Dandelyan in London's South Bank was crowned World’s Best Cocktail Bar at the annual Spirited Awards (often billed as the Oscars of the bar world) last year. The bar, which overlooks the River Thames, also came in at number two at the 2017 World’s 50 Best Bars awards.
So, naturally, it would be top of the list for Adelaide’s Ollie Margan, director of West End basement bar Maybe Mae, when he visited the English capital in January.
“Their drinks were incredibly unique, utilising ingredients and techniques I had never seen before,” Margan tells Broadsheet.
“The most remarkable aspect, was how approachable the resulting beverage was – I would love people to one day describe our drinks like this.”
Some of the Dandelyan crew will be teaming up with a crop of Australian bars this month. They hit Maybe Mae on August 22. It’s their second collaboration, following Maybe Mae’s Trash Tiki event with Dandelyan founder Iain Griffiths and former head bartender Kelsey Ramage earlier this year.
“They identified us as a bar of similar approach and style, so asked if we would like to team up with them for a one night only menu melding signature serves from their bar and native ingredients,” Margan says.
Maybe Mae relaunched this week with more seating, a new cocktail menu and a central focus on table service. Margan says the revamp will allow drinkers to really embrace the Dandelyan feel.
“Dandelyan is a high volume, full table service bar – much bigger than ours – so having extra tables and seating will allow us to better recreate their experience for our Adelaide locals,” Margan says.
Cocktail shakers will be making six one-off drinks out of Makers Mark, Canadian Club, Auchentoshan and the recently released Roku Gin. They’ll ship over some unique ingredients from London such as “moss distillate” and “rapid-aged falernum”, which they’ll team up with local native ingredients such as samphire, quandong and river mint.
Maybe Mae hosts Dandelyan on Wednesday August 22. The event is not ticketed. Doors will open at 5pm and drinks will be served until 2am.