Gen Y has found its signature drink


STEP aside smashed avocado. There’s a new trend swallowing the spare dollars of young Australian adults and, according to financial specialists, conspiring to keep them out of home ownership.

Espresso martinis — which typically sell for $20 each — combine two Aussie favourites in coffee and alcohol, and their popularity is soaring.

“We’ll have at least two to kick start a night out,” said Danni Michael, 24, a personal trainer.

“Houses are so expensive and out of reach so I’d prefer to spend more money on my lifestyle. Sharing a house is a lot cheaper than a mortgage anyway.”

Ms Michael said she still saved money, but getting a house was not her number one priority.

media_cameraDanni Michael, Rhys Daniel and Leah Cummings toast their espresso martinis. Photo: Naomi Jellicoe

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Young adults — commonly known as millennials or Generation Y — have been coined the smashed avocado generation after comments from demographer Bernard Salt received global attention when he shone a spotlight on their preference for spending money at hipster cafes on “smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread”.

PwC chief economist Jeremy Thorpe said millennials were buying experiences and did not share their parents’ aspirations of buying a home. This meant they were not paying for big ticket items such as furniture and television, while innovations such as Uber meant they were not buying cars.

“They are more likely to have cash in their pocket. If you don’t buy a house and don’t buy a car you have got a bit of cash. You are spending it on experiences — travel, good dinners and espresso martinis.”

media_cameraSmashed avocado is popular among hipsters. Picture: Sam Rosewarne

Spot and Co. bar owner Claude Ponte said espresso martinis had become increasingly popular in the last two years.

“Patrons order one through to at times up to 15 within a group of friends,” he said. That’s up to $300 for a round of drinks.

“We charge $18 … I have never had any our customers question our price, they just order and keep ordering them,” Mr Ponte said.

Beyond Bank Australia’s senior manager of products and transactional banking, Ryan Holman, said espresso martinis were a frequent treat for twenty-somethings, but cutting down by one a week freed up $1000 of cash each year.

“It’s no surprise that younger people would prefer to delay the purchase of a home, than to sacrifice their lifestyle,” he said.

“The low interest rates that we’ve seen in the market have been more than cancelled out by the rapid increase in house prices, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, which has made it harder for first home buyers to get a foothold in the market.”

Young adults being criticised by their elders is nothing new. “It’s a generational rite of passage to be told that you are wrong,” said PwC’s Mr Thorpe.

“I’m sure the Baby Boomers were told off by their parents who went through the Great Depression. But every generation told ‘you are wrong’ ends up being the dominant paradigm in 10 years,” he said.


Originally published as Gen Y has found its signature drink

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