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May 2020

Testing Color Retention Strategies in Citrus Wheels, Part 2

Many bars choose to use dehydrated citrus wheels instead of fresh ones to use as garnish in cocktails. As drying out the citrus preserves the wheels, there is no waste at the end of the night. However, some customers do not enjoy the look of ones that are toasted to a brown color. I decided to try my hand at dehydrating/preserving some lime wheels in various ways to see if I could make them retain a lively bright green color while preserving them. (Spoiler: I have not succeeded.) My home dehydrator has only one setting, and it seems pretty hot... Read more →

Freezing and Thawing Citrus Ends in an Attempt to Make Oleo Saccharum

Oleo Saccharum, sugar imbued with citrus oil, is typically made with peeled citrus. The peeling seems to be crucial to freeing the oils in the citrus for the sugar to pull it out - you can't just pour sugar over a whole lime and make oleo saccharum. I was curious about making oleo from the ends of citrus after making wheels - those are not typically peeled and would be very hard to peel. Also, for limes that were squeezed (as limes are hard to peel) - same situation. My thought was that if you put the citrus in the... Read more →

Low- and No-Citrus Innovations from Stillife in Montreal

The bar Stilllife in Montreal uses no fresh citrus juice on their menu. The citrus products they do use are waste created by their other bar, The Cloakroom. Bar owner Andrew Whibley emailed with some information and recipes from the bar. He made sure to credit the other members of his team for these recipes as well: Andrew Whibley- Owner Stillife/Cloakroom Bar Jonas Kempeners - Manager Cloakroom Jay Lawson- Prep manager Stillife Anna Levy- Prep manager Cloakroom Quick Links Citrus Oil Sprays instead of using fresh peels Fermented leftover citrus juice and a drink recipe that uses it Acid-adjusted fruit... Read more →

Make candied citrus peels from oleo saccharum

Oleo saccharum is citrus sugar extracted from citrus peels. You can then take those sugar-coated peels and put them in a food dehydrator to make dried candied peels as a garnish or snack. Simply: Peel citrus Cover peels with sugar and let sit overnight. The sugar will pull out citrus oils and turn into syrup The next day or two, use your fingers and wipe off the syrup from the peels and place in a dehydrator (or in your oven on the lowest setting) Reserve the flavored sugar syrup to use in cocktails. I use mine in Old Fashioneds (orange... Read more →

Reasons to Use a Nano-Water Filtration System by Ross Simon

Ross Simon of Bitters & Twisted Cocktail Parlour in Phoenix, Arizona uses a nano-filtration system at the bar. This system not only filters water for drinking water, it can be adjusted for many different uses at the bar. According to Wikipedia, "Nanofiltration (NF) is a relatively recent membrane filtration process used most often with low total dissolved solids water such as surface water and fresh groundwater, with the purpose of softening (polyvalent cation removal) and removal of disinfection by-product precursors such as natural organic matter and synthetic organic matter." Simon writes his reasons for using this system: 1. It uses... Read more →

Testing Blanched Citrus Wheels for Color Retention in Dehydrated Garnishes

In many online recipes for candied citrus peels, the directions include blanching the citrus in boiling and then freezing water several times in order to "reduce bitterness and retain color." I wondered if the color-retaining properties would carry over to dehydrated citrus wheels, which are a popular way to garnish cocktails with less waste than fresh citrus wheels - as leftover wheels and partially-cut citrus would be discarded at the end of each night. Dehydrated citrus wheels often turn brown and don't taste good, so I was seeking ways to improve them. So I did an experiment: I compared dehydrated... Read more →

Animal Products Versus Transportation Costs of Plant Ingredients

In the cocktail bar setting it would not be normal to choose between beef or peas for a cocktail ingredient, but still there are some facts to learn from this story on called "How to reduce your food’s carbon footprint, in 2 charts." Visit the link to see (and blow up) a chart that compares for many foods the land use, transport, packaging, and other factors of foods' carbon impact. It's very interesting. The story's subtitle declares that transportation costs of shipping foods to consumers is not a significant factor compared to whether those foods are animal-based (a lot... Read more →

A Drink from Sacramento's The Snug with Several Sustainable Ingredients

Trevor Easter of The Snug in Sacramento shared information about a top-selling drink called That's the Fuckin’ Drink. For it, he makes a cordial out of limited-season blood oranges, a sunflower seed infusion, a vegan foamer, and preserved edible citrus as a garnish. It's a good example of extending seasonality and looking local for ingredients. He originally shared the post to Facebook and gave us permission to post it here. The below text is from Trevor Easter. Photos are by Anna Wick for The Snug. That's the Fuckin’ Drink By Trevor Easter California has had really poor citrus seasons lately... Read more →

