From compostable drinking straws to being more aware of wasting ingredients, bars are fast becoming much more eco-friendly environments. But the latest eco craze storming the bartending world is guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling. “Sustainable Cocktails” are a small but impactful step that bars and restaurants are taking to reduce their waste.

The cocktails are created from recycled food and drinks such as skins of fruits, citrus juices and rinds which would have been discarded. Kitchen waste that is perfectly reusable is now being cleverly created into new cocktails; leaves, seeds and pits transformed into Mojitos and Pina Coladas.

So, is this just the latest fad that will soon be forgotten about? Well one look at the statistics will make even the most sceptical realise it’s time to be more sustainable. Take the lime in your Margarita, a refreshing citrus garnish to top off the drink. But to import a Brazilian Lime, the fruit racks up 5,464 in air miles, resulting in emissions polluting the air.
Despite sustainability in the catering industry often a focal point in restaurants’ agendas, the drinks industry is still slightly behind. However, sustainable cocktails are now giving restaurants a run for their eco-friendly money.

Sustainable cocktails aren’t just reusing scraps from behind the bar. They are aiming to utilise local, natural ingredients, minimise pollution and reducing the carbon footprint of imported products. Sustainability in these drinks also looks at reducing the amount of ice in drinks. The bar industry is also focusing on locally sourced products for their colourful concoctions. Using U.K. grown strawberries for the popular Daquiri drink will not only reduce the emissions from importation but will also help to boost the farming industry.

One such ingredient most establishments often throw down the sink has been slowly making its way into the spotlight. ‘Aquafaba’ or what we know as the juice in a can of chickpeas, surprisingly makes an excellent egg white replacement. When whipped, it can be used as a substitute not just in food but for drinks too.

Popular New York restaurant RedFarm strives to reuse products that can be easily thrown away. One such cocktail, named the ‘Cage Corsica’ mixes almond milk, amaro, mazcal and coffee liqueur, using the roasted coffee grounds that would go in the waste. The owners insisted they stopped throwing away the grinds as the bitter but delicious coffee remnants have been expertly used to create the coffee liqueur.

The trend of ‘Sustainable Cocktails’ doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon, with cocktail connoisseurs becoming much more conscious. This is what will make a real difference not only to the bartending world, but to the entire environment. Small steps will make a big difference.

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