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Kali Mireva

Sustainable Cocktails: Ingredients and Bartending Techniques

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There are many different varieties of wine, cocktail drinks, and types of alcohol in the world. They are all made in different ways and various locations all over the planet. However, some of them are created sustainably, while others are not. 

Sustainability has become an important topic over the last few years, as people are trying to be better stewards of the environment. You probably have heard the debate about fashion, overconsumption, and ocean pollution. You have heard about global warming and other issues that arise from the way people produce and consume different goods. 

That’s why today, sustainability is something people from all walks of life and businesses even in the hospitality industry talk about. And that’s exactly what we want to talk about today. Sustainable spirits and sustainable cocktails are becoming more popular and people who care deeply about the environment want to see their favorite bars and restaurants adopting sustainable practices. 

Are you interested to know more about sustainability and sustainable cocktails? If you do, let’s get started!

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How Does Sustainability Look at Bars and Restaurants?

Sustainability at bars and restaurants encompasses a wide range of practices, specially designed to reduce the environmental impact of the business. These practices help conserve resources and promote social responsibility. Here are the main aspects of sustainability in bars and restaurants: 

  1. Sourcing Ingredients Responsibly - One of the main things every business owner must do is look into sourcing local and seasonal ingredients, organic and fair trade products, and if you serve seafood dishes - sustainable seafood. By prioritizing locally-sourced ingredients and ones that are in season, the carbon footprint associated with transportation and storage is reduced. Choosing to support organic and fair trade also helps the environment and the people working in the industry. 
  2. Waste Reduction - Whether you want to serve sustainable cocktails or improve the overall sustainability of your bar or restaurant, you need to think about waste reduction. This can be done through composting, recycling, and upcycling. 
  3. Energy and Water Efficiency - To use energy and water more efficiently and reduce the carbon footprint of your business, it’s good to invest in energy-efficient appliances and lighting. To reduce water usage, you should install low-flow faucets and toilets and use water-saving techniques when preparing food and drinks. If possible, utilize renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. 
  4. Sustainable Packaging - Get to-go boxes and single-use cutlery made of eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Avoid single-use plastic for packaging to reduce waste. 
  5. Eco-Friendly Décor and Furniture - Choose sustainable furniture and décor made of eco-friendly and recyclable materials. 

There are even more areas where you can be sustainable and ethical. We can elaborate on that in a different blog article. However, now it’s time to talk about…

Key Takeaway: Sustainable cocktails are the future that all businesses in the hospitality industry should strive for. Reducing our environmental impact is not easy but can be done one drink at a time. Start now!

Sustainable Cocktails and How to Make Them

Sustainable cocktails are bar drinks made in a way that minimizes the environmental impact, while still creating delicious beverages for customers. This includes things like using eco-friendly barware, choosing the cocktail ingredients mindfully, and working in a way that avoids waste. 

If you want to transform your beverage menu and start offering more sustainable cocktails, you need to follow the tips we have listed below. Don’t forget to let your customers know about the changes you are making! Use the information in your restaurant marketing campaigns, too. It’s important to show the world that you are making a step in a more environmentally friendly direction. 

1. Use Eco-Friendly Ingredients

As already mentioned, using eco-friendly ingredients for your cocktails or the food at your restaurant will significantly change the impact your business has on the environment. If you want to serve sustainable cocktails to your customers, you need to find local producers who can supply you with the needed ingredients. It’s best if these ingredients are organic and natural and are also seasonal. 

Because of the seasonality of products, it’s best to change up your menu as the season changes. You can have a seasonal menu for both food and drinks and every season come back to some staples, but also add something new and unique to your offers. 

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2. Find Sustainable Spirits

If you have a large beverage inventory, it won’t be easy to make the switch to sustainable spirits but it’s not impossible. Little by little, you can start incorporating more sustainable spirits. You need to research the producers and find ones that prioritize sustainable practices, fair trade and are very intentional during the production process, and try to have a minimal environmental impact. 

Spirits that come in sustainable packaging are even better when you are trying to make your sustainable cocktails a permanent item on your menu. When the packaging is sustainable and recyclable, you will lower your carbon footprint even more. 

3. Focus on Waste Reduction

Becoming zero-waste is not possible for everyone, especially when we are talking about a bar or restaurant. However, there are still some practices that you can implement that will set you on the path of reducing waste. 

One thing you can do to reduce waste while creating your sustainable cocktails is to use citrus peels as a cocktail garnish. You can also create syrups and infusions from any leftover fruit you have. You should also consider using reusable straws, stirrers, and glassware instead of single-use plastic. If not possible to have reusable everything, try switching to recyclable materials.  

4. Think about Energy and Water Efficiency

Using energy-efficient equipment and minimizing water use during the preparation of cocktails is another step you can take in the right direction. When that’s possible, invest in appliances and fixtures that will help you reduce energy and water consumption. 

5. Show Social Responsibility

Think about incorporating fair trade-certified ingredients to ensure that producers receive fair compensation and work in safe conditions. This is an incredibly important topic and a great way to support your local community. Look for farmers, breweries, and wineries in the region that are doing their best to become more sustainable. By working with them and boosting their business, you will do good for the environment and the people. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Sustainable Cocktails

Do you want to know more about sustainable cocktails? If you are interested in learning more on the topic, read all of the answers we have given to these frequently asked questions. You can find them below!

Why Are Sustainable Cocktails Important?

Sustainable cocktails help reduce the environmental impact of the beverage industry by conserving resources, minimizing waste, and supporting ethical production practices. They also promote healthier, more natural ingredients and support local economies.

What Are Some Examples of Sustainable Spirits?

Sustainable spirits are those produced with environmentally friendly practices, such as:

  • Organic vodka from sustainably farmed grains
  • Fairtrade rum from ethically sourced sugarcane
  • Biodynamic wine made with minimal intervention farming techniques

Will Sustainable Cocktails Still Taste Good?

Absolutely! Sustainable cocktails can be just as flavorful and enjoyable as traditional ones. As a matter of fact, using fresh, high-quality ingredients often enhances the taste. Creativity and skill in using sustainable practices can result in unique and delicious drinks.

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