A gin ode to the classic Italian dessert experience
Never Never’s Coffee and Cacao gin tastes like tiramisu but better
Never Never Distilling Co has once again partnered with the Italian flavour maestro, Lorenzo Antinori, renowned for his mixology prowess, to craft a distinctive and thrilling gin for his latest venture, Bar Leone, in the vibrant city of Hong Kong.
Enter the Coffee & Cacao Gin, an ode to the classic Italian dessert experience. This exceptional concoction captures the essence of roasted coffee beans, cacao nibs, cacao butter, and bergamot peel. True to Never Never’s collaborative spirit, this gin is available for a limited time exclusively on their website.
What inspired the coffee and cacao gin?
Sean Baxter, Brand Director and Co-founder of Never Never, shares the inspiration behind this collaboration: “Lorenzo’s new venue in Hong Kong is all about Italian football, flavour, and fun, so when he approached us about making a gin that aligned to his vision, we, of course, had to get involved.”
The Coffee & Cacao Gin is a sensory journey, reminiscent of plunging a spoon into fresh tiramisu or savoring the aroma of chocolate dusted over a cappuccino. It encapsulates the experience of ordering an espresso and a sfogliatelle at a Roman bar before midday—a harmonious blend of roasted coffee and earthy cacao, meticulously crafted for classic cocktails.
A distinctive gin for Bar Leone
Lorenzo Antinori, founder of Bar Leone, expresses his excitement: “I love the nod to Italy – these flavours are truly representative of both food and drinks tradition. This gin excites me because it carries a big body with lots of layers of flavours: toasted ones, umami but also citrusy and floral.”
This creation marks Never Never’s first gin tailored explicitly for exceptional Negronis. Sean emphasizes, “If we’re making a gin aligned to the very best that Italy has to offer, it better make a damn good Negroni.” The gin’s profile is designed to complement Italian sweet vermouth’s dark earthy flavors, creating delectable coffee and chocolate-forward Negronis.
Beyond Negronis, Coffee & Cacao Gin finds its match in a chinotto highball, adorned with fresh orange, where vanilla and citrus notes harmonize with Italy’s favoured bitter mixer. The innovative addition of cacao butter, washed into the gin, imparts a rich and decadent mouthfeel, allowing the earthy tones to linger and evolve into darker spices and soft vanilla notes.
True to Never Never’s ethos, innovation is at the core of their collaborations, whether in ingredient selection, production techniques, or exploring new spirit categories. The roasted coffee and dark Peruvian cacao used in this gin hail from local purveyors Dawn Patrol and chocolatiers Hark, adding a distinct Australian touch to this international collaboration.
The vibrant colours of the label pay homage not only to Bar Leone but also to the Roma football team, with orange, yellow, and red stripes mirroring the iconic sleeves of the club’s vintage jersey.
“The colours chosen for the gin bottle have a very strong nostalgic feel,” Lorenzo shares. “They make me feel at home and work so well with our brand and universe.”
Smell: Freshly ground coffee beans and liberally dusted cocoa powder, mingle with scraped vanilla bean and zested bergamot. It’s reminiscent of a Roman espresso counter before midday.
Taste: Decadent and rich, with espresso bean slowly evolving into a dominant cacao mid-palate. Subtle pepper and citrus pine extend late.
Finish: Outrageously long and complex, with cacao adding a buttery mouthfeel and heavy palate weight.
ABV: 42% Volume: 500ml Price: $79.00