If you haven’t met Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, now is the time to get acquainted.

The craft spirit is inspired by Australian coffee culture and how it can be translated to nightlife via delicious cocktails and after dinner cordials. Here, we sit down with Mr. Black’s Global Coffee Ambassador Martin Hudak to talk about the spirit’s history, how he got into the industry and the best way to use the liqueur in cocktails.

Talk to us about Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur.

The story of Mr. Black goes back to 2013 when a coffee lover, Tom Baker, met renowned master distiller, Philip Moore. As proper Australians, they created a coffee liquor based on real coffee flavor. We source our coffee beans from three different single origins, firstly roasting them at our roastery, and afterward, we then distill and refine our own spirit base to create Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur. Mr. Black has ten times more caffeine due to a longer cold brew extraction, however, it has half of the sugar compared to other coffee liqueurs currently in the market. Our simple mission is to bring craft coffee into the night.

Tell us about the cocktails being made with Mr. Black.

It has never been easier to make coffee cocktails. Mr. Black offers you consistency and a high-quality distinct coffee flavor in every bottle. The sugar content and taste is exactly on point so you do not need to worry about overly sweet cocktails. When you mix Mr. Black with more dominant spirits, the coffee flavor won’t be covered. Its versatility allows you to use coffee for your drinks without expensive technology or serious barista skills. I personally like to mix Mr. Black with mezcal or whiskey, or in a refreshing long drink which you can sip into the night.

Do you have any tips for bartenders who are interested in mixing with coffee liqueur?

Try Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur by itself first so you can understand the character of it better. Don’t be afraid to use it only as a modifier — Mr. Black makes a great base for cocktails. Due to less sugar content, it will not over sweeten your drink. Start with simple recipes and aim to master those to perfection. I recommend trying an Espresso Martini, White Russian or Negroni with a coffee twist.

Mr. Black Tom Baker & Martin Hudak

Mr. Black Tom Baker & Martin Hudak

What are some important tricks bartenders should remember when mixing with coffee flavors?

Coffee is a fruit with lots of beautiful flavors and aromas to be considered. If your coffee tastes burnt or overly bitter that means there was likely something that went wrong in the harvesting or roasting process. Bartenders should appreciate and treat coffee the same way as one would appreciate any other spirit. Try to enhance the flavor of this beautiful fruit instead of covering it with lots of sugar or booze. Always try to understand the origin of the beans as well as the way it was processed and roasted. Small changes in the process can make completely different results in your cup or glass.

Tell us a bit about your background in the industry.

I started out working in a local cafe/cocktail bar back home in Slovakia. After six years of barista competitions on the world stage, where I took home sixth place as well as second place twice, I moved to London to accept a senior bartender position at the best bar in the world, The American Bar at The Savoy Hotel. After more than three years there, I managed to become the World Champion in Coffee for the Good Spirit category. The main task for competitors was to create bespoke coffee cocktails and the best version of Irish coffee. Currently, I am based in Australia where my team and I are about to open our new cocktail bar concept, also involving coffee. I am happy that I could take on the role of Global Coffee Ambassador for Mr. Black at the same time.

Mr. Black Eggnog, cocktail and garnish on wooden table

Mr. Black Eggnog

Mr. Black Eggnog

Ingredients:

  • 375 ml. Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • pinch of nutmeg

Preparation: Cover and Refrigerate for at least 1 hour so ingredients have time to marry together. Whisk vigorously before serving. Pour completed mixture into mugs or a rocks glass and top with some fresh grated nutmeg for garnish. Enjoy!


Wake Me Up, F**k Me Up, cocktail with garnish

Wake Me Up, F**k Me Up

Wake Me Up, F**k Me Up

Created by Kenneth McCoy, Chief Creative Officer of Public House Collective (Ward III and The Rum House)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Peloton Mezcal
  • 1 oz. Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Giffard Banana
  • 2 dashes of Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 oz. oat milk

Preparation: shake vigorously with ice; double strain into a chilled goblet; garnish with 3 coffee beans in the middle of the glass. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.


Tiramisu cocktail with bottle

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Available at Dante

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 oz. Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Marsala
  • 1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
  • 1 1/2 oz. cold espresso
  • dash of simple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Mascarpone Cheese
  • 2 dashes Chocolate Bitters