The Surprisingly Useful Milk Clarification Method

Milk clarification is a cocktail technique in which an acidic ingredient is used to curdle milk, separating it into curds and whey. The curd clumps act as filters that trap particulates, so that when a cloudy liquid is poured through them (such as a cocktail with lime juice that curdled the milk) it comes out clear. The curds stay behind and the whey goes into the clarified cocktail. This technique is used to make Milk Punch (aka Clarified Milk Punch or British Milk Punch). However beyond making tasty drinks, the clarification process acts as a preservative - the cocktail can... Read more →

Coffee Liqueur Recipe from Used Coffee Grounds from Breanne Rupp

Breanne Rupp of Boat Drinks Bar in St. Augustine, Florida sent along a recipe for a "foolproof leftover coffee grind liqueur". I put it in parts because it scales really easily this way but if parts are converted to cups (for at home making, not weighing out ingredients like at a bar) it yields a bit over 1L. Foolproof Leftover Coffee Grind Liqueur Ingredients: 1 part leftover coffee grinds 4 parts sugar (basic granulated white sugar is easiest/cheapest to work with but you can experiment with other types or just use what you have) 2 parts liquor (80 proof is... Read more →

Methyl Cellulose Foamer and Oleo-Based Lime Cordial from Andreas Sanidiotis

Andreas Sanidiotis, Head Bartender at Lost + Found Drinkery in Nicosia, Cyprus wrote in with a couple tips. Methyl Cellulose as a Foamer Instead of Eggwhites/Aquafaba For egg alternatives I used to use aquafaba and albumin but was not very pleased with either of those. Albumin gives off a weird egg smell after a while which can be very off-putting in cocktails. The same goes with aquafaba, it gives off a smell that does not necessarily compliment cocktails the way fresh egg white will do. On that note after some research and experimentation I stumbled upon Metilgel from SOSA, which... Read more →

Sustainably Stories in the News

Here's a round-up of some recent cocktails/wine sustainability stories in the news. For Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery wrote, "Low-Waste Bars and Restaurants Are Building a New Paradigm." Some interesting quotes from the story: During the planning phase, Marcus consulted with FoodPrint, experts in waste hauling, to find a vendor who recycles and composts properly. Rich and Chambers asked a vendor to switch from plastic tape to paper, a change the vendor made for all its accounts. Others who wouldn’t conform to Rhodora’s packaging guidelines were dropped. A baker that delivered in plastic was replaced by one that biked bread to... Read more →

Some Tips from Meryll Cawn of Hi-Lo Club and AllStirredUp

Meryll Cawn, a bartender at Hi-Lo Club in San Francisco and partner in AllStirredUp Beverage Consulting, sent over some responses to queries. Thrift Store Cocktail Glasses We only use thrift store finds for our cocktail glasses. Not only are we saving money, but we giving the glasses a new, albeit short, life. Customers love all the different and unique glasses. The biggest problem is making sure you have the right proportion of properly sized glasses for your menu cocktails and frequently ordered classics. You do need to keep a bit of back stock as well. When you are thrifting for... Read more →

Non-Alcoholic Milk Preserved Sour Mix Foamer

Julian de Féral is an international drinks consultant, occasional bartender, and writer. He was previously the drinks director for the London-based Gorgeous Group. He created a non-alcoholic milk punch that uses an oleo saccharum from extra lemon zests, plus older lemon juice. The mix punch method (curdling the mixture with milk then straining) helps preserve the lemon flavor, and adds whey from the milk that in turn adds froth to cocktails! Typically the ratio of "punch" to milk in the milk punch is 4:1 and this one has more, it would be interesting to play with the ratios to see... Read more →

Analysis of Plastic Straw Alternatives from Julian de Féral

Julian de Féral is an international drinks consultant, occasional bartender, and writer. He was previously the drinks director for the London-based Gorgeous Group. He researched alternatives to straws in 2018. This post is strung together from various reports he forwarded to CocktailGreen. I have bolded a couple of sentences for emphasis. Having worked for Milk & Honey London in the early to mid '00s who in the UK were the early adopters of straw alternatives, it was always something that I followed. However early January '18 things really stepped up as a major (non-industry) publication in the UK published a... Read more →