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Melbourne's insanely popular Espresso Martini festival is returning next month

Mr Black Festival of the Espresso Martini
Photograph: Supplied

In case you needed any more convincing that Melbourne is completely obsessed with all that is boozy and caffeinated, we present Exhibit A: the Mr Black Festival of the Espresso Martini.

Last year, Mr Black Spirits – a NSW-based distillery and coffee roasting house – launched the city's first ever festival devoted entirely to the delicious possibilities of espresso, vodka and coffee liqueur. Unsurprisingly, the event was a massive hit, with all three sessions selling out.

This time around, they're pulling out all the stops for an even bigger event. Running from Friday November 3 to Sunday November 5 at the Meat Market in North Melbourne, the festival will unite some of the city's best bartenders and chefs for a day of food and cocktail sampling, masterclasses and partying. 

At the main bar, you'll be able to try Mr Black's OG Espresso Martini made with their signature cold press coffee liqueur (they'll even top it with a doughnut if you ask nicely), plus one-off variations like a White Russian slushie, or tropical variations by Windsor tiki bar, Jungle Boy. The folks from the Everleigh will be setting up a secret speakeasy in a hidden corner, armed with their famous bottled cocktails. 

Hungry? Choose between American barbecue by Fancy Hank's, Greek fare from Zeus St Greek Food and lots more. In addition, there'll be workshops on perfecting the dark art of the Espresso Martini, plus live bands. 

Tickets go on sale at 9am, Sunday October 1. They start at $30, and include a Mr Black tasting. The $49.99 option will get you a 500ml bottle of Mr Black, and if you buy tickets to the brunch session on Saturday, they'll throw in brunch and an Espresso Martini for free. Take our advice: grab your tickets soon, because they won't last. 

Want more caffeine in your life? Check out our guide to the best coffee in Melbourne's CBD.

When it's time for something stronger, here are Melbourne's 50 best bars.