Assistant Venue Manager, Sunset Sabi


Ruby, welcome to Good People, the first of many, so let’s get started. How did you get here today? I woke up, made myself a coffee and I read the rest of my pippette magazine. Is this a routine that you usually have? Um, yes, I think so. Having very hectic evenings means that I like to have a very tranquil morning, which involves a lot of drinking coffee and reading.


You’ve just started a new role with us, congratulations! Thank you.


What was the shift in your mindset to discover that you had a viable career opportunity in hospitality and it was an industry you felt you wanted to be a part of and have a career in? I think the more I immersed myself into the culture around hospitality – the publications that exist, social media, looking at all these different people that I was always inspired by – I came to the realisation that they actually do this as a career. I realised there is this whole other world to hospitality that’s not just service. I have been given the opportunity to learn new things without have to transplant myself somewhere else and I can transfer all the energy and enthusiasm that I have towards learning and adapting to exciting change.

What’s inspiring you at the moment? My collection of random wine magazines! Wine is something that I’ve always loved, but on a more of I enjoyed drinking it level. Now I’m really taking note of what I’m drinking and trying to expand my own knowledge by reading all of the magazines and blogs. It’s been really cool to learn about the makers, the different wine making processes and how it’s reflected in the wine, and of course, drinking it! I recently read an article about the Pacina makers, I was so excited when I saw it on a menu and wanted to try this wine that I had read all about and only imagined how it would taste. I’m inspired by the people whose whole livelihoods are behind a single product. It’s not just a bottle of wine. It’s generations of families and dedication to winemaking. It all culminates in the bottle of wine that we get to enjoy with good food and good company.


Speaking of good food, have you been anywhere good recently? I dined at Palazzo Salato, which was wonderful. Trying the, Village Pacina (2018 Pacina ‘Villa Pacina’ Sangiovese), was so fantastic… A wine that strongly stands out is the Réva Barbera D’Alba DOC 2018 that Ryan got me for my birthday, I cannot find it anywhere online. I sat down to have one glass and may have accidentally had 3, it was so good! It was one of those wine experiences that made me contemplate why I loved it and I wanted to know more about it, you know? I’m trying to be more mindful when I’m consuming things and appreciate it more rather than just liking or not liking it.


What’s on your wish list? I was reading about a champagne producer that does minimal intervention they’re like $200 a bottle and they sell out immediately. He makes two different types, and only 16,000 bottles a year, it’s called Closerie, I think, that would be sick. And also an Acne Studios, wool scarf.

I also want to talk about your recent win in our Good Good Company x Four Pillars Cocktail Comp. Can you share the inspiration behind your cocktail and how it all came to be? and of course, your journey down to Four Pillars in Healesville. That was a very cool competition to begin with, I don’t usually work in the bar but was excited about the idea of being involved. I played around with lots of different things at first but there was nothing I was particularly proud of. The cocktail had to be inspired by nostalgia and use Four Pillars gin, it became very obvious to me that I should do something based on my Croatian heritage and my grandparents – the foundation of all my food and drink interests and a huge part of my life. I’m very lucky that I have spent a lot of time with my grandparents in their village, which happens to be covered with olive trees. Using the olive leaf gin just made sense. And I wanted to make a martini that felt comforting and soft, whilst not as intense and aggressively alcoholic tasting as some martinis can be. So I made a mylk-based martini which sounds gross but it made sense. I’ve shared the recipe below, treat yourself!


What’s next for you? I think getting a good grip of my new role. There’s a lot of things that are very new, and then there’s things that have been very autopilot for me but I’m trying to be more conscious of this and making the effort to relearn things. I’m working on figuring out how I can do my role to the best of my abilities and everything is a learning curve, every day now is something totally new and just keeping up with that.


What is your pre-work hype up routine and what are you listening to at the moment? Funny you ask that, I listen to the Rihanna Superbowl audio, it’s on SoundCloud. I listen to that from start to finish as I’m usually running to work because I’ve lost all sense of time now that I live so close. Also, drinking a lot of caffeine. But diversifying my caffeine. It used to be coffee, coffee, coffee, but now it’s coffee, coffee, matcha.


Well, thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with me today. Thank you. Come talk all things vino with Ruby at Sunset Sabi or try her Village Martini recipe at home.

Village Martini

45ml Four Pillars olive leaf gin
20 ml lemon myrtle walnut mylk
20 ml walnut washed vermouth


Method (makes 5ish – I am very bad at maths)


To make the walnut myrtle mylk:

1 cups of walnuts
1 cups of hot water
2 tablespoons dried lemon myrtle

Soak walnuts in hot water for minimum 30 minutes.
Blend walnuts in their water then strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.
Add lemon myrtle and soak in the fridge overnight and strain in the morning.


To make the vermouth:

1/3 cup walnut oil
100mls white vermouth (i used cinzano)

Add oil to vermouth in a container and leave to infuse for around 4 hours.
Place in the freezer and freeze overnight.
Pour mix into a piping bag, twist into cone shape and leave to chill in the fridge so fat and liquid separate.
Pin prick the edge of the bag and allow just the liquid to escape – you may need to re-chill if the fat starts mixing in too much.


For the cocktail:

Add all ingredients to a shaker, shake with ice then double strain into a super cold martini or any stemmed cocktail glass.
Garnish with any mediterranean herb (I used fresh oregano sprigs).