Easy Steps to Creating an Eco-Friendly Holiday Bar

 

cocktailEggnog, mulled wine, pomegranate punch…when planning your festive drink menu this holiday season, there are some quick and easy steps you can take to creating an eco-friendly bar.

Here’s a list to help you get you started:

Green Spirits: Many liquor companies are making efforts to add environmentally friendly practices to their production, from their choice of ingredients to using recycled materials and sustainable energy in their facilities. (Here’s a short list however there are many more choices!)

  • Bluecoat American Gin– no additives and uses all-natural, organic botanicals.
  • VeeV — made from Brazilian Rainforest Acai berries and other 100% natural ingredients. Made in LA at a distillery run with 100% renewable energy. This is a delicious mixer.
  • Blue Ice Organic American Wheat Vodka — handcrafted with USDA certified organic wheat & wheat neutral spirits.
  • Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey– comes from Whistle Pig Farm in Vermont, a certified organic facility.
  • Organic Nation Vodka — distilled from organic rye, wheat, and corn, and it’s certified by an organization in Oregon that is dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.
  • 360 Vodka – green and sustainable vodka known for its innovative recycling program.
  • A few other certified organic vodkas include Orange V, Prairie, Tru Organic Vodka & Gin, and Charbay.

Check out this video on how to make a martini with organic vodka and organic apples:

Locally Brewed Beer & Organic Wine: Choose wines that are sustainable and organic. Serve locally brewed beers, plus there are also many organic and vegan choices available at craft beer stores. Wine in boxes and beer in kegs also reduce the amount of bottles to be recycled after an event.

Recycling: Create recycling bins for glass and plastic. If the bottles are just too nice to recycle, you can always reuse them for homemade mixers and simple syrups, or infusions. 360 Vodka bottles, for example, are designed with swing-top caps so that the bottles can be reused for other purposes like olive oil, vinegars, or water. And if you are recycling the bottles instead of reusing, the caps can be mailed back through their innovative Close the Loop program.

Festive Eco-Friendly Barware and Accessories: Instead of using things just once and throwing them away, choose accessories that are washable and reusable. If using disposables, choose ones that are compostable, made from bamboo, palm leaf, or  sugarcane.210BBTWIST9-bamboo-twisted-unique-skewer__67641.1406305780.490.490

Bar Towels – choose cotton instead of paper towels

Cocktail Napkins- linen instead of paper

Straws – colorful bee’s wax coated paper straws. Ours come in green, red, black, blue, and pink.

straws-blogpostOlive/Garnish Picks – stylish bamboo picks add a festive and fun touch to cocktails.

Coasters and Cutting Board – choose eco-friendly bamboo

Decorative Trays for Bar Displays and Serving – choose from bamboo, wood, palm leaf or sugarcane

Snack Bowls – mini disposable bowls made of bamboo or palm leaf for pretzels, peanuts, other bar snacks and drink garnishes.

Glassware: If you need extra glasses, you can shop garage sales or thrift stores for used barware, vintage shakers and old-fashioned glassware. Or try our new reusable Mini Doublewall Glasses in assorted sizes and shapes.

Local & Organic Ingredients for Mixers & Garnishes: choose organic locally grown fruits and garnishes. If you need lemon or lime juice, making it fresh not only tastes better, you can also compost the scraps.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances and LED Lighting: downsize to an energy efficient bar refrigerator that fits all of your mixers and fruits. Extra empty space in the fridge uses more energy so it’s more efficient to find a size that suits your needs. Check the seal on the refrigerator (if you put a dollar bill in the door, close it, and can slip the dollar out of the door, it’s time to replace the seal). Also, unplug appliances when you’re not using them.

Clean Green: Use “green” cleaning products for cleaning bar surface, glasses and bar tools.

Here’s a simple wintery holiday recipe for Mulled Spice Organic Simple Syrup from MGQ Bartending to put you in the holiday spirit —  just add rum, vodka or any other liquor to make a martini, or club soda for an alcohol free drink.

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 each orange and lemon peel
  • star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl and let sit until cooled to room temp. Store in a glass jar with tight fitting lid in the fridge. Try making a festive cocktail by combining with rum and lime soda!

 CHEERS!

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