Coffee Goes Craft: Part two

In our May/June Issue, Fred Siggins looked at how Aussie bartenders are updating the espresso martini. Last week we published part one of the feature – so here’s part two.


Tim Phillips of Sydney’s Dead Ringer is famous for mixing simple, razor sharp cocktails designed to highlight carefully selected ingredients. For his Obligatory cocktail, he opts for a South American single origin cold drip.

“We generally stay away from the more caramel/citrusy African styles of single origin,” he says. “Colombian is fruity and chocolaty; an ideal paring for Don Julio Anejo tequila and the fruit and bitterness of Punt e Mes. We use cold drip (not cold brew) as it’s more concentrated but without the bitterness of an espresso. The bitterness all comes from the Punt e Mes, and we add sweetness with smoked maple syrup.”

Local is in, too. For the recent 25th anniversary of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival, I created a signature cocktail to show off what my city has to offer, using only locally made ingredients for my riff on the espresso martini, combining Starward single malt, Melbourne Moonshine Cascara (coffee berry) Liqueur, Melbourne Rooftop Honey infused with wattleseed and locally roasted cold brew by Little Drippa.

Others are taking a more lo-fi approach, like the crew at Seymour’s in Brisbane bringing the Irish Coffee back to its rightful place among cocktail royalty with a big ‘ole jug of American diner-style drip coffee.

Yao Wong at The Elysian, Melbourne’s new rare bottling whisky bar, has gone campsite couture, combining instant coffee (blend 43 of course) with Milo powder, condensed milk and Glenfiddich for a silly, delicious and wildly popular take on the coffee-based cocktail.


We’re currently experiencing an incredible mind expansion within the Australian food and drink industry, as an air of collaboration and experimentation exists among bartenders, chefs, baristas, winemakers, growers, brewers and distillers.

Coffee is an integral part of the trend as roasters and baristas share their knowledge with the rest of the industry and find ways to bring their craft to bear on everything from whisky barrel aged beans to coffee-infused micro-brews.

There’s a huge world of flavours to be explored, and an immense wealth of knowledge to tap into here in one of the world’s great coffee loving nations, so next time someone asks you for an espresso martini, feel free to blow their mind.



Tia Maria + Coffee Project

As well updating its bottle design, a major part of the Tia Maria + Coffee Project is the creation of six coffee cocktails:

  1. Tia Mint Americano: A refreshing Tia twist on the classic Americano. 50ml Tia Maria, double shot of espresso, 10ml sugar syrup, 6 mint leaves, splash of sparkling water
  2. Tia Mint Frappé: A delicious mint frappe perfect for a refreshing moment. 50ml Tia Maria, shot of espresso, 6 fresh mint leaves, 50ml milk
  3. Tia Cappuccino: An indulgent foam topped coffee cocktail. 30ml Tia Maria, 30ml Vodka or Rum, shot of espresso, salted caramel foam
  4. Iced Popcorn Frappé: An indulgent iced coffee frappé with a popcorn twist. 50ml Tia Maria, double shot of espresso, 50ml milk, 20ml popcorn syrup
  5. Tia Espresso Martini: A classic in the evening for a little pick me up. 30ml Tia Maria, 30ml Vodka or Rum, shot of espresso, 5ml sugar syrup
  6. Flat White Russian: Tia’s spin on this favourite little tipple. 30ml Tia Maria, 30ml Dark Rum, shot of espresso, 5ml sugar syrup, cream

For more, see

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