When that shiny goblet of a gin and tonic cocktail is placed in front of you, you’re not exactly aware of what all went into the making of the drink. Let alone even think about the amount of excess waste created while making a single cocktail. From discarded lemons to lime wedges to throwaway garnishes, cocktails create a lot of bar waste.
Such reasons led bartender to think about the way they used their resources and thus came up with a new movement called sustainability. Bartenders all across the world have been concentrating on making more sustainable cocktails and reducing bar waste. The whole concept is about reusing and recycling ingredients in an attempt to make zero-waste cocktails.
If you are an environmentally-conscious cocktail-er, this eco cocktail trend might just interest you. I mean who doesn’t mind saving the planet while sipping on a delicious guilt-free zero-waste cocktail. So, here are a few ways you can embrace this trend while making your own cocktails.
What makes a cocktail a zero-waste cocktail?
Zero-waste cocktails are drinks that are made with an eco-conscious motive and are in harmony with nature. It’s about minimising the use of natural resources and saving energy. The idea is to throw away less “leftovers” and use each ingredient to its full potential.
So, how exactly do you do that? Here are a few tips on how to get in on this zero-waste cocktail trend.
When life gives you lemons
There’s so much more you can do with a single fruit than just juicing it. Think about all the money, time and resources that went into the production of that single ingredient. It would be a waste to simply use it for one purpose and discard the rest. For instance, lemon juice is used in a number of cocktails. However, once you juice it up, you don’t need to throw the rest. The peels, rinds, roots, leaves and seeds can all be upscaled as part of a new cocktail creation. You can use the peels for the zest or even as a garnish. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Today’s leftovers are tomorrow’s infusions
So, we’ve already discussed using the ingredients to the fullest but what do you do with the excess leftovers after. Say you had a bowl of strawberries and at the end of the day you are left with a handful of oddly shaped ones that didn’t make it to your fancy garnish. Such perishable ingredients can be used to make infused spirits or syrups which can be then turned into delicious cocktails. Those leftover strawberries can be easily infused to make this homemade DIY flavoured vodka. This recipe is easy to make and easier to sip on.
To plastic or not to plastic
The answer is easy but there’s a lot of effort that will go into it. The first step into transitioning to environmentally-friendly options is to lose the straws and other plastics around. These days, there are plenty of alternatives like bamboo straws or paper ones. Bartenders are even getting more creative about it by making straws from their own cocktail ingredients. For instance, World Class 2019 India contender Rohit Gaurav used corn as the main ingredient in his cocktail. He then went to use the corncob as the straw for the cocktail. Isn’t that innovative!
Go local or go home
Using local and seasonal products can impact your carbon footprint in a big way. This may not be directly related to the zero waste movement but it’s definitely related to being more sustainable. When you use local ingredients, you reduce the cost, time and resources used to transport the products. Similarly using seasonal ingredients, you reduce the need to store the ingredients which in turn use a lot of energy to do so. All these factors affect the environment. Plus, using local and seasonal products make the cocktail fresher.
Zero-waste cocktails is not just a passing trend. With the environmental motives involved, it makes it a conscious movement. If bars can get in on it and do their part, so can we.
Also Read: Akhilesh Sheoran Goes World Class The Sustainable Way
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