Per Se Mixologist to Light a Flaming Lemon Peel Under Bemelmans' Ass

Sasha Petraske of Milk and Honey recently put his stamp on the drinks menu at the Carlyle Hotel’s Bemelmans Bar, but let’s face it, the place still isn’t what it was when it was helmed by legends Dale DeGroff and, later, Audrey Saunders. Brian Van Flandern, former head mixologist at Per Se, hopes to change that. Within six weeks, the star stirrer, known for making his own ginger beer and tonic water at Per Se’s stand-up bar, will unveil a revamped menu. Along with holdovers like DeGroff’s Whiskey Smash and Saunders’s Gin Gin Mule, it will include cocktails like a variation of his Flaming Dutchman — a concoction of cognac, sherry, gin, lemon juice, and bitters (finished off with a spectacular shower of lemon juice over an open flame). It's the same drink that prompted a Dutch company to rank him the No. 2 bartender in the world. And rest assured, the murals by Ludwig Bemelmans aren’t going anywhere, nor are the bartenders who’ve been there for years — some of the drinks may actually be named after them. —Daniel Maurer