Maybe Sammy – A Glamorous Hotel Bar without a Hotel
A glamorous hotel bar without a hotel, this is how the bartenders describe Maybe Sammy. Love at first sight is how I describe it. Entertaining for all the senses: the bar food was excellent, the drinks and the presentation perfect and even my ears were treated well by the live music. Not to mention the great hospitality and the handsome bar team dressed in lovely pale-pink bar jackets with cute tiny flamingo pins.
As soon as you enter the venue, you are blown away by the cosmopolitan, graceful appearance of a Grand Hotel and Bar, which you might find only in Paris, London or New York. At the same time, the bar offers such a cosy and warm atmosphere, which wipes away any fear of intimidation. Relaxed, elegant, best quality served with passion and esprit. I was immediately in love, and here comes another long story of my short bar romances.
A winning concept: Grand Hotel Expertise and Bartending Experience par excellence.
Maybe Sammy is the latest idea from the team behind Sydney’s restaurant Maybe Frank, which won Restaurant Bar of the Year in the Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards 2018. Behind the success are the two owners, Stefano Catino and Vince Lombardo. They are supported by their head bartender, Andrea Gualdi, who has already worked successfully with Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale at the Artesian in London. A concentration of Italian vitality and hospitality.
The idea behind Maybe Sammy was to create a hotel bar without a hotel, a classic cocktail bar with the service of a Grand Hotel.
Great idea and rewarded with various prizes like recently becoming No. 43 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, and the trend is most definitely upwards. Another part of the winning formula is the bar team. Behind the huge marble bar, it’s no less glamorous and you will find renowned faces from the international bar scene. In addition to Gualdi you’ll find, Balasz Molnar, also from Artesian in London, and Martin Hudak, previously based in the American Bar of the Savoy Hotel. Grand hotel expertise and bartending experience par excellence.
Pictures were provided by Maybe Sammy and all rights are owned by Maybe Sammy.
Come closer: Welcome to the fascinating bar world
Maybe Sammy takes inspiration from the roaring fifties, a time when the Rat Pack and Hollywood glamour were revered and admired. Inspired by the Vegas atmosphere of the 1950s, pink velvet covers, pastel colours, golden palms, brass, and pink flamingos support the elegance of the Rat Pack era. The motto of the notorious group of actors and entertainers around Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin is a recurring theme throughout the whole concept. So the cocktail list features drinks named after famous locations on their Vegas strip.
The Menu: Guests can have new and fascinating drink experiences and take those memories with them
During my numerous bar visits in Australia, I have noticed that you order and pay at the counter. Personal contact with the bartender is lost. Of course, the bars I visit are bars with individual advice and a dedicated sense of service. As already mentioned, the drinking culture of customers Down Under is generally not characterised by fine cocktail enjoyment. Like Employees Only, Maybe Sammy has also made its mission to introduce guests to classic drinking with perfect hospitality and witty, entertaining presentations. For the young social media generation, “instagrammable” drinks with a wow factor play an important role.
Surprise moments and playful presentations await you at Maybe Sammy. As a guest you are even involved in the finalisation of your drink.
Particularly impressive was the presentation of the New Frontier cocktail, named after the gambling hall where Elvis Presley had his Vegas debut. It is a combination of Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, fino sherry and green apple. It comes with an inflated bag that will be punctured on arrival to give you a whiff of coffee essence. In the balloon there is a scratchcard offering the chance to win a free coffee.
For those who prefer to drink with less spectacle ample mini-cocktails await. Classic with a modern twist and named after the most famous of the Rat Pack. The Sammy, for example, combines the Australian Never Never Gin, mint, and sweet and dry vermouth. The Australian’s favourite cocktail, the Espresso Martini, has its own “Coffee Cocktails” category. Martin Hudak is not only responsible for the coffee cocktails, but also for the purchase and roasting of the beans. He is also Global Coffee Ambassador of Mr. Black, a Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur from Australia. It’s a bittersweet blend of top-grade Arabica coffees and Australian wheat vodka. Hudak, a former senior bartender at The Savoy and World Champion of Coffee in Good Spirit 2017, has been successfully bridging the gap between the coffee and spirit communities for many years now. But that is another story. In addition to the excellent drinks, Maybe Sammy Barfood offers classic bar food and regular live music.
What I had that need besides an unforgettable experience
I especially liked the mini-cocktails based on classics. The Dean, for example, is a time-adapted version of a Roulette cocktail. As I am a big fan of coffee cocktails I was very pleased with the New Frontier. The Sammy Shakerato made with coffee, Campari and Limoncello, was refreshing. I have to admit, I had a couple of drinks there. For instance, The Horseshoe, made with Cognac, Mr. Black Amaro (a bitter liqueur that blends Italian and Australian drinking cultures), Dry vermouth, Apricot and Almond washed, suited me down to the ground.
From aperitif to rotovap and from diva to dive bars, all characters are represented in Australia. Globalisation and social media have brought us closer together. Thanks to relaxing of regulations, international concepts such as Scout, Employees Only and Maybe Sammy have come to Australia and have promoted the growth of the bar scene. A nice development and definitely worth the trip.
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