The verdict on Maybe Sammy’s latest cocktail list

What's the average price of a cocktail here? Is it worth it? Also: the brands with the most listings.

The verdict on Maybe Sammy’s latest cocktail list
The new Maybe Sammy menu. Photo: Boothby

There’s a big week in bars and cocktails ahead this week.

The Maybe Cocktail Festival kicks off this week — tomorrow, in fact — and bartenders across Sydney should be on the lookout for an assortment of jetlagged bartenders from across the world on the search for good drinks. There are bartenders from some of the world’s best bars coming to town for a full week of takeovers and multiple venues across town — you can see the full line up here.

There will be 22 events taking place across the festival, and I’ll be doing my very best to get to them all — it’s a tough gig, but someone has to do it, right? But as you’re likely not quite as mad as to attempt the whole thing, at the bottom of this piece, I’ve got three highlights I think are must visits.

AND IF these international guests are looking for a good drink, Maybe Sammy has released its latest menu: the Grand Maybe Sammy Hotel menu.

Maybe Sammy is the world’s number 15 bar (according The 50 Best Bars list) and changes its menu but once a year — this year’s list comes on the heels of the Mirage menu last year, which I thought represented a significant step up for the bar in terms of concept, ideas, and execution. They’ve always made good drinks here, but before that list was released I tended to drink Martinis and classics at the bar — it’s home to some of the best Martinis I’ve ever had the privilege of gulping. It feels good to drink Martinis here. But last year’s menu upped the deliciousness of the bar’s signature drinks, and that’s a good thing.

The Check In cocktail from the new Maybe Sammy list. Photo: Steve Woodburn/Supplied
The Check In cocktail from the new Maybe Sammy list. Photo: Steven Woodburn/Supplied

This latest menu is has style touches from the Wes Anderson movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and is titled The Grand Maybe Sammy Hotel. It’s more interactive and playful than the Mirage menu, and makes me want to see what an actual Maybe Sammy hotel might be like. (Flamingos, bubbles, and a lot of fun, I imagine.)

Whereas the last menu contained slickly-produced AI artwork and some great design, this year’s menu is more tactile, with a fold out board game design reminiscent of the Monopoly game board. It’s well-produced: nicely printed on thick board, the drinks take the place of Monopoly properties, and are divided into four sections based around the various aspects of a grand hotel stay. It’s well suited to two people looking at it at one time, but I found my head turning upside down to read the other side of the board. (Maybe I should have just turned the menu, but hey, I don’t make life easy for myself.)

Maybe Sammy has long promised the experience of a grand hotel bar without being in an actual hotel — here they bring it directly into the drinks concept.

So I stopped by on its debut night and ploughed through as many of the drinks as time and my body allowed, all to answer the question: Does this new list meet the higher standard set by the previous menu?

Below, I’ll share a rundown of which drinks I think work best, look at which spirits suppliers have picked up the most listings on this new menu, and offer my verdict on their latest list.


The latest Maybe Sammy menu has landed. Video: Boothby

Behind the login wall below, you’ll have:

  • My take on the drinks from the new menu;
  • With some cocktails landing at $30, are the drinks worth the price?
  • Which spirits companies did the best from the new menu?
  • More pretty pictures.