When Andrew McConnell’s new space Gimlet at Cavendish House opened up late last year, it was met with appropriate applause. The Melbourne bar had everything right – the food, the mood, the design. All of it.

McConnell knows how to create a winning recipe for the wine and dine experience having cemented former ventures Cumulus Inc, The Builders Arms Hotel and Supernormal as icons of Melbourne. Gimlet looks to be destined to be next on the list.

Due in part to the range of incredible cocktails on offer.

We got the low down with Gimlet bartender Cameron Parish on how to make a Gimlet specialty: A Cavendish House Sidecar.

Gimlet, Cavendish House, cocktail, bar
Cameron Parish. Image: Jo McGann

WHO ARE WE?

Cameron Parish

WHERE DO YOU WORK

Gimlet at Cavendish House

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A  BARTENDER?

I still remember to this day walking into Happiness Forgets in London for the very first time. Sitting up at the bar, the place was absolutely buzzing and the two bartenders were incredible to watch – Laughing and chatting to every single guest who sat around them and visited the bar. They were so engaging and recommended trying an Old Fashioned – it was that moment that I remember thinking ‘This is what I want to do.’ 

WHAT WAS THE FIRST DRINK YOU EVER LEARNT TO MAKE?

Like a lot of bartenders, I started by pulling pints in the early stages of my career, but it was an Aviation that definitely got me into bartending. 

This felt like a real, classic cocktail – A simple and elegant drink made with just a few ingredients – which was a real change of pace from the sweet and sugary style of cocktails I was used to . 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COCKTAIL TO DRINK?

I will always love a Martini. 

Bone dry, late at night, 50/50 before a meal, olives when it’s cold, lemon always. 

FAVOURITE LIQUOR TO WORK WITH?

I would have to say Brandy, both Cognac and Armagnac as well as fruit Eau de Vie. Most of my drinks will always incorporate some sort of Eau de Vie.

Gimlet, Cavendish House, cocktail
A Cavendish House Sidecar. Get it into you. Image: Gimlet.

WHAT’S YOUR SIGNATURE DRINK TO MAKE?

Cavendish House Sidecar. This is my interpretation of a classic cocktail. 

Rather than using the traditional Cointreau with fresh lemon, the Gimlet Sidecar is made using our house citrus cordial and a fun little riff on orange wine – we ferment orange, rockmelon, carrot and orange blossom honey. 

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

40ml Tesseron Cognac

15ml Orange Wine

20ml Citrus Cordial 

5ml Quince EDV

Petitgrain

Stir into a coupe glass with a half sugar rim

thoughts?