Maybe Cocktail Festival gets underway

Some of the best bars in the world are descending on Sydney for the Maybe Cocktail Festival, beginning on 12 April. 

For eight days, 16 international bars, including the likes of Sips, Hanky Panky, A Bar With Shapes for a Name, and BKK Social Club, will be mixing up cocktails in guest shifts of three hours at Maybe Group and Public Hospitality venues. 

Also added to the schedule of international bars is an all-Australian extravaganza hosted at the Lady Hampshire on Monday 17 April, where Melbourne bars Above Board, Byrdi and Caretaker’s Cottage will join Sydneysiders Re, Cantina OK! And PS40. 

Bars & Clubs spoke to Martin Hudak, Co-founder of Maybe Sammy, about why the Maybe Group team had decided to add this event.

“We had always planned on including an event that highlighted a collection of some of Australia’s best bars and we are so happy we could get these six bars together for a night,” Martin said. 

“These six bars have all been featured on The World’s 50 Best Bars or the 51 – 100 list within the last couple of years. It’s also a great opportunity for Sydneysiders and these visiting international bars to get a taste of what our Melbourne mates can do.”

Melbourne and Sydney have long had a coffee culture rivalry, and this will be put to the test at this event, with each bar presenting a coffee cocktail made with Australian liqueur, Mr Black, as Martin explains.

“Each of the six bars will have a 30-minute guest shift each, during which they’ll present a cocktail made with Mr Black. Over the three hours you’ll get to try six coffee-based cocktails, plus experience what happens when you get bartenders all collaborating on an event together – a bit of madness combined with a bit of magic.”

An eye-catching event is the three hour residency of Sips at Maybe Sammy on 14 April. Sips ranked at number three in the World’s 50 Best Bars 2022, also winning the Highest Climber Award. Sips is the highest ranked bar to participate in the festival. 

Sips in Barcelona

Other highlights from the festival includes a guest shift from the owner of Colombian bar Alquimico, Jean Trinh (recently awarded the 2022 Altos Bartenders’ Bartender of the Year), at the Maybe Group’s newly opened El Primo Sanchez venue on 15 April. Alquimico was also ranked as the Best Bar in South America in the World’s 50 Best Bars 2022, with an overall position of tenth in the world. 

Alquimico owner Jean Trinh

Jean will also be one of several international experts hosting a masterclass at Carriageworks on 16 April, alongside: Naren Young, Sweet Liberty; Simone Caporale, Sips; Alex Frezza, L’Antiquario; and Joel Schofield, Schofield’s Bar. Unlike the other events which are first-come first-served, this event must be RSVP’d to through this link

Most of the guest shifts will run for three hours, with four cocktails available. No other drinks can be purchased at this time, and payment will not be taken at the bar, but through a token system. Cocktail tokens are priced at $22, with a discount for purchasing a bundle of four. Each event is first-come, first-served and not reservable. 

A full schedule of events can be found below. See more details through the official festival website here.

Weds 12 April: 

  • 5–8pm // Hosted by Dean & Nancy on 22: BKK Social Club (Bangkok, Thailand) and Jigger & Pony (Singapore) 
  • 8 – 11pm // Hosted by Maybe Sammy: The Bar with Shapes for a Name (London, England) & Bar Nouveau (Paris, France) 

Thurs 13 April:

  • 8 – 11pm // Hosted by Maybe Sammy: L’Antiquario (Naples, Italy) and Drink Kong (Rome, Italy) 

Fri 14 April:

  • 5 – 8pm // Hosted by Maybe Sammy: Sips (Barcelona, Spain) 
  • 8 – 11pm // Hosted by El Primo Sanchez: Hanky Panky (Mexico City, Mexico) 

Sat 15 April:

  • 5 – 8pm // Hosted by El Primo Sanchez: Alquimico (Cartagena, Columbia)
  • 8 – 11pm // Hosted by Maybe Sammy: Tres Monos (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Sun 16 April:

  • 10am – 3pm // Hosted at Carriageworks: Maybe Masterclasses with five international bars
  • 4 – 10pm // Hosted by The Norfolk: Sweet Liberty (Miami, USA) 
  • 9 – late // Hosted by El Primo Sanchez: Café La Trova (Miami, USA)

Mon 17 April:

  • 6 – 9 pm // Hosted by Lady Hampshire : The Best of Australia (Re, PS40, Cantina OK!, Byrdi, Above Board, Caretaker’s Cottage)

Tues 18 April:

  • 3 – 6pm // Hosted by Sammy Junior: Bar Termini (London, England)
  • 5 – 8pm // Hosted by Dean & Nancy on 22: Schofield’s Bar (Manchester, England)
  • 8 – 11pm // Hosted by Maybe Sammy: Line (Athens, Greece)

Weds 19 April:

  • 3 – 6pm // Hosted by Oxford House: Bar Termini (London, England) 
  • 8 – 11pm // Hosted by Maybe Sammy: Nutmeg & Clove (Singapore)
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