Eco-friendly mixology lands at the newly-opened Cardea

August 9, 2023
By Rachel White
Carsea’s moody, speakeasy-inspired interiors will transport diners partaking in Bekarian and Maiuri’s ‘Ways of the Wold’ menu

Named for the Roman Goddess who prevented evil spirits from crossing thresholds, Cardea is hidden away in Sydney’s Barangaroo, where guests will drink and dine in the safe hands of Master Mixologist George Bekarian and Executive Chef Pier Davide Maiuri.

Vintage furniture, luxurious velvet interiors and private booths give Cardea a clandestine ambience that Bekarian and Maiuri hope will transport guests partaking in their ‘Ways of the Wold’ menu, which pairs cocktails together with food inspired by cuisines from around the world.

Speaking to Drinks Trade, Bekarian said the idea of the carefully crafted menu is to match the taste palate of the cocktails with the food, something he said was intriguing to create and something he’s very proud of. 

The Mrs Dorothy, a journey through the enchanting landscape of grapes, elderflowers, and aloe vera

“Collaborating with Executive Chef Pier Davide has been an amazing experience. We’ve been able to work together seamlessly in an effort to craft our new ‘Ways of the World’ menu – it’s such a fun way to experience global cuisine and a great reflection of mine and Pier Davide’s international experience of food and drinks,” he said. 

Bekarian is an award-winning mixologist who started working in the bar industry at a young age. He’s a member of the Armenian and International Bartenders Association and said winning the cocktail of the season for BecherovkaMagazine in 2021 was a recent career highlight. 

“At Cardea, our aim is to be as sustainable as possible. Eco-friendly mixology involves making drinks and cocktails that are more aligned with nature – it’s about conserving natural resources so that we protect our planet and its future. 

“There are so many little things we can do to be as close to zero waste as we can – infusions are a great example of this. Instead of throwing away extra unused garnishes, I infuse them into syrups or spirits that can be utilised for cocktails,” he said. 

With a drinks menu full of tantalising tastes and intoxicating aromas, it’s inspiring to see a venue hold firm to its eco-friendly ethos without compromising the dining experience. Mirroring the well-known farm-to-table approach, Cardea’s field-to-glass philosophy is a holistic approach to mixology that ensures top-quality ingredients.

The Peruvian-inspired Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche

“I’m proud to lead the charge in being a part of Cardea’s eco-friendly ethos and hope that more venues will follow in our footsteps to a more sustainable approach to mixology.

“Our field-to-glass is a holistic approach to mixology that mirrors the farm-to-table concept. The produce we use, for example, the basil, mint and edible flowers, all come from our own in-house vertical farm that we grow onsite. 

“This ensures our produce is both fresh and sustainable to make the perfect cocktails and has been a great way to implement our eco-friendly principles into the bar,” he said.  

From the aromatic herbs of the Mediterranean to the exotic spices of Asia, the menu at Cardea reflects the team’s shared passion for innovation and cultural exploration, exemplified by hero dished, including Peruvian-inspired Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche, Moroccan Style Swordfish and the Australian-inspired Potato Mille-Feuille. 

Paired hero cocktails include Bekarian’s Truffle Maker, a truffle-infused vodka blend infused with guava and Mrs Dorothy, a journey through the enchanting landscape of grapes, elderflowers, and aloe vera.

“I’m always learning, so I want to continue to develop my skill set by creating cocktails that have unique and unrivalled flavours with a story behind them.

“I want to continue to follow the path of eco-friendly mixology and implementing practices that work in harmony with nature while encouraging other venues to do the same, as I believe this is the way of the future. I’m looking forward to furthering my expertise in the industry and being part of the fantastic Bartending community here in Australia,” concludes Bekarian. 

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