Conscious Cocktails by Matt Whiley

Matt Whiley from Sydney's low-waste bar Re has whipped up a sustainability-focused cocktail menu for W Brisbane's Living Room Bar.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 29, 2024


Getting Brisbanites tasting top-notch cocktails from award-winning venues around the world has been Living Room Bar's game for a few years now — and this time, it has enlisted Matt Whiley from Sydney's acclaimd Re. One of the reasons that the Harbour City venue earns so much love is its sustainability-focused approach. Reducing waste by using ingredients that'd normally be discarded is Re's angle, and an important one.

That ethos comes through at Conscious Cocktails, as the menu that's on offer for six months from Thursday, May 30, 2024 at Living Room Bar has been dubbed. It'll evolve over that period, always with reducing refuse at its core. Potato skins, pineapple rind, pumpkin seeds, cauliflower cream, carrot peel: expect to find them all featured.

Take the Re Lamington Negroni, for instance, which uses a cacao husk vermouth blend alongside raspberry gin, Campari and coconut oil. Or, there's also the Re Margarita Spritz, with an entire mandarin going into the sip, plus tequila and mandarin kosho (it can also be enjoyed sans booze).

You can be forgiven for wanting to order the Malt Disney for its name alone — and if you do, burnt potato skin, carrot vinegar caramel, whisky and malt vodka await your tastebuds, as does a malt cloud. Blackened pumpkin seeds are an ingredient in The Seed Money, the roasted cauliflower cream pops up with bread caramel in Space Plant 60, while salad leaves and caramelised white chocolate are among Tip of the Iceberg's necessities. And, opt for the Shroom Service for a libation with onion ash, mushroom honey and pineapple skin.

Whiley has worked on the menu with Living Room Bar Bar Manager Francesco Squllacioti, and will continue to do so as the seasons change over the six-month run (because each one brings with it a new batch of ingredients that can be saved from becoming waste). The venue is also taking its commitment to sustainability beyond the pair's tipples, printing the menu on paper that was once coffee cups, using coasters made from 100-recent recycled plastic waste, composting its culinary waste that isn't part of Conscious Cocktails onsite and donating excess food to OzHarvest.


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