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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Become an Organic, Eco-Friendly Bartender

With annual office parties, Christmas get-togethers and birthday bashes, the holidays and any other special occasion often call for a festive cocktail or celebratory toast. Answering the call of changing times, the market is seeing an increase in the availability of organic and eco-friendly liquor options. From using recycled materials to sustainable energy, more liquor companies are also embracing environmentally friendly practices. Today, you can easily tweak the way you party and unwind to fit your eco-friendly lifestyle. Become an earth-conscious bartender by stocking your liquor cabinet with the following selections: Juniper Green Gin – Comprised of organic grain and organic botanical herbs, Juniper Green Gin claims the honor of becoming the first organic London dry gin in the world. Since no chemical fertilizers are used in the growing process of the gin – chemical fungicides do not compromise the taste during grain storage. The unique flavor of the gin comes from a mouth-watering blend of organic juniper berries, savory, Angelica root, and coriander. Reyka Vodka – With a reputation for being the first vodka distilled and bottled in Iceland, Reyka Vodka utilizes a geothermal production facility to transform wheat and barley into an 80 proof (40% alc/vol) liquor that heightens the taste of any Appletini, Gibson or Black Russian. Outfit your bar with this clean, 'green' vodka and you'll support a company that embraces sustainable energy. 4Copas Tequila – Bottled in hand-blown glass from local Peruvian artisans, 4Copas Organic Tequila adds a decorative touch to the eco-friendly bartender's setup. The La Quemada 'Green' Distillery produces 100% organic blue agave in four different styles (reposado, anejo, blanco, and extra-anejo). The tequila not only serves as the first certified organic tequila in the world, but also markets a special-edition bottle that supports the works of Orange V Vodka – Speaking to the taste buds of citrus fans, Orange V Vodka uses a blend of Mandarin, Tangerine and Valencia Florida oranges to elevate its flavor. Thanks to farmers in the United States, the vodka is comprised of 100% organic neutral grains made in small batches – charcoal filtered after a four-column distillation process to eliminate lingering impurities. Square One Vodka – The packaging and process of making the vodka distilled from organically grown North Dakota rye involves a host of eco-friendly practices. For instance, choosing not to frost their bottles avoids the use of harmful chemicals. The company instead uses sustainably grown and renewable fiber sources (bamboo, bagasse and cotton) for the creation of easy-to-peel labels. The organic rye grain also creates minimally processed byproducts that supply organic dairy farm feed for farmers. Maker's Mark – Anyone for an eco-friendly Manhattan? Taking a page from the book of the Slow Food movement, Maker's Mark has been making strides in the world of sustainable alcoholic beverages. With a distillery located on a state-certified nature preserve, the company has implemented cutting-edge recycling and wastewater treatment practices. Most recently, the use of anaerobic digestion, which transforms waste into bio-gas for energy, means the distillery offsets up to 30% of their natural gas use. Papaguyo Rum – When making your next daiquiri, choose rum originating from organically farmed sugarcane that embraces organic, pesticide-free farming practices that ultimately help preserve the land. Earning organic certification from CCOF and the Soil Association, you can add Papaguyo Rum to your favorite fruit juice or cola in complete confidence. Available in Organic Rum and Organic Spiced Rum. Upgrade Your Barware Opt for an earth-conscious upgrade for your barware by making small changes to the way you prepare and serve alcoholic beverages during get-togethers. The ultimate arrangement for an eco-friendly bartender is Renewable Cork Barware – complete with fully cork wrapped mixer, ice bucket, wine cooler, serving tray, bartender utensils, bottle opener, and other accessories. Additional suggestions include:
  • Using cotton bar towels instead of paper
  • Use bamboo coasters or ones made from recycled materials
  • Choose glass swizzle sticks
  • Opt for bamboo or stainless steel olive picks
  • Slice lemons and limes on a bamboo cutting board
  • Purchase linen cocktail napkins over paper products
Image Credits: Juniper Green, Kim Seybert (cork barware)

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