Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths, bartenders behind London's Trash Tiki pop-up phenomenon, are ready to get down and dirty in Australia. Quite literally. The pair have clocked time at world-renowned bars White Lyan and Dandelyan in London and have spent months travelling the world making cocktails from ingredients that would otherwise be thrown out.
"Citrus is the most common," says Ramage. "I took a picture of the bin at Dandelyan and it was full to the brim of husks that were used from the juicing for one night. That was a Thursday night. And if that's at every single bar around the world? Think about that."
This month, the pair kick off the last leg of the Trash Tiki world tour, which takes in a visit to our shores. They'll hit bars and restaurants (and intercept rubbish bins) all in the name of sustainable drinking, from Melbourne, across Australia, and then to Auckland.
"We try to use every ingredient two to three times before it's thrown out," says Ramage. Venues, chosen for their minimal-waste chops, include Petition Kitchen in Perth, Maybe Mae bar in Adelaide and Four in Hand and Charlie Parker's in Sydney. "It's about bringing it full circle," says Griffiths. "You can keep that citrus and those herbs from your ceviche, for example, for tomorrow's Margarita."
In every city there's a set menu of four drinks and a wildcard, where Trash Tiki has only 12 hours to take whatever bit of waste the chef or bar has left over and turn it into a cocktail.
"You have to learn to not be too committed to any of your ideas," says Griffiths. "And to always keep it fun."
Trash Tiki Dinners, 19 Feb-4 Mar, various location across Australia and New Zealand. Tickets from worldbartenderday.com