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What does It take to be in a Forbes 30 under 30 list, work In Australia’s best bar and be regarded as one of the worlds leading coffee cocktail experts? A great deal of persistence and an obsession with coffee according to Martin Hudak.
Hailing from Slovakia, Martin’s career has taken him across the world. His tenure has included time at the Savoy hotel in London with the likes of Eric Lorincz and now to the other side of the world in the Maybe Sammy bar, which was awarded Best Bar in Australia in the World’s 50 best awards in its inaugural year.
When we talked to Martin Hudak On the Back Bar podcast he had recently been awarded the 2019 international bartender of the year. And as of this week, he has been placed in the coveted 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 list for his home country.
Despite all the resounding success, Martin still remains humble. This comes from his time competing in cocktail competitions particularly the World Coffee In Good Spirits Champion.
“From the beginning, it was kind of like an ego thing. I knew I’m good, I knew I can win. but I didn’t because I was stubborn, and I was stupid, and I didn’t read the rules.”
Despite the loss at the start, Martin pushed on. It took him seven years to win but to get there he had to change as a person.
“I became a different person. I am mature enough, I aged enough to understand what are the priorities. And the winning of the competition is not about being the best in the world. But the winning of the competition is basically, to take this achievement and share with your guests, and share it with your peers, and friends, and industry people. And share your expertise and knowledge“
Martin knew that he wanted to focus on one particular kind of cocktail making. And this was anything involving coffee. It’s this obsession that landed him the role of Global Coffee Ambassador of Mr. Blacks Coffee Liqueur.
We asked him how he gets his inspiration and how we should be using our coffee. At Maybe Sammy, they source their own beans and roast them before using them in cocktails such as the La Finca below or Tiki inspired espresso martini using aged rum instead to compliment the coffee notes.
One of his big tips for bartenders is to use Cold brew coffee more as this technique preserves the natural flavour of the coffee without being bitter or acidic. La Finca, for instance, uses Mr. Black’s single-origin from Columbia. He also recommends the book ‘Atlas of Coffee’ by James Hoffman to really delve into the world of caffeine.
“I cannot wait to see more bartenders be geeky about coffee, as ingredients and play around.“
30ml Mr. Black Single origin Colombia
20ml Olorosso Sherry
10ml Manuka honey
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