Andrea Gualdi is no stranger to accolades. The Italian native was named Australia’s best bartender in 2017, and his new cocktail bar, Sydney’s Maybe Sammy, was the only Australian venue included on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, released in early October. Named in honour of Sammy Davis Jr, Maybe Sammy debuted at number 43 on the list and was also named the Best Bar in Australasia.
“It’s been a very lucky year for us,” says Gualdi. “It’s a very cool achievement – it gave us a big boost.” The accomplishment is all the more impressive when you consider that Maybe Sammy – a Vegas-inspired throwback from the team behind local pizza joints Maybe Frank – has only been open since January.
Gualdi, who is both co-owner and head bartender at Maybe Sammy, jumped at the challenge of creating a cocktail using Seedlip’s non-alcoholic spirits. His bar already has three or four Seedlip creations on the menu at any given time, including a bubbly non-alcoholic take on the Martini.
For the contest, though, Gualdi came up with an entirely new drink. Named after the Italian for “bye bye baby” the Ciao Ciao Bambina leans into the Jamaican allspice berries, cardamom, citrus-peel finish and other botanicals of Seedlip’s Spice 94. Then comes equal parts house-roasted coffee and fresh pink grapefruit juice, topped with Strangelove salted grapefruit tonic. It’s garnished with a slice of pink grapefruit.
“It’s an unusual combination of citrus and coffee,” says Gualdi, comparing it to the classic Mexican tequila-and-grapefruit cocktail the Paloma. “You have two kinds of notes: the high, very fresh note of the grapefruit and the grapefruit soda, but also the heavy and complex coffee component. So it brings the flavours in two layers.”
The coffee in the drink is personally sourced from a coffee farmer in Costa Rica, then roasted by the Maybe Sammy team in Alexandria before it’s brought into the bar for use in all of its coffee cocktails.
As for the Seedlip Spice 94, it replaces the traditional alcohol component so well that you would never miss the booze. “It’s much easier, usually, to make cocktails with spirits, because they give you extra flavours,” says Gualdi. “But with Seedlip, you actually have all the taste you would find in a spirit, which is very unusual for a non-alcoholic drink. And the bubbles in the grapefruit soda really bring out a lot of those aromatics in the nose.”
Gualdi says that these low- and no-alcohol cocktails have become increasingly popular. “People want to go out and have fun, but sometimes they don’t go out because they can’t find interesting options for non-alcoholic drinks,” he says. “More and more people are more conscious about what they’re putting in their body. Just as a good dish doesn’t need to contain meat, a good drink doesn’t need to contain alcohol.”
Ciao Ciao Bambina
Makes 1 serving.
30ml Seedlip Spice 94
30ml pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
Strangelove salted grapefruit tonic to top
In a mixing glass, combine pink grapefruit juice, coffee and Seedlip Spice 94.
Pour into glass with ice. Top with salted grapefruit tonic. Garnish with a slice of fresh pink grapefruit.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Seedlip.