W Brisbane’s Living Room Bar offers conscious cocktails via RE bar’s Matt Whiley     

W Brisbane’s Living Room Bar offers conscious cocktails via RE bar’s Matt Whiley       
Edited by Travel Weekly

    W Brisbane have teamed up with international award-winning innovative bartender Matt Whiley for an all-new menu, repurposing unused or discarded ingredients for a ‘Conscious Cocktail’ experience.

    Whiley, spearhead of a global movement revolutionising how bars approach sustainability and waste and former owner of the now-closed World’s 50 Best Bar RE in Sydney’s South Eveleigh, will launch the W Brisbane concept tomorrow (30 May).

    The six-month partnership re-imagines the way cocktails are created with an ever-evolving menu that creatively repurposes typically wasted ingredients from W Brisbane’s kitchens into unforgettable ‘conscious cocktail’ experiences, setting a new standard for eco-conscious luxury. 

    The England-born Whiley pioneered groundbreaking venues like London’s Scout and Sydney’s RE, Australia’s first zero-waste bar, that focus on seasonal, sustainable and innovative practices.  

    Now, at Living Room Bar, Whiley has worked in partnership with bar manager, Francesco Squllacioti, to bring ‘RE’-style cocktails to hotel guests by turning otherwise discarded ingredients such as potato skins, pineapple rind, pumpkin seeds, cauliflower cream and carrot peel into eco-conscious libations.  

    “My passion for sustainability began 10 years ago when I was offered 10 trays of strawberries and ended up making 50 litres of strawberry wine,” Whiley said. “Gradually, I realised, ‘Why isn’t every bar in the world doing this?’

    “Collaborating with Francisco, we identified 10-12 ingredients going to waste in the hotel – our mission now is to transform these into something desirable and delicious, showing that food waste can be luxurious. I want people to leave thinking, ‘That was delicious,’ feeling happy, satisfied, and knowing they’ve helped the planet.”

    Each cocktail is crafted using ingredients fused with fermenting techniques, breathing new life to otherwise discarded produce.

    Matt Whiley, pictured left with Francesco Squllacioti, will be bringing his innovative and sustainable mixology to W Brisbane.

    “At the W Living Room Bar, we’re thrilled to collaborate with Matt Whiley, bringing his innovative and sustainable mixology to our dynamic social epicentre,” Squllacioti said. “We are a space for the curious, where work and play blend seamlessly, offering great drinks, craveable food and unforgettable experiences.” 

    The menu features ‘RE-style’ classic cocktails including the RE Lamington Negroni combining raspberry Fords Gin, coconut oil, cacao husk vermouth blend, and Campari for a rich and decadent flavour profile.

    The RE Margarita Spritz, which can also be enjoyed as a non-alcoholic option, includes Herradura Tequila, whole mandarin, mandarin Kosho, and CO2 for a refreshing and citrusy thrill.  

    More inventive and innovative tastes include ‘The Seed Money’ utilises blackened pumpkin seeds paired with heavy cream distilled Fords gin and vermouth, for a rich and creamy blend of flavours.

    ‘Space Plant 60’ incorporates roasted cauliflower cream and bread caramel with Gentleman Jack and fino sherry, creating a savoury and complex flavour profile.

    ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ reimagines salad leaves with caramelised white chocolate, Diplomatic Planas, coconut oil, and salted salad coconut soda.

    ‘Shroom Service’ blends onion ash, mushroom honey, and pineapple skin with Herradura Tequila and Shio Koji for an earthy and exotic experience.

    Finally, ‘Malt Disney’ uses burnt potato skin and carrot vinegar caramel, combined with Glendronach 12 and Malt Absolut Elyx Vodka, to create a whimsical and hearty cocktail with a malt cloud finish.

     Menus made from recycled coffee cups

    Living Room Bar’s commitment to sustainable practices extends beyond the drinks themselves, rethinking wasteful practices from the materials and supply chains.

    Menus will be printed on paper made from recycled coffee cups. The bar staff will serve up conscious cocktails on coasters made from 100 per cent recycled plastic waste sourced locally in Sydney in eco-conscious thread Kaizen jackets made from 55 per cent Hemp and 45 per cent recycled polyester materials, certified by GRS (Global Recycling Standard).  

    W Brisbane’s sustainable practices include a menu designed in collaboration with Brown-Forman spirits in the sustainable drinks sector. Ingredients used in W Brisbane’s restaurants are sourced locally where possible, and any food waste is composted on-site. Excess food is donated to food rescue charity OzHarvest. This latest partnership comes soon after W Brisbane announced its partnership with the Swedish all-electric performance car brand, Polestar. 

    W Brisbane was first five-star hotel to open in Brisbane CBD in 20 years and opened its doors mid-2018. Located at 81 North Quay along the banks of the Brisbane River on the western end of the CBD,  has 312 guestrooms and 32 suites. The hotel’s also features an AWAY Spa and state of the art FIT Gym, 1,100 sqm of event space, including a 595 sqm Great Room.

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