After several teasers on social media spanning a few weeks, “Maybe Frank Chapter 2” is launching today.
Maybe Frank opened a little over a year ago in Surry Hills, and aside from their delicious pizzas and pastas that bring you back for more, the venue has one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney. And yes, it’s inside a pizza restaurant.
Maybe Frank Chapter 2 takes the cocktail list to the next level, the result of weeks of planning, rigorous testing and tasting by head bartender, Andrea Gualdi. He is the man behind the iconic Sophia cocktail (a kiss from the most beautiful woman) along with other tasty libations such as the Gourmaybe Baby. You can read our interview with Andrea Gualdi here.
Gualdi’s previous experience includes Palmer & Co in Sydney and Artesian in London alongside industry legends Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale. If you ask yourself would a bartender of his calibre be teased about working in a pizzeria, he has just the answer: a creative new cocktail menu shaped like a pizza.
Maybe Frank Cocktail Menu
The menu is divided into 8 slices with 7 cocktails and you dial the wheel to make your selection. For each drink, there’s a word or two to describe the “feeling” and a drawing of the vessel it is served in. If you’re expecting it to be heavy in Italian spirits and amari, the cocktails feature various spirits such as gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, pisco and tequila along with creative takes and fun elements.
Maybe Frank Chapter 2 takes a light summer approach to drinking. All cocktails are priced at $18 and feature cool and refreshing libations that take you through from the afternoon until after dinner.
Tindarella with Matcha Shaker
Tindarella is dedicated to the Eastern Suburbs girl who’s into fresh juices, tea and healthy drinks. The name is a play on Tinder and Cinderella, in that every time she swipes, it’s a match. Naturally, the feeling is “It’s a matcha” and the image of the drink shows a highball with the Tinder flame.
Tindarella is made with Calle 23 reposado tequila, pineapple juice, coconut milk, coconut syrup and fresh lime juice. Matcha green tea powder is added to a Matcha shaker with the right dilution, shaken and served at the table. As you would expect from the name, the drink is very refreshing, a little on the fruity side and balanced with acidity. It also delivers a good tequila kick. The matcha tea gives the drink a little texture and an aftertaste that cuts through some of the sweetness. Just remember to swipe right on the cocktail menu card.
Oversea Lover (not a typo, just say it with your best Italian accent) is a celebration of Australia and a tribute to the people who have lived in the country for a short time but could not stay permanently. The drink plays with South American, Central American and Australian elements and delivers the most outstanding drink of Maybe Frank Chapter 2.
Encanto Pisco is stirred with Noilly Prat and Peychaud’s bitters and served in a handmade cup from South America. The cocktail is finished with a mist of vanilla, chamomile, orange blossom, rose and cedarwood and garnished with chamomile flowers.
Sipping the drink feels like a ritual. You take the cup with both hands, bring it to the lips and enjoy the soothing aromas from the spray mist before taking a sip. The Martini style drink combines delicate flavours of chamomile and a hint of pepper in the background. The initial notes of orange blossom and rose pave the way for the earthiness of the cedarwood which intensifies beautifully towards the end. Oversea Lover is a strong contender for the Sophia cocktail we mentioned earlier. The feeling is aptly described as “Loosen Up”.
Prosciutto e Melone
Prosciutto e Melone takes the traditional old school summer dish of Parma ham and rock melon and turns it into a cocktail. The gin-based drink has Martini Ambrato vermouth, triple sec, Suze, fresh rock melon juice, honey, lime, Angostura bitters and coriander leaves.
The ingredients are blitzed to release the flavours of the coriander, the drink is thrown to retain the texture, and served in a tall coupette with Parma ham chips and rock melon pickled in hibiscus. You eat a piece of proscuitto with the pickled melon then take a sip. It’s incredibly refreshing, vibrant and lingers with rock melon flavour. The feeling is “Summer Fresh” but we think it should have been called “Nailed It”.
The Dixon is a bottled cocktail and Andrea Gualdi’s winning entry in the World Class cocktail competition. Inspired by a sense of occasion and the mood of Chinese New Year, the drink celebrates the connection between east and west in Australia and is named after Dixon Street in Sydney’s Chinatown.
The cocktail is based in the structure of the Vieux Carré with a mixture of Bulleit Rye, sweet vermouth, Grand Marnier, Becherovka herbal liqueur infused with lapsang souchong tea for two hours. Poured over a large hand-chiselled ice cube at the table, it is served in an odd collection of tea cups with the bottle so pour it yourself like tea.
The feeling is “Smokey” and this is exactly what you get. The rye whiskey flavour is not too dominant, cut by the sweetness of Grand Marnier while the Becherovka gives it a hint of spice and cinnamon. If you enjoy smokey flavours in cocktails, this is the one to order. Delicious till the last drop.
The Best Sellery
The Best Sellery also takes the green and healthy approach to drinking. The vodka-based drink is built in a glass with fresh lemon juice, cold pressed celery juice, agave, green apple juice and grapefruit soda. Served tall over ice, shaved celery and cubed green apple are used as garnish inside the drink to give it texture.
Imagine long hot summer afternoons and evenings, sitting at the bar at aperitivo hour sipping a bright and refreshing drink with vibrant flavours. The feeling is certainly “Healthy” and you might find yourself having a few, all in the name of good health, of course.
Artifizz has a feeling of “Deceptive” with a cloud drawn on top of the glass which evokes a sense of curiosity. Inspired by mothers who fabricate stories for their children to encourage them to eat, the aim of the drink is to create flavours that don’t exist. In this case, “fake guava” is constructed from pear and strawberries combined with white rum, fresh lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and egg white in a blender. The drink is served straight up with a touch of ginger beer and garnished with a piece of torched rice paper transformed into a cloud. A rock made of chocolate completes the garnish. To finish, the drink is sprayed with a mist of chocolate bitters and soy sauce. You eat the chocolate, a piece of the rice paper then sip the drink.
There’s lot happening with the flavour. The rum and fake guava play well together then fade away as the chocolate and soy take over. Deceptive and whimsical, it’s a drink that tells a story.
Slushie of the Day
If all this sounds a little bit too serious, “get slushed” with You Make Me Slush. The slushy cocktail changes monthly and first up is a twist on Granita Siciliana with Disaronno, Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur, vanilla, espresso topped with whipped cream. You get the nuttiness from Disaronno upfront followed by a good hit of coffee. Use the spoon to scoop the slushy from the bottom and get some of that delicious whipped cream. Espresso Martini, eat your heart out.
The Slushy of the Day brings a fun element into the enjoyment of cocktails. “Slushy drinks tends not to be taken seriously,” Andrea explains. “But if approached the right way, they can reduce wastage and have consistency”. The message echoes that of Alex Kratena during his recent visit to Sydney, “It’s about what you put into it.”
Maybe Frank Chapter 2 celebrates the craft of the cocktail and combines fine techniques into fun, sessionable and some complex drinks that means there is only one thing you can say… #ehlamadonna!
417-421 Bourke St, Surry Hills 2010
Ph 02 9358 3560
Photography © by Corinne Mossati for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.
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