Sustainability: Making Your Bar Items Go the Extra Mile
Sustainability has become a buzzword. I personally very rarely use this phrase on its own. Once upon a time replacing your plastic straws with paper versions gave you real green credentials, but no longer! I believe in fact that responsibility, not sustainability, should be the core message for bars and restaurants moving forward. Especially as true sustainability and zero waste is almost impossible.
Modern bar programs can and should be hacked, tweaked, and manipulated to reduce waste, reuse any waste materials produced and maximise ingredient usage alongside recycling organic and non-organic waste whilst rethinking methods, techniques and processes to elevate the status quo of drink making.
The Wilderness has one of the most responsible and sustainable bar programs in the country, but we never talk about it unless asked as we believe it is what should be done. Not necessarily what should be marketed. We have no commercial ice machines instead we opt to produce our own ice entirely allowing us to control our water usage and have almost zero wastewater. We use very little fresh citrus as part of our bar program and when we do buy speciality citrus, we maximise every gram (see below).
We currently use no disposable garnishes, instead opting for reusable and keepsake garnishes that elevate the guest experience. Our bar area does not even have a waste bin in the traditional sense, our waste is collected in a 4-litre ice-cream container and weighed at the end of every service. Each service is recorded by the gram we have made a game of who can run a service with the least non-compostable waste. We batch all our drinks and so do not shake or stir them either.
Remember sustainability is all-encompassing: if your team shakes 100 drinks every service 5 days a week, how many years do you think they can keep that up? Shaking takes its toll on shoulders, elbows, wrists, and necks not to mention knees and feet. My message is ultimately this: think about every single action you take and analyse how you could do it better how yourself and the business you work for. Shatter the status quo. I promise our industry will be better for it.
More so now than ever, the subject of maximising ingredients and stretching the cost of goods is more prevalent than ever. Here at The Wilderness, we have ceased purchasing commercial coffee liqueurs instead we created a coffee liqueur from an otherwise waste material. It is rich, delicious, flavoursome and complex and is made from single varietal Brazilian coffee that has already been used for Espresso. We utilise a machine called Upress to remove the Origin Coffee from their compostable pods, the pods go to compost and the coffee is infused with Pedro Ximenez Sherry. Once filtered, the sherry is fortified with a chicory essence and a hint of rum; the result is beautiful and mixes incredibly well in both Espresso Martini style drinks and Old Fashioned style cocktails.
BRAZILIAN COFFEE LIQUEUR 18% ABV
- 3 x Origin Brazilian Coffee Pods (used)
- 350ml GonzallesByass Nectar PX Sherry
- 50ml Ron Zacapa Solera Rum
- Remove coffee from compostable pods and add to sous vide bag alongside sherry
- Seal and cold infuse for 24 hours
- Filter with coffee filter and fortify with Rum
- Stir and bottle
- Liqueur is shelf-stable and requires no refrigeration
NAME: SINGLE ORIGIN
- 30ml Ketel One Vodka
- 30ml Brazilian Coffee Liqueur (see above)
- 30ml Cold Brew Concentrate
- Glassware: Nude Coupette
- Ice: None
- Garnish: Coffee Aroma - 1 spray
- Double Shake & Strain
- 100g Frozen Bergamot Juice (no pulp)
- 300g Filtered Water
- 450g White Cane Sugar
- 9g Citric Acid
- 6g Malic Acid
- 0.2g Tartaric Acid
- 1g Sea Salt
- Individually weigh dry ingredients and add to jug, add water and stir until dissipated
- Add juice and wait until defrosted
- Stir again briefly before adding sugar and stir again until the sugar has dissipated
- Keep refrigerated and use within 30 days
NAME: CALABRIAN GIMLET
- 35ml Tanqueray No.TEN Gin
- 35ml Bergamot Cordial*
- 20ml Filtered Water
- Glassware: Nude Coupetini
- Ice: None
- Garnish: None
- Method: Stir & Strain