With Espresso Martinis as ubiquitous as ever, it’s no surprise one of Melbourne’s original specialty coffee roasters, St Ali is leaning further into the cocktail game.
At its recently opened venue, St Ali & the Queen, the old-school members of Melbourne’s coffee royal family have opened a day-to-night concept in the Queen Vic Market’s new Munro Building (on the corner of Therry Street and Queen Street), specialising in brews and cocktails.
While its South Melbourne cafe has been serving brunch cocktails for years now, this is the Salvatore Malatesta-founded company’s first venue where the focus is as much on the alcohol as it is on the caffeine.
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St Ali coffee will, of course, be brewed all day, but it’s the cocktails by Orlando Marzo, award-winning bartender and former bar manager at Lume, that set the venue apart from St Ali’s previous offerings.
The drinks menu features a small selection of mostly Victorian wines, aperitifs, zero-alcohol drinks from Non and Marzo’s Loro bottled cocktail range, which includes a strawberry and cream Negroni and a cherry cacao Manhattan.
This being a St Ali operation, there are also two coffee-inspired creations. “We wanted to incorporate the coffee element and see what coffee can be in a cocktail as well,” Marzo says.
The bottled Loro coffee cocktail is mixed with tonka beans and a touch of orange. Then there’s the Cascara Bellini, a mix of peach liqueur, bianco vermouth and vodka-infused cascara infusion – a brewed drink made from coffee cherries (the fruit from coffee trees) and the dried skins and pulp of the plant.
The venue was designed by Fiona Lynch and features exposed concrete floors, timber detailing and windows with arches reminiscent of a glasshouse, made from repurposed materials. With gold metallic cabinets and shelves adding a touch of glamour, the venue easily transitions from morning to evening service.
Executive chef Greg McFarland developed an evening menu designed to accompany the cocktails on offer, with snacks like cured mackerel, tomato caper herb salad and roasted bone marrow on toast with anchovy, pickled shallots and ’nduja.
Come past in the morning and you’ll find dishes like duck eggs with Spanish pan con tomato (bread with tomato) or cured mackerel with a blood orange marmalade and pistachio gremolata. And at lunchtime when you’re on the go, choose from a selection of fresh sandwiches and pastries.
St Ali & the Queen
Queen Victoria Market, 141 Therry St, Melbourne
Sun to Tue 7am–4pm
Fri & Sat 7am–9pm