Co-owner of Maybe Sammy in Sydney’s The Rocks precinct and lauded as one of Australia’s best bartenders, Andrea Gualdi takes inspiration from his Italian heritage to champion the balanced and complex bittersweet taste of Italy’s number 1 premium Amaro: Amaro Montenegro.
Can you tell us a little about Amaro Montenegro and the inspiration behind your cocktail?
As Montenegro is one of the most iconic Italian amaros, I took inspiration from one of the most iconic Italian cocktails for my drink, the Negroni. At Maybe Sammy, we love our mini cocktails. Here is one of those using a mix of Italian products including Select Aperitivo, the key ingredient of the Original Venetian Spritz and one of my favourites just to add an extra kick to the drink, a touch of mezcal.
Describe the moment Maybe Sammy won Best New International Cocktail Bar at TOTC Spirited Awards.
It was insane. When you hear your name in such a huge competition like this, you get an injection of adrenaline I struggle to describe. We’re still over-excited about it.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I would place as a highlight of my career my first steps into Artesian Bar in London as it was the best school I could have ever asked for. The opening of Maybe Frank is another and the friends I made there. Diageo’s World Class opened many doors for me and pushed me to grow as a person and a professional. Now it is the opening of Maybe Sammy, those four are the moments I am most proud of in my career.
When you’re not working behind the bar, how do you enjoy your time off?
When I’m not working, I love spending time home cooking or going for a run in this amazing city or enjoy some wine and walk along the beaches. I think, as a hospitality worker, it is important to push yourself to do something that is not bar-related in your free time.
25ml Amaro Montenegro
25ml Select Aperitivo
10ml Cedarwood syrup
2 x Dash Peychaud’s Bitters
25ml Purified chilled water
Method: Combine all ingredient into a bottle and store in the fridge. Pour chilled when ready to serve
Glassware: Mini coupette