Max Greco is the impresario behind the rock and roll inspired small bar known as Vasco in Surry Hills. Max has thrown everything that inspires and delights him into the melting pot that is this happening small bar. Great drinks with attention to detail found only in high-‐end bars, rock tunes and an Italian kitchen serving up the favourites, just like his mamma makes. He’s the face of the Ketel One vodka ‘This One’s Mine’ campaign and he’s all over town.
Max recently worked with Ketel One to produce his unique take on the classic Bloody Mary. We at TVG have a very soft spot for a good bloody mary, and as Max describes, it’s all about getting those flavours right – something he’s been perfecting for years. Read on as Max describes his drink and how it came to fruition.
Tell us about the drink you’ve created for Ketel One vodka…
Ketel One vodka asked me to make a drink that reflects my bar and myself. Vasco is my second home and it’s an extension of me, so naturally, I opted for an Italian style Bloody Mary. It’s a variation on a traditional Bloody Mary – it’s Italian style. I’ve named the drink the ‘Lucy Maria’ after my mother. She gave me the inspiration to use her top secret tomato passata as the base of the drink. It’s my drink, both technically and on a personal level.
It must be good having your mum in the kitchen…
I love having my mum around. She came to visit me recently for a couple of months. She hadn’t seen the bar and I hadn’t seen her in a long time so it was good to have her here. She helped out in the kitchen and tried to teach Italian to everyone. She doesn’t speak any English – she doesn’t even say yes, she insists on saying ‘si’ to everyone!
What makes an awesome Bloody Mary?
A Bloody Mary isn’t difficult to make, but the tomato base is the most important thing. There is no quality tomato juice here in Australia – they all have too much sugar and too many preservatives. You need to create your own tomato sauce. To make a great tomato sauce, balance is crucial. You need to find the right balance between spice, citrus and sweetness, sharpness and sourness. Then, if you use quality vodka like Ketel One, the flavour doesn’t affect the balance of the rest of the ingredients.
You can find Max behind the bar most nights at Vasco. Pop in and try a Lucy Maria, stay for the good vibes and great tunes.