Cocktails & Spirits

Mr. Black's Espresso Martini Fest Is Coming to Miami

Mr. Black is bringing its annual Espresso Martini Fest to Miami.
Mr. Black is bringing its annual Espresso Martini Fest to Miami. Photo courtesy of Mr. Black
The Mr. Black brand of coffee liqueur is bringing its Espresso Martini Fest to Miami. The weeklong, nationwide celebration is dedicated to one of the world’s most beloved cocktails.

In Miami, the festival will take place at several local bars when — beginning Monday, May 16, and running through Sunday, May 22 — Mr. Black partners with some of the Magic City’s most frequented cocktail bars to offer coffee and cocktail lovers specially priced $12 espresso martinis.

Mr. Black launched Espresso Martini Fest in Australia in 2016, expanding the festival to London in 2018, and to the U.S. for the first time this year. Other participating cities include Chicago, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Houston.

According to Mr. Black cofounder Tom Baker, when Mr. Black first hit the market in 2013, coffee was all but forgotten in the liquor industry.

"And now, here we are, working with some of the best bars in the U.S. to showcase that very thing," Baker tells New Times. "At the first festival in Sydney in 2016, we held it in one large venue and sold out in 90 seconds. This year, we’ve had over 15,000 people plan to attend the festival at over 100 bars across seven cities in the U.S. alone. Huge. It's great to see the U.S. having its coffee cocktail renaissance in 2022."

It's good timing, as the espresso martini is becoming en vogue again according to recent coverage by Martha Stewart, the New York Times, InsideHook, and Forbes.

Next week, Mr. Black’s Espresso Martini Fest will see bartenders from cities across the U.S. shake up their best espresso martini variations. Miami venues participating this year include Orilla in South Beach, the wildly popular backyard oasis Broken Shaker, Wynwood’s Doya, Better Days, Greenstreet Cafe, Bay 13 Brewery, the Sylvester, Beaker & Gray, and the Scapegoat.

Customers are required to RSVP to the festival to claim a $12 espresso martini at participating locations and can do so here.

While each bar will be shaking up its own take on the martini, there will be one common ingredient: Mr. Black.

"We place as much importance on roasting and brewing the coffee as we do on creating the liqueur, and that is really reflected in the rich flavor of Mr. Black," Baker says. "We often hear from bartenders that Mr. Black makes such an excellent espresso martini for this very reason — it's not too sweet or syrupy. Using a cold-brew method results in a more robust and sweet profile that's really all about the coffee: Think bold, complex, and balanced."

Made by hand at a distillery and coffee roaster north of Sydney, Australia, Mr. Black is a bittersweet blend of Arabica coffees and Australian wheat vodka. A first of its kind, the product is made using an entirely cold extraction process with no added flavors, fillers, or preservatives.

"This drink elicits a love from drinkers like few others. The fact it gets its own festival speaks to the cult status of the espresso martini," Baker says. "Apart from being utterly delicious, it’s synonymous with good times. It’s worth celebrating."
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna