Award-winning bartender Matt Whiley has launched a six-month partnership with W Brisbane’s Living Room Bar that sets a new benchmark for sustainable luxury in the cocktail industry.

Matt is well known around the world for his approach to sustainability, having pioneered groundbreaking venues such as RE, Australia’s first zero-waste bar, where he highlights seasonal produce and innovative, sustainable practices.

Working closely with Living Room Bar’s Bar Manager Francesco Squallacioti, Matt spearheaded an all-new menu that considers waste management by repurposing discarded ingredients from W Brisbane’s kitchens to create a conscious cocktail experience.

Matt hopes that the new collaboration will encourage those in the hospitality industry to see waste differently and encourage 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,” he says.

“Gradually, I realised, ‘why isn’t every bar in the world doing this?’. Collaborating with Fransisco, 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.”

The ever-evolving menu utilises food waste such as potato skins, pineapple rind, pumpkin seeds, cauliflower cream and carrot peel, using innovative bartending techniques such as fermentation to repurpose discarded ingredients.

Featured on the menu are two RE-style classic cocktails, the RE Lamington Negroni which blends Raspberry Fords Gin, coconut oil, cacao husk vermouth blend and Campari, and the RE Margarita Spritz which puts a carbonated, citrus spin on the much-loved classic, featuring Herradura Tequila, whole mandarin, mandarin Kosho and CO2, with the option to go non-alcoholic.

Making use of discarded cauliflower cream, Space Plant 60 incorporates roasted cauliflower cream and bread caramel with Gentleman Jack and fino sherry, while Tip of the Iceberg reimagines waste salad leaves with caramelised white chocolate, Diplomatic Planas, coconut oil and salted salad coconut soda.

Another of the sustainably-made cocktails is the Malt Disney which uses burnt potato skin and carrot vinegar caramel in combination with Glendronach 12 and Malt Absolut Elyx Vodka.

Reflecting on the opportunity to strengthen the venues commitment to sustainable practices, Francesco said: “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.”

Conscious Cocktails at Living Room Bar launched on Thursday 30 May, and will continue to evolve over a six month period, adapting to the changing seasons and availability of produce.