Andrea Gualdi, head bartender at Maybe Frank, took out the bottled cocktail challenge at this year’s World Class Australian competition. It was the Dixon he won for: a blend of Bulleit Bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters and Chinese pine-smoked tea.
For this challenge, entrants were judged on the taste, technique and presentation of their cocktail. They were also judged on the story behind it. In the same way the Vieux Carré cocktail was named after the eponymous area of New Orleans, Gualdi’s Dixon is named for Dixon Street in the heart of Sydney’s Chinatown.
The Dixon is inspired by the connection between east and western cultures in Australia – a beautiful, multicultural harmony. At the World Class competition, Italian-born Gualdi presented his cocktail in a cup made from two types of porcelain: English and Chinese. Each half was painted in its own style, too. The bottle he poured it from had a painted Chinese plum tree, but rather than blossoms, the tree bore native Australian flowers.
Ryan Chetiyawardana, from London bar White Lyan, was on the judging panel. White Lyan only stocks ready-to-drink cocktails, so if he was impressed enough by Gualdi to award him first prize, you know the cocktail must be good.
You can try Gualdi’s Dixon at Maybe Frank during World Class Cocktail Week. If you can’t wait that long, try making it for yourself at home.
Approximately 1.7 standard drinks.
40 ml Bulleit Bourbon
20 ml Sweet Vermouth
10 ml Cognac-based orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
5 ml herbal liqueur from Czech Republic (Becherovka)*
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters**
1 tsp Lapsang souchong tealeaves
Combine all the ingredients except for the tealeaves in a non-reactive container (like glass or stainless-steel). Stir well, then add the tealeaves and allow to infuse for two hours.
Strain the drink through a fine sieve into a bottle, discarding the tealeaves. When ready to serve, pour the bottled cocktail into a frozen glass and garnish with a handcrafted ice chunk.
*If you can’t find Becherovka, any herbal liqueur or Amaro will do.
**If you can’t find Peychaud's bitters, substitute one dash of Angostura bitters.
This article is presented in partnership with World Class.