Sustainability in Booze News, May 2021

Sustainability in Booze News, August 2021

6a00e553b3da208834026bdee5947e200c-500wiHere are some recent stories shared to the CocktailGreen Facebook Page, and now grouped together here: 

 

The Science Behind Vegan Meringues

This story includes some science and testing of aquafaba in place of egg whites. It's specifically using canned aquafaba and looking at merengues rather than cocktails, but there is some good information about adding acids vs alkaline ingredients to attempt to stabilize the foam.
He also makes some flavoring suggestions to make the foam less beany-tasting. One of those ingredients is rosewater, which reminds me of some bartenders who would scent eggs with essential oils. I wonder how a Garbanzos Gin Fizz would taste?

https://www.seriouseats.com/science-of-aquafaba-meringues-5185233

 

The Weird, Sustainable Booze of the Future Tastes … Good? Wired Magazine

The booze writer and analyst Camper English tells me that lots of distilleries are trying to work with parts of plants that might otherwise get thrown away—coffee fruit, nutmeg fruit, vodkas made from whey or even leftover baked goods. Authentic cake flavor! “That latter stuff is related to sustainability as well as novelty, I think,” English says. “And the weird fermentations I’d say are more along the lines of the general trend toward bigger flavors in everything—mezcal over tequila, funky rum rather than neutral, Islay rather than Speyside.”

https://www.wired.com/story/the-weird-sustainable-booze-of-the-future-tastes-good/

 

The Safety of Bitter Melon - CocktailSafe

Often for sustainability reasons bartenders use the leftover parts of fruits and other botanicals for a second purpose, but we must always be careful: just because one part of a plant is edible does not mean the whole plant is.  Before using the leftover nuts/seeds/flowers/stalk/etc of a plant, do an internet search for the ingredient's safety - and you may as well start at CocktailSafe.org for that search as it was developed specifically for this purpose.
While probably not a major issue, the seeds of the bitter melon fruit could potentially cause issues, so this is a case where to keep ourselves and our customers safe, we should skip the second use in the interest of safety.

https://www.cocktailsafe.org/bitter-melon.html

 

14 Restaurants Around the World Doing Incredible Things for Sustainability

To help us out, restaurants around the world have been trying out new ideas and practices to offer a more sustainable dining out experience. Whether by designing entirely plant-based menus or starting organic rooftops to source fresh fruit and vegetables, chefs are responding to the fact that our everyday choices can make a big difference for the environment.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/restaurant-sustainable-zero-waste-vegan-vegetarian

 

W0W Noodle

Noodles made from spent barley grains after beer brewing:

https://www.w0wnoodle.com/about-us

 

Meet the mixologists behind 'Asia's most sustainable bar'

Describing itself as Hong Kong's first "closed-loop bar," Penicillin is working towards zero waste and hopes to inspire other venues to do the same.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/penicillin-hong-kong-sustainable-bar-hnk-spc-intl/index.html

 

Concentrated Beer? Cutting Liquid before Shipping Also Cuts Its Carbon Footprint

"The system uses what SBT calls a “nested fermentation” process to make this concentrate. First, it brews a standard beer. The machine then removes the alcohol and finally adds a new batch of wort (the sugary liquid extracted from grain mash) so additional fermentation can take place. This process is repeated several times, yielding a viscous concentrate that the company says is much more aromatic than a fully hydrated beverage. This concentrate and the removed alcohol can then be stored in separate bags and placed into recyclable boxes for shipping. After transportation, the alcohol is mixed back into the concentrate (or left out in the case of nonalcoholic beer), and the beer is rehydrated and carbonated before bottling or serving."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/concentrated-beer-cutting-liquid-before-shipping-also-cuts-its-carbon-footprint

 

You Should Freeze Your Juiced Lemon Peels

Lemons are one of the few—or maybe one of two—fruits with peels as valuable as their juicy flesh. Lemon zest is one of the quickest ways you can add the essence of sunshine to your dish, but sometimes you don’t need juice and zest at the same time, and these out-of-sync moments can leave you with a whole bunch of lemon rinds you’re not ready to use up just yet. Luckily, they freeze just fine.

https://lifehacker.com/you-should-freeze-your-juiced-lemon-peels-1847121784?

 

Turn Pineapple Cores Into a Fresh, Fruity, No-Cook Syrup

The rough texture of the pineapple skin itself makes it impossible to clean, and thus an all-too-ready source of dirt and debris that have no place in a raw syrup. But the next time you trim a whole pineapple, save the core and pips—those little eyelets carved out after peeling.

https://www.seriouseats.com/turn-pineapple-cores-into-a-fresh-fruity-no-cook-syrup

 

Camellia Sour Cocktail Camellia Beans & Gina Chersevani

The beans you use for aquafaba to replace egg whites don't *have* to be chick peas, though those are the most common. Here's a video of a Whiskey Sour with pinto beans and strawberry jam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JQHXB2enfc

 

Wine Lightens Up as Heavy Bottles Fall Out of Favor

In February, Robinson announced that she and her team at JancisRobinson.com would start weighing bottles when they taste and record the weights of particularly heavy or light bottles “in order respectively to condemn or praise those producers who had chosen them…in recognition of the fact that making and transporting glass bottles is by far the greatest contribution to wine’s carbon footprint.”

https://www.winemag.com/2021/06/09/wine-bottles-get-lighter/

 

Locally Sourced Lies? How Sustainability Became the Food World’s Most Disturbing Grift

The company staked its reputation on being a place that sustainably, organically and humanely raised its own meat on its Northern California ranch and then sold it through its own stores. If you bought from Belcampo, you assumed you had put money in the hands of a responsible steward of animals and the land. The company’s pious story offered steak-lovers an alternative to factory-farmed meat, and it let Belcampo charge a premium price. This now ex-employee alleged on Instagram that the company’s core claim was untrue: It didn’t source its meat from its own farms.

https://robbreport.com/food-drink/dining/food-world-sustainability-controversy-1234615980/

 

Lilac Syrup and the Underrated Art of Eating Flowers

A story about flower foraging to make simple syrups out of roses, lilacs, and more.
"Unless you have an abundant garden of your own, foraging is the best way to find flowers to cook with. The edible flowers sold at some specialty grocers tend to be largely scentless, and are intended to be used as a garnish. The gorgeously aromatic blossoms sold at flower shops are often heavily sprayed with pesticides, which can’t be fully washed off. What remains is the wild world of parks, yards, and sidewalk medians, which is where Nelson is most at home."

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-gastronomy/lilac-syrup-and-the-underrated-art-of-eating-flowers