Let’s face it — cocktail making can be expensive.
Sustainable cocktails save money, time, and resources. It’s important to create as little waste as possible. Even small strides can help the planet. There is a universal call that many people are answering for suitability. And if anything, take this as a way to get the most out of ingredients behind the bar. There are ways to creating cocktails sustainability that will help the planet and cut costs.
Every once in a while, a lime or two will get thrown away. Just aim for better and start incorporating little things that can help in the long run.
Here are a few ways to build a sustainable cocktail.
Pre-batch cocktails are a great way to manage the amount of liquor poured into each cocktail. Cocktails that can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge will help save time and energy. This process can eliminate any overpours or spillage that could happen when the night gets busy. Spillage leads to unused alcohol and a waste of product.
Bye Bye Straws
Many places have jumped on board the no straws bandwagon but, if you haven’t, now is the time. Not only does buying straws in bulk cost money, but they’re unnecessary and bad for the environment. Avoid any form of plastic in the bar, especially single-use plastic. If you want to accommodate those consumers who still want straws, have eco-friendly ones on hand in case requested.
If ingredients have to travel, it’s not sustainable. Any product purchased by a local farm or farmer is the way to go. Local produce not only adds to the stride in sustainability, but it helps the farmers who may not have gotten your business otherwise. This can tie into creating seasonal cocktail menus.
Skip Lemons & Limes
Almost 80% of cocktails call for some form of citrus. That’s a lot of lemons and limes to use. Instead, try using a different type of acid like Phosphoric, Lactic, Malic, Critic, etc. There are tons to choose from and can save from having to squeeze those fruits every day. For the cocktails that can’t live without those flavors, peel the lemons and limes before juicing. This way, you can utilize the peels for making syrups or garnishes.
Homemade Syrups & Infusions
Stop wasting leftover scraps — before you throw them in the trash bin, ask yourself if there is a way to repurpose them like, making house-made syrups or infusions. This is a money saver because instead of throwing away bruised fruits or peels, there is an opportunity to create something else. Refuse orange peels and add them to a jar with a neutral spirit. Let sit for a few weeks and then enjoy an orange-flavored vodka, tequila, bourbon, etc. Or add to a sugar syrup and create a whole new flavor profile.
Don’t go overboard with your cocktails. It’s always enjoyable having one or two drinks on the menu that are out of people’s comfort zones however, consumers stick to what they know and like. There’s a thin line between creating a delicious cocktail and throwing every ingredient in the bar into one drink.
Grow, Grow, Grow
If there is space to grow garnishes, take advantage of this opportunity. Growing your own herbs and cutting out the middleman can save a ton of time and money. Herbs grown with love always taste better, anyway. Another nice thing about having an herb garden is testing out new flavors and cocktail creations. Ever used cilantro in a cocktail? Now is your chance.