Sydney’s thirst for coffee cocktails seems unquenchable. Luckily, Mr Black – a Central Coast-based distillery and coffee roasting house – is keeping caffeinated cocktail lovers satisfied this month, with their cold brew coffee liqueur inspiring Caffeine Festival on May 25-27, dedicated to the buzzy elixir (tickets are on sale here).
And if you need to build up your caffeine tolerance in preparation for this weekend of boozy masterclasses, fine food and spiked lattés, there’s more delicious cocktails on the horizon. Mr Black is joining forces with hospitality group Merivale to wake up Sydney’s bar scene. Spirits specialists across eight much-loved Sydney venues have concocted drink recipes to honour the caffeine gods, brought to life with Mr Black’s delicious cold brew coffee liqueur or coffee Amaro. Why not take a tasting tour of imaginative coffee-drenched cocktails?
Get all fired up for the opportunity to nab one of 20 double passes to Caffeine Festival. To go into the draw, take a snap of your favourite Mr Black cocktail at participating Merivale venues, jump on the ’gram with the hashtag #mrblackXmerivale and tag @mrblackspirits and @merivale. Bottoms up and happy snapping!
The spirit appreciation at this snug, dark warren is beyond compare. They'll take you on a flavour journey through Centennial Park – which is where their dedicated bartenders have actually collected the botanicals for many of their signature drinks. For their coffee creation, they'll mix Mr Black's Amaro, a fancy fig leaf cola and Gran Classico bitter to create the Figola, topped with finger lime pearls.
You’ll feel right at home at this French country style restaurant. Cooking and dining spaces merge together here, and are lit with a lazy hue from the extra large fireplace. Honest food and ample drinks make it all the more comfortable. Complete your meal with their Mexicafé cocktail; a double dose of Amaro topped with tequila and soda water and coloured with a twist of orange.
Cocktail: A Gentleman's Agreement
This late-night lounge for city suits offers some sophistication after a long day at the office. With dedicated table service, you won’t have to leave your leisurely pose to access some top-shelf spirits – and there's dinner from Sushi E to match your Scotch. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’ll want A Gentleman's Agreement; a bittersweet blend with Cognac, cherry liqueur and a splash of orangey Amer Picon, shaken together with Mr Black's Coffee Velvet.
Cocktail: Bad Company
Spend an evening in another era – sipping on cocktails, listening to jazz and eating mac'n'cheese delivered to your table by staff dressed as flappers. This prohibition-themed joint has plenty of flavour, but they're ramping it up with their newest cocktail, Bad Company. You'll be in great drinking company sipping on a blend of bitters, honey water, vetiver essential oils, grain spirit Bols Genever and of course a splash of Mr Black Amaro, all brought together with a fine Scotch and edible flowers.
Cocktail: Mr Black's Breakfast Shake
This is the more polished side of the Angel Hotel, where you can enjoy a creatively curated drinks list in style. It's full service, so expect to be lead to your table past display cases of fixtures and thread and vases of peacock feathers that adorne the former Merivale fashion house. Start your old-world evening off with a Mr Black's Breakfast Shake. It's a raisin-spiced wonder, with coconut cream, banana syrup, Jim Beam Rye, Mr Black coffee and an extra shot of cold drip, beautified by some coconut flakes and Muscatel grapes.
Cocktail: Meet Mr Black
Paying homage to a classic Parisian-style bistro – complete with intricate tile work and saucy frescos – Felix brings together deceptively simple but perfectly executed dishes with an enviable selection of fine wines and creative cocktails. It’ll be hard to tear yourself away from the beautiful bistro-style bar, especially with their new coffee creation Meet Mr Black on the menu. They've taken a wholesome Earl Grey tea tincture and dirtied it up with Cognac, Mr Black Amaro and chocolate bitters, topped with some Mr Black spiked cream.
Cocktail: Caffe Speziato
There’s finally a reason to don your finest jewellery and most elaborate coat in the daylight hours: it’s Bert’s. You’ll feel like you’ve risen several social classes at one of their café society lunches, which cost a pretty penny but offer a top-tier dining experience. Add their newest cocktail to your impressive feast; their Caffe Speziato has Mr Black Amaro mixed with a lemon myrtle and Makers Mark blend, a nutty liqueur creation and Spanish wine Pedro Ximénez under a rhubarb garnish.
Cocktail: Espresso My Way
If you’re a fan of the classics, but want to spice things up, head upstairs at the Queen’s Hotel to the Smelly Goat. Their friendly bar staff serve your favourites with a personal flair, and there’s taxidermy birds to keep you company at the striking onyx bar. Embracing the dark side, their new coffee creation Espresso My Way takes honeyed Wild Turkey and Mr Black coffee, and gives it an extra kick with crème de cacao and vegan-friendly Aqua Fab.