SUSTAINABLE COCKTAILS - ZERO WASTE
The world can no longer shy away from the universal call to sustainability and in the bar industry there are quick and easy wins to ensure your bar is properly onboard. Sam Orrocks shares five simple changes you can make to your cocktail serves.
GRIND THE RIND
One of the easiest ways to become more sustainable in cocktail making is to use your ingredients to their full potential – taking a zero-waste approach to creating cocktails. Citrus fruits for example are notoriously used for their juice, but if you peel the rind – you can repurpose this to make syrups, garnishes or Oleo Saccharam.
By doing this you not only get more from each item you will ultimately generate more profit for the bar whilst doing ‘your bit’ for sustainability – everyone wins!
KEEP IT LOCAL
When I worked at Matt Whiley’s Scout Bar I was thrown into the deep end of sustainability. The ethos of the bar was to use seasonal, local produce – something that was quite alien to me at the time. Although if you think about it, if the produce isn’t in season in your country it’s had to be transported to you – that can have a big impact on the environment. Before you buy produce I urge you to consider ‘How far did this travel?’, chances are if its not local it’s not sustainable. So in short, support local and switch up your menu to feature seasonal serves and minimise your carbon
COLD AS ICE
It takes a lot of water and effort to make ice which can be costly to your venue. Minimize your use of natural resources by finding alternative ways to chill drinks. For cocktails why not try pre-batching? Pre-batched cocktails can be stored in the freezer or fridge, so they are always ice cold – they also speed up service and ensure consistency of serve!
ALL DRIED OUT
Dehydrated fruit is ideal for making garnishes. The process can significantly increase the shelf life of your perishable fruits and reduce the amount of food waste from your venue as a result. Just be cautious of using non-energy efficient equipment to dehydrate though.
SWITCH OUT STRAWS
On the surface, there’s nothing sinister about the average straw. It can be used to stir or consume drinks or can simply feature as a decoration to complete the serve. The trouble is most straws are single use plastic and are more likely to end up in the ocean polluting our seas.
Avoid plastic in the bar – especially single use. From stirrers to straws make time to source plastic alternatives made from metal or recyclable materials – you can even get creative and introduce edible straws or papaya leaf steam straws! This will help lessen the environmental impact and give your cocktails a real edge.
Bar professionals should always try to find ways of becoming more sustainable and be environmentally couscous, whether it is minimalizing wastage/ energy saving/ locally sourcing etc. It’s also worth remembering that, often, our customers choose a cocktail to try interesting new flavours or for a nice treat – not just because of its sustainability credentials. For this reason, it’s important that we remember and accept that sometimes, waste is unavoidable. Like most things in bartending, it’s about finding the right balance that works for you!
The following recipes will give you insight into how you can get creative and still offer sustainable cocktails. I’ve purposely left out some of the steps on how to create certain ingredients as I encourage you to firstly research them and then experiment but if it gets a too tricky then feel free to get in touch with me at @pineapple0ctopus.
- 40ml Apple stem infused Tanqueray #10
- Gin 10ml
- Apple skin oleo saccharam
- 20ml Aperitif wine such as Lillet Blanc
- 5ml Elderflower liqueur
- 20ml Verjus (Sour Grape Juice)
- 5ml Don Julio Blanco Tequila
- 1 Drop Saline solution at 20%
Stir over ice and serve in a chilled wine or champagne flute
Alcohol content: 18.13g per serve
Burnt Lime Cozmo
- 45ml Burnt Lime Husk Don Julio Blanco Tequila
- 20ml Fermented Cranberry Cordial
- 15ml Orange Colombo
- 3ml Maple Syrup
- 10 drops Citric acid solution
- Burnt lime husk
- 20% 2 drops Saline solution at 20%
This drink plays with structure of a classic Cosmopolitan by offering the drink a little more depth and character by not only fermenting cranberry juice but also burning the left-over lime husks and infusing them into the tequila.
Alcohol content: 18.76g per serve
Sour Dough Espresso Martini
- 40ml Smirnoff Vodka
- 15ml Cold brew coffee
- 15ml Coffee liqueur
- 7.5ml Fermented Sour dough caramel syrup
- 2 drops Saline solution at 20%
Alcohol content: 17.18g per serve
- Take a zero-waste approach getting the most from your ingredients which will help to create syrups, garnishes and juices in a cost-effective way.
- Use seasonal, local produce where possible as it will help reduce your carbon footprint and keep your menu fresh.
- By pre-batching cocktails and storing in the freezer you can reduce the need for ice.
- Dehydrating fruit is a quick and easy way to increase the shelf life of your garnishes and lessen food waste.
- Eliminate one use plastic straws and stirrers and seek eco-friendly alternatives.
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Have you created a sustainable cocktail you’re proud of? Tweet us at @diageobarac, share your serves on Instagram @diageobarac or like us on Facebook – we love to see all your creations!
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