Sydney’s Maybe Group know how to create the sort of venue you like to go back to, again and again. Maybe Sammy, Maybe Frank, Dean & Nancy – they’re bars and restaurants named after the infamous 1950s Rat Pack that all had the same kind of energy – it buzzed.

A great joint for a drink and equally good pizza there was a reason why these had quickly become one of the city’s most popular venues.

Since lockdown hit, the team behind the institution were quick to get creative with their drinks list and began offering ready-made cocktails from the Maybe Sammy bar delivered to your door. A little bit of Sammy goes a long way it seems. The house-made infusions used local flora to create unique recipes that go down like an absolute treat.

Cocktail
Andrea Gauldi on the job. Image: Steve Woobdurn.

But sometimes you just have a hankering for something straight from the bar. We spoke to the Maybe group’s creative director and Australian Bartender of the Year, Andrea Gualdi, about his favourite and the art of creating A “Lookout in the Blackout” from the Dean & Nancy menu.

WHO ARE WE?

I’m Andrea Gualdi

WHERE DO YOU WORK

I’m the Maybe group creative director which owns Maybe Sammy, Maybe Frank, Sammy Jr, Dean & Nancy, and Maybe Sammy cocktails.

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A OPEN A BAR?

Originally, I decided to become a bartender to travel the world and be able to work anywhere!

WHAT WAS THE FIRST DRINK YOU EVER LEARNT TO MAKE?

Negroni. As an Italian bartender, that’s a must!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COCKTAIL TO DRINK?

Hard to choose one, but probably I’d go for a margarita

FAVOURITE LIQUOR TO WORK WITH?

Gin, I love the versatility of it. 

Cocktail
A Lookout in the Blackout. Image: Steve Woodburn

WHAT’S YOUR SIGNATURE DRINK TO MAKE?

There are lots of them, but if I have to pick one of my favourite it would probably be our newest “Lookout in the Blackout” from Dean & Nancy. Very refreshing and light

WHAT DO WE NEED, AND HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?

First you need to make a carrot shrub, which requires some preparation.

To create a carrot shrub you’ll need:

1 kg carrot finely chopped

500 grams of caster sugar

Leave carrot in sugar overnight

Then add 500 ml of apple cider vinegar and blend all together

Fine strain the shrub and bottle it in the fridge

WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED?

Tanqueray Gin 30 ml

fino sherry 20 ml

carrot shrub 25 ml

peach liquor 5 ml

orange bitters 2 dashes

Aperol 10 ml

HOW DO WE MAKE IT?

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin, stir and pour over ice

Garnish with fresh dill

Et Voila!

thoughts?