Brisbane bar Savile Row is known for its impressive spirits selection, late night service and well-honed cocktailing chops; it's also the bar that bartender Andie Bulley has called home ever since moving from Townsville a couple years ago.
She's also one of 10 finalists to make it through to the final round of the Australian leg of the 2022 Patrón Perfectionists cocktail competition. Her drink is called Koumala, and it brings together two distinct strands in one delicious vessel: agave, from the farmlands of Jalisco in the form of Patrón Silver, and banana, inspired by the crops they grow on Bulley's family farm in the Queensland town of Koumala.
Below, lightly edited and condensed for clarity, Bulley talks about the inspiration behind the drink, how she goes about creating new recipes (spoiler: it includes a heavy reliance on her phone's Notes app), and shares the specs for Koumala and how she makes its banana wine cordial.
Sam Bygrave: Andie, can you tell us where you work and about your Patrón Perfectionists cocktail?
Andie Bulley: I work at Savile Row in Fortitude Valley Brisbane. So my cocktail is called Koumala, which is named after the town in which my family’s farm is in. And basically, the inspiration for my drink kind of focuses on that kind of juxtaposition of my home farm and Jalisco and combining those two key agricultural outputs. So for Jalisco, it’s the agave and I’ve taken Patrón and I’ve paired it with something that we worked really hard on, and that’s the banana.
How are you doing that with the banana? How’s that going into the drink?
So I’ve decided because banana is quite porous, I tried freezing it, I actually had a little bit of trouble trying to figure out how to put it into a cocktail. But I had made a banana wine cordial before, so I thought I might try it that way. And it’s obviously really simple: it’s just banana, a little bit of wine and some sugar and then some acid.
That sounds delicious.
When it comes to creating a drink, how do you go about approaching the whole process? And how do you go about incorporating an ingredient like Patrón Silver?
Honestly, I have an entire Notes app just full of — you know, I go about my day, and if I think of something, I just write it down. And so when it comes to competition time, I quite literally just go through my app and look at that brand ethos. And I go through every idea and think [about] what pairs best with a distillery like Patrón.
Why do you love bartending, why do you like going to work?
You know, my parents have always been in hospitality. They’ve owned multiple businesses. And I’ve always really liked caring for people and making people’s night — that’s always been something that I’ve just really enjoyed. And any time that I can put my voice to, or do anything to improve another person’s night out, that’s just something that, you know, I love it and I’ll do it till the day I die.
- 50ml PATRÓN Silver Tequila
- 10ml Punt e Mes
- 20ml pineapple juice
- 20ml lime juice
- 30ml banana wine cordial
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strained into a tall glass over ice.
For the banana wine cordial:
Add 400ml diluted agave (80% agave, 20% water), 500ml banana in syrup, 250ml Sauvignon Blanc and 1.5g of citric acid, .5g malic acid. Blend and strain through cheesecloth.
For the spiced banana meringue garnish:
4 eggs, tbsp agave, 5g banana powder 2.5g cinnamon 200g sugar.
Whisk whites until soft peaks form, then add in the sugar, a pinch of salt and a tbsp of agave.
Whisk on high for five minutes until you can no longer feel any grains of sugar in the egg white mixture. Add cinnamon and banana powder and mix.
Line baking trays with silpats and smooth your meringue onto the silpats thinly. Bake in an oven at 175 F for 1.5-2 hours. Once meringue has cooled, break up into shards.
Recipe by Andie Bulley, Brisbane.