleman to act like gentleman and ladies to act like ladies.

CNNGo: Is Sasha Petraske involved or is it a licensing deal?

Madrusan: Yes, he is our partner and he was the driving force behind The Everleigh. He’s excited to take this experience across the waters and we are proud to be part of such an institution.

CNNGo: Any future plans for expansion in Asia?

Madrusan: Absolutely, we love Asia -– I’ve spent a little bit of time in Asia and loved everything so far and we believe the cocktail climate is right.

CNNGo: Why Milk & Honey and why now?

Madrusan: The reason people love the Milk & Honey experience is because it’s tailor-made for each guest depending on their preferences.

It’s the ultimate bespoke experience and it allows guests to relax at the end of a long day without the added stress of having to choose the right drink from a long list so they can really sit back and enjoy the ride. 

CNNGo: Any connection with “Six Degrees” the small bars designers in Australia?

Madrusan: No, we’re not affiliated. Our bars are custom designed by ourselves to maximize the speed in cocktail preparation and our décor stays true to the period in which the bar is dedicated.

CNNGo: What is the last thing you drank that really impressed you?

Madrusan: For MO Bar’s Masters of Mixology event, the resident mixologists have been preparing the Old Fashioned Experience (variations on the Old Fashioned cocktail) and when we ended the shift last night, I was lucky to enjoy an Old Fashioned Glenmorangie Signet which is a fantastic scotch.

CNNGo: Do you have a default drink?

Madrusan: Always the Old Fashioned.

CNNGo: Who was your most memorable customer? What did they order?

Madrusan: Sasha. Whenever he enters our bar, he still makes me sweat bullets.

His drink is the Pisco Sour on most occasions. He’s always pushing us to ensure that the quality is the best it can be.

CNNGo: What should we be ordering to drink now in Hong Kong’s hot and humid summertime?

Madrusan: With the hot, humid climate in Hong Kong, I prefer to drink something light and refreshing and the MO Tox at MO Bar does just the trick with fresh coriander and ginger.