Since Bodie Schofield and Daniel Rodriquez took over Woolloongabba venue, Canvas, in 2013, they’ve turned the cocktail and wine bar into a favourite local haunt. Alongside a menu of Spanish-inspired cuisine, Canvas’ seasonal cocktail list features sophisticated classics alongside in-house inventions.

About a year ago, one of Canvas’ regular customers came in with a strange request, even by their standards. She wanted a drink that tasted exactly like a cheesecake.

The bar staff played around and came up with the Penny Big Bang: a mix of Ketel One vodka, raspberry, lemon and mascarpone, garnished with cookie crumbs. It’s undergone a few tweaks since its inception, but has quickly become one of Canvas’ most popular drinks.

“She’s one of our biggest sellers,” says World Class Top 100 bartender Tristan Green. “The perfect drink for the afternoon, or after dinner – either with or for dessert.”

Like all the cocktails on the list at Canvas, its name is a pop-culture reference – in this case, The Big Bang Theory. One of the main characters on the show, Penny, works as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant. Because the drink tastes like a cheesecake, it follows that the drink became Penny’s Big Bang.

“We like to keep things fun with our names,” says Green. “But even though the drink tastes like a cheesecake, it’s not sickly sweet. The hit from the citrus keeps it clean. It’s not overpowering.”

Penny’s Big Bang
Serves one. Approximately 2 standard drinks.

Ingredients
60ml Ketel One vodka
20ml fresh lemon juice
30ml sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
1 tsp mascarpone
1 tsp lemon curd
3 fresh raspberries
Ice
1 cookie, crushed
Edible flowers, to garnish

Method
Add all the ingredients except for the cookie and flowers into a cocktail shaker. Shake hard. Strain into a brandy balloon glass, and garnish with cookie crumbs and edible flowers.

This article is presented in partnership with World Class.