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Mixing it up with Tia Maria

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The Tia Maria Coffee Academy, Tia Maria in conjunction with the Coffee Project, recently held a mixology, sampling and experimentation demonstration at Two Fifty Square in Rathmines.

Bloggers, journalists, industry members and bar staff were treated to a delicious spread of tapas and a variety of coffee based cocktails as the history of both coffee and Tia Maria were explained, as baristas, mixologists and Tia Maria brand ambassadors connected their passions.

Part of the emphasis of the event was the move of consumer trends regarding the demand for quality ingredients over the last few years and the impact this has had on both cocktails and coffee.  The fact that Ireland has begun to recently develop an interest in high quality authentic cocktails, demonstrated through niche bars in recent times, only adds to the fact that coffee cocktails are sure to become a part of this trend.  The same has similarly happened with coffee, as many independent high quality coffee shops have also opened in the last few years.

The addition of high quality medium roasted coffee, which allows the flavour to develop in a way that cannot be done with a dark roaster bean, to coffee based recipes, with the ideal accompaniment of Tia Maria, was discussed as a logical progression of this.

L-R, Cian Mac Sweeny, Louis Williams, Adam McMenamin and Olena Vasylyuk.

Attendees were shown how to make six different cocktails ranging from the standard espresso martini and a Tia Maria mint Americano, a Tia Maria Frappe, and a surprisingly tasty Popcorn Frappe.  The base of each of these cocktails was emphasised as coffee and Tia Maria with its rum, vanilla and coffee flavouring, proving that the combination is both versatile and impressive and that Irish bars can move beyond offering espresso martinis and get creative.

Finally, all were organised into teams in a competition to make their own creations with a variety of fresh ingredients, with award winning cocktail champion Ilario Alberto Capraro’s offering of a Tia Maria alternative breakfast coffee winning first prize.