W Brisbane’s Living Room Bar announces a groundbreaking collaboration with renowned bartender Matt Whiley, spearheading a global movement to revolutionise how bars approach sustainability and waste. Launching 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.

Matt Whiley, a leading international figure in the bar world, has founded or co-founded nine multi-award-winning bars from London to Sydney. With a focus on seasonal, sustainable, and innovative practices, he has pioneered groundbreaking venues like London’s Scout and Sydney’s RE, Australia’s first zero-waste bar. 

Now, at Living Room Bar, Matt 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. 

Two dark haired men stand in front of a bar smiling at each other
Renowned bartender Matt Whiley and Living Room bar manager, Francesco Squllacioti.

For Matt, this latest collaboration is about pushing the boundaries when it comes to conversations about food waste and luxury hospitality: “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. 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.” says Matt.

Cocktails re-styled for sustanability

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

Living Room Bar Manager Francesco Squllacioti says: “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. We are a space for the curious, where work and play blend seamlessly, offering great drinks, craveable food, and unforgettable experiences.”

A woman holding a martini glass and a man holding a beer cheers, with food on a table behind them.
Great food, eco-conscious cocktails and fab atmosphere at Living Room Bar.

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 also has a dedicated commitment to sustainable practices. The menu has been designed in collaboration with Brown-Forman spirits who are pushing the boundaries 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 also announced its partnership with the Swedish all-electric performance car brand, Polestar. 

Conscious Cocktails at Living Room Bar launched 30th May 2024 and is set to continue its collaboration and evolution across a six month period. The menu will adapt with the changing seasons as Francesco and his team collaborate with W Brisbane’s chefs and Matt to identify new ingredients that can be repurposed.

Visit https://www.wbrisbanedining.com/living-room-bar for more.

Living Room Bar, W Brisbane, 81 N Quay, Brisbane City QLD, p. (07) 3556 8888

Elizabeth Best

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