Cocktail connoisseurs don’t need to travel interstate to taste Melbourne’s best. That city’s best is coming to Adelaide.
Bartenders Nathan Beasley and Matthew Stirling from acclaimed Fitzroy bar Black Pearl are special guests at an intimate one-night-only event at clandestine haunt Maybe Mae on April 12. It's a big deal. Black Pearl claimed the title of Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar at the 2015 Tales of the Cocktails Spirited Awards.
“The Black Pearl is an institution as far as the Australian bar scene is concerned,” says Maybe Mae co-owner and venue manager, Ollie Margan. “They bred many of the nation’s top bartenders and some of the best in the world.” The idea for the bar’s visit to Adelaide came about while Beasley, who is originally from Adelaide, Margan and business partner Joseph Wilkinson [from Proof] caught up at the football during a trip to Melbourne.
“Nathan floated the idea of ‘getting the band back together’ and we worked out that Maybe Mae would be a really good platform,” Margan says. “We decided to do one night to combat the Fringe effect that some permanent venues cop.”
The all-inclusive, ticketed event includes a set cocktail menu and an eight-course spread by Bread & Bone upstairs. Margan won't say anything about the drinks, though.
“We’re keeping that under wraps, but Black Pearl is very traditional,” he says. “Their drinks program relies a lot on classic composition and ours relies a lot on seasonal produce. While the menu is cohesive there’s certainly a difference in our drink styles.”
The event, which is split into two sittings, one at 6pm and one at 9pm, is in collaboration with Diageo and Man of Spirit’s Mark Reginato.
“There’s not a single seat in the venue where you can’t see the bar,” Mangan says. “It’ll be table service, all seated, and drinks will be delivered and explained as they come out.”
The guest bartenders will be on hand to explain their concoctions. “They’re very personable people and Black Pearl is famous for its level of service, so there will be plenty of chat, that’s for sure.”
Maybe Mae x Black Pearl will take place on Tuesday April 12. Tickets are $85 per person, all-inclusive. Sittings are at 6pm and 9pm. Tickets are available here using the password "maybemae", and over the bar.