° MEET °
Patrick Tully, General Manager at Christopher Hanna, Sydney complicate things and stick to what they do well. If anything, the venues that do specialise in a very specific style of cocktail are limiting their audience to those who prioritise that style of drink.
beautiful drinks, we all just need to remember that we are also creating something intended for consumption. DW: Do you think the consumer drive towards venues that serve these highly stylised drinks may impact the business of local or small bars that don’t have the capacity or expertise to be serving drinks of this nature? JW: No, not at all. The small, local bars that are making good drinks and providing good service will always do well no matter the popularity and stress placed on ‘Instagramable’ drinks. PT: Not really. Some people want to drink lavish, stylish drinks and others are more focused on simple, quality cocktails. Some people don’t care either way and just want to enjoy a tall frosty one in good company. I think there will always be room for venues that don’t over
DW: What are some foolproof tips to creating a drink that tastes great but also has visual appeal? JW: It’s always good to keep it simple. A nice clean looking drink with a neat, pretty garnish will work wonders. For example, serving a drink with a simple, little edible flower always gets a good reaction. If a drink is on crushed ice, you can’t go wrong with a good mint sprig and piece of fruit. Also, if the drink doesn’t need a garnish then don’t garnish it! PT: I truly think the best drinks are the simplest ones. Look at the daiquiri, for example. Keep your ingredient list short – less than six. The presentation should always tie into the story of the drink and never be unnecessary. For example, there is absolutely no reason to garnish a daiquiri with a lime wheel. It is perfect just the way it is. Sours are always an effective canvas for creative presentation. Stencilled images, dehydrated fruit, especially citrus always looks good.
DW: Have you ever taken it too far in the pursuit of a beautiful cocktail and created a drink where the taste was negatively impacted? JW: Absolutely not. I take pride in creating equally delicious and visually appealing drinks. PT: I never put it on a menu, but I have spent years toying with a colour changing cocktail. It is based around using certain naturally occurring pH indicators, in my case extracted from red cabbage, and then modifying the acidity. No matter how perfect I got it to look (and it does look amazing!), there was no getting away from the fact that it tasted like Berroca and cabbage. DW: Bringing it back to basics, if you had to choose between a visually stunning drink and a basic drink with great taste, what would you choose? JW: Tasty drink, any day of the week. The customer doesn’t buy the drink to look at it. If it doesn’t taste good, they’ve wasted their money. PT: As my old music teacher once taught me, it’s better to play ‘Three Blind Mice’ really, really well than it is to fumble your way through Bach. Simple and delicious any day of the week.