Meet the mixologist: Matthew Bax at Der Raum in Melbourne

As visitors take a big bite out of Melbourne Food and Wine festival this week, we meet Matthew Bax, the man behind the food-drink-art collaborative project, Trink Tank and mixologist at Der Raum bar in Melbourne to find out more about boozy art and the perfect cocktail for the capital.

Matthew Bax mixologist

Matthew Bax - mixologist at Der Raum in Melbourne

What cocktail will you be whipping up over the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival?

The Ben Shewry is our drink that I think best represents our philosophy and also culinary trends in Melbourne, and in turn the focus of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Ben Shewry cocktail in Melbourne

The Ben Shewry cocktail

Mmm, looks exciting – what’s in it?

A blend of Umeshu (a Japanese plum wine), Absinthe and fresh basil is sealed in a smoke of rosemary and star anise. It is a tribute to one of Melbourne’s leading chefs and our very good friend Ben Shewry, who has received much acclaim for his thoughtful representation of progressive techniques at his restaurant Attica. We share a fondness for sourcing local produce and creating a thought provoking experience for those who visit our venues, something which we feel is echoed by many in Melbourne.

What makes your bar Der Raum different?

Unlike other bars, you won’t hear us brag about our gadgets, gimmicks or house-made syrups. We are particularly unique in our use of (sickeningly expensive) cooking/lab equipment and through our dedication to creatively research our methods, which are replicated around the world. Oh God, that sounds like a complete contradiction of our gimmick free-zone but peek through the window any morning and you can witness the daily ‘mise en place’ that starts at 8am.

You’ve also launched Trink Tank. What is it?

The idea is to bring a heightened personal experience to the traditional notion of an exhibition format. In short, boozy art. The visual medium is enhanced not distracted by food & drink.

Where to order a Ben Shewry:

To get Matthew Bax to create you your own Ben Shewry, head over to Der Raum in Melbourne.

Taste for more?

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs with events across the city and regional Victoria from 2-21 March

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