MAKING SUSTAINABLE COCKTAILS WITH ZERO WASTE
Want to become a more sustainable bar? Sustainability is so important to the bar industry and it's something that all bar professionals should be working towards in 2022.
Bar owner and drinks consultant, Sam Orrock shares five simple changes you can make to create more sustainable cocktails.
DRINKS INGREDIENTS: UNLEASH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL
Making your cocktails more sustainable is simple, with a few tips and tricks. Make sure you are using every ingredient in your drinks to its full potential to reduce waste and close the loop! The juice from citrus fruit is one popular way to add acidity to a serve, but peel the rind and you can use it to make zesty syrups, garnishes or Oleo Saccharum.
Focusing on zero waste cocktails helps support environmental efforts while also a having benefits for a bar's bottom line. Reusing waste ingredients is effective when it comes to making savings and improving profitability. Bars that make steps towards becoming more sustainable also gain more popularity with eco-conscious customers. Every little action helps!
USE LOCAL, SEASONAL INGREDIENTS
When I worked at Matt Whiley's (RE World's 50 Best Bars Sustainable Bar of the Year) Scout Bar, it opened my eyes up to the importance of sustainability in the industry and sustainable bars. The ethos of Scout was to use seasonal, local produce – something that was alien to me at the time.
Think about it. If produce isn’t in season it’s had to be transported to you. That has a big impact on the environment.
Before you buy produce, ask ‘How far did this travel?’ The further the ingredient has to travel, the less sustainable.
Support local, minimise your carbon footprint and switch up your menu to feature seasonal serves.
IS ICE SUSTAINABLE?
Making ice in your bar is a necessity, we all know that. Ice requires both water and energy. Bars are seeing increasing energy costs and there's a global shift towards water conservation, making ice a hot topic. How do you make this essential ingredient friendly to both your wallet and the planet?
Find alternative ways to chill your drinks, that don't require ice! Try pre-batching! Pre-batched cocktails are stored in the freezer or fridge. They're always ice cold. Batched cocktails also speed up service and ensure consistent drinks.
When using ice, look at different ways to conserve water. Save up your melted ice and use it to water your plants or clean the bar.
REDUCE SINGLE USE PLASTIC
Are plastic straws a big deal? Yes.
On the surface, there’s nothing sinister about the average straw. We use them to stir drinks, to sip a delicious cocktail or as a nice decoration to top off your serve.
Conventional straws are single use plastic and are more likely to end up in the ocean; increasing marine pollution. Concerning for health, environmental, and economic reasons.
Let's reduce single use plastic in bars, where we can! From stirrers to straws make time to find alternatives made from metal or recyclable materials. Get creative and introduce edible straws or papaya leaf stem straws. This small tip helps lessen environmental impacts and gives your cocktails a real edge that customers will love.
DEHYDRATE YOUR FRUIT
Dehydrated fruit is perfect for making cocktail garnishes and increases the self life of your fresh fruit and other cocktail ingredients. Making your fruit last longer means you waste less! Reusing and preserving ingredients cuts down on food waste and has an impact on your costs, saving you money in the long run.
One tip is to be cautious of using non-energy efficient equipment to dehydrate your fruit. This can be a drain on energy bills, which we are all more aware of right now.
SUSTAINABLE AND ZERO WASTE COCKTAIL IDEAS
Some cocktail ideas using local and seasonal ingredients.
- 40ml Apple stem infused Tanqueray #10
- Gin 10ml
- Apple skin oleo saccharam
- 20ml Aperitif wine
- 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
- Following a zero-waste approach, get the most from your ingredients 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.
- Avoid single use plastic, for example swapping plastic straws and stirrers for eco-friendly alternatives.