If you know me at all, you know I really like coffee, and that sleep is for the weak. Sometimes I like to very thoroughly put that quote to the test, and openly embrace my true love: espresso martinis – alcohol and coffee together in perfect harmony. Especially when that harmony has the base of Mr. Black coffee liqueur, who hosted the inaugural Espresso Martini Festival in Melbourne.
Sold out (because Melburnians are smart), Friday night at the Meat Market in North Melbourne began with a classic Mr. Black martini in hand, and wound up with an impressive tournament of Coffee Pong, which my student life-deprived self quite enjoyed (and did quite well at).
The festival was arranged into three areas, all full to the brim of happy folks chatting away with a martini in hand after a long week. Guests also chowed down near the food trucks, or did as I did and wandered around the different stalls to learn everything possible about all the different products.
Melbourne Moonshine combined forces with Campos to create a few of their own concoctions as well as supplying non-alcoholic caffeine beverages (also just known as ‘normal coffee’). Loving Earth seduced my tipsy sweet tooth with a few samples of their amazing vegan chocolates that then had me buying a million heart shaped choccies to give to everyone I love.
For those who were able to feel their heartbeat in their eyes by about 9pm (i.e.: me), Two Birds were on hand with some tasty beers on tap to keep your night going with fewer heart palpitations.
The great drawcard was the beautiful bar at the back where you could partake in one of the 10 official festival cocktails. The most intriguing was one with an ingredient listed simply as ‘meat’ (turns out it was a smoked beef jerky on top of the drink), I assumed in honour of the location in the Meat Market.
The one heartbreaking part of the festival was hundreds upon hundreds of adorably designed jars (so Melbourne) that the drinks were served in simply being thrown out – far too cute for landfill.
Mr Black’s Espresso Martini Festival was kind of my ideal Friday night, although with the great power comes great responsibility. It took a good three days for my sleep pattern to recover from the copious amount of caffeine. But my goodness, was it worth it.
Coffee hangovers mean you had a pretty great night.
Jasmin Ashton is a PR whiz and freelance writer/designer from Melbourne who has a lot of feelings about pretty much everything. Find them at @Jasmanna.