Westholme has partnered with leading Australian bartender Orlando Marzo to create three cocktails inspired by our wagyu.
“People often think of cocktails as an aperitif or digestif but they’re so versatile – there are endless opportunities to drink them as part of a dining experience,” says Orlando, who was named Best Bartender in the World after winning the prestigious Diageo World Class cocktail competition in 2018.
“When I match cocktails with wagyu, I think about the elegant, buttery, rich notes, those signature qualities that wagyu brings to the plate,” says Orlando. “I want to highlight those flavours and bring in other elements with the cocktails.”
Different cuts and preparations allow for diverse cocktail profiles, adjusting flavour, acidity, temperature and even glassware. “When I think about the freshness and minerality of a wagyu tartare, I think of delicate Spritz elements, while for the more concentrated flavours of a charcoal-grilled ribeye, I move towards the rich, intense flavours of a Martinez,” says Orlando.
Matching food and cocktails is always about looking for balance. “You reach a golden point when everything just works,” says Orlando. “The cocktail and the wagyu dish is in symbiosis and all the flavours are dancing together.”
The true victory is finding a diner willing to try something new – and then love it. “The most exciting part of being a bartender is to see someone really happy about a special cocktail you made for them, particularly if it was an unexpected one,” says Orlando. “There’s nothing wrong with a classic red wine match, but I find that element of surprise so rewarding.”
A typical spritz includes bitter Aperol, Prosecco and soda. We’ve retained the bitterness and fizz for our signature Westholme Spritz, and added layers of flavour by making a homemade herbaceous cordial.
This is a refreshing drink that goes down easily. Fragrant mountain marigold brings tropical notes that evoke the Queensland rangelands, while lemon zest adds tart fruitiness. The spritz works beautifully with a wagyu tartare – try this one from Brisbane chef Adam Wolfers and this wagyu tataki from Sydney chef Clayton Wells.
Orlando suggests you drink this without a straw to make it easier to engage with the heady aromas of the spritz.
Mountain marigold and lemon cordial
20g (large handful) mountain marigold (or other herb, such as basil, lemon verbena or mint)
200g (1 cup) sugar
300ml (1.25 cups) water
½ tsp citric acid
50ml (2 oz) Saint Felix Bitter Citrus Aperitivo *
15ml (½ oz) mountain marigold and lemon cordial (recipe below)
100ml (3½ oz) sparkling wine, such as Prosecco
mountain marigold sprig (or other herb), to garnish
Mountain marigold and lemon cordial
When looking for a drink to pair with grilled ribeye, most people would reach naturally for red wine. Our Glentana Highball, named after one of our Westholme stations, is a less conventional match, with dry floral notes which enhance the smooth minerality of our Australian wagyu.
Whisky brings a smokiness which plays with the flavour of the grill, while the citrus notes – from lemon juice and yuzu soda – bring a freshness which amplifies and cuts through the richness of the ribeye. Try this reverse-seared rib-eye recipe from Tim Hollingsworth.
30ml (1 oz) Starward whisky *
15ml (½ oz) Lillet Blanc *
15ml (½ oz) lemon juice
10ml (2 tsp) simple syrup
yuzu soda *
Orlando Marzo’s twist on the Martinez is named after Mitchell grass, an Australian plant that nourishes our herd on the Queensland and Northern Territory rangelands. Our Mitchell Martinez has concentrated fruit flavours which meld beautifully with the roasted, caramelised notes of our wagyu tenderloin or striploin.
The cocktail is stirred with ice then poured into a chilled glass – having a cold drink next to wagyu, rather than room temperature wine, is also part of the experience. The play of heat from the wagyu and cold from the drink allows the melting nature of the wagyu to be experienced anew with each bite.
Try the Martinez with Nina Compton’s seared New York strip.
30ml (1 oz) Saint Felix Wild Forest Gin
30ml (1 oz) Sweet Vermouth
10ml (2 tsp) Palo Cortado Sherry
5ml (1 tsp) Luxardo Maraschino cherry liqueur