Located inside a Williamsburg art exhibition space called Kinfolk Studios, Aska is a buzzy new spot that serves some bizarre but delicious food. (Think lichen soup and chips made of pig's blood.) It's also a bar, and the raucous neighborhood clientele demanded Red Bull-vodkas on a regular basis.
Rockey, who has worked at high-end NYC restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and Atera, didn't want to crack open a dozen cans of super-sweet artificial Red Bull every night. He wanted the restaurant's drinks to match the innovative, from-the-earth quality of its food. Plus, Rockey likes a challenge -- there's not a cocktail on his menu that doesn't involve some kind of week-long infusion or fermentation process. (One of his best cocktails combines house-made Kombucha made with pu-erh tea with aquavit and caraway syrup; it tastes like a refreshing sip of rye bread.)