In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on environmental responsibility and sustainability in various industries, including the world of spirits. Organic and sustainable spirits have become one of the most sought-after beverages in the world as more consumers seek to re-evaluate their drinking habits and align their preferences with their values.
Why choose or switch to organic? Some people prefer to limit their exposure to harmful additives and chemicals, while others do so to protect the environment. But aside from the political perspective, many people, including professionals, merely believe that organic spirits taste better. Read on to learn more about organic and sustainable spirits and their impact on both the consumer and the environment.
Understanding Organic Spirits
Organic spirits represent a conscious shift towards manufacturing alcoholic beverages that prioritize the well-being of the consumer, the environment and the community at large. These spirits are made from organic fruits and grains, free from herbicides and pesticides.
For alcohol to be considered organic, it must adhere to strict standards and regulations set by the food industry and government. Although the requirements vary depending on the country, the standards include all production stages, from processing to packaging.
Organic spirits take into account the sourcing of raw materials. This includes ethical labor practices, supporting local communities, energy efficiency, water conservation and responsible farming. Ethical sourcing helps to ensure that the production process benefits workers and the environment.
When it comes to packaging, recyclable, refillable, and biodegradable materials are used to reduce the environmental impact and promote sustainability.
The Benefits of Going Organic
1. Reduced Environmental Impact
One of the most significant benefits of organic alcohol is its positive impact on the environment. The use of sustainable methods and organic ingredients significantly reduces the ecological footprint of alcohol production. As a result, this helps to prevent climate change, enhance biodiversity, save water resources and protect soil health.
2. A Healthier Choice
When you choose organic liquor, you are also saying "yes" to a healthier lifestyle. This is because organic spirits are free from the hazardous effects of GMOs and industrial pesticides.
3. Support Local Communities
Raise a glass of organic alcohol to help local farmers and communities. The methods used by local farmers often entail small, family-owned farms that treasure ethical business practices. Choosing organic helps local businesses expand and fosters a stronger feeling of community.
4. Richer Aromas and Flavors
Organic spirits are usually praised for their richer and more distinct flavors. Mainly because there are no chemicals present, allowing the ingredients' true flavors to fully emerge, creating a more satisfying drinking experience.
Certifications and Labels
Various certifications and labels can help consumers identify authentic organic and sustainable spirits:
- USDA Certified Organic Seal: The USDA Certified Organic symbol may be used along with statements like "made with organic ingredients" if the product has 95-100% organic ingredients.
- B Corp: This certification is about more than a company's green credentials. Companies are usually assessed on their entire environmental and social impact to attain this accreditation. B Lab, a global nonprofit network striving to reshape the economy to benefit communities and the planet, awards the certification.
- EU Organic: Similar to USDA certification, the European Union organic certification guarantees that products are produced according to strict organic standards. These standards cover different aspects of production, such as processing and packaging. The EU organic logo shows compliance with these regulations.
- Carbon Neutral Certification: The actions taken by distilleries to offset their carbon emissions, frequently through reforestation or renewable energy projects are what allow them to achieve carbon neutrality.
- Fair Trade: While it's not exclusive to sustainable practices or organic products, Fair Trade certification focuses more on ensuring fair wages and ethical treatment of employees. It promotes economic and social empowerment among workers as well as environmental sustainability.
When buying organic and sustainable spirits, consider looking for at least one of these certifications. Keep in mind that the availability of these certifications may vary depending on the specific product and your location.
Sustainable Liquor Brands
The truth is, alcohol is a huge part of most people's lives. However, traditional alcohol can be bad for our bodies. Fortunately, there are healthier choices available that are both beneficial to us and the environment. Here are some of the sustainable liquor brands:
- Absolut – Absolut is regarded as the world's most energy-efficient distillery. Through various initiatives, this premium vodka brand focuses on minimizing its environmental impact. Its buildings are carbon-neutral, and by 2040, it hopes to have zero emissions, no trash and 100% recycling. Absolut also source, produce and hire locally, avoiding carbon-intensive supply chains.
- Bombay Sapphire Gin – Bombay Sapphire Distillery has won several awards for its sustainable policies. This is made possible by a biomass boiler that powers the distillery using waste materials left over from manufacturing. This fosters the creation of a circular economy and cuts energy requirements.
- Bacardi – Bacardi is another spirit brand setting the standard for sustainable production with an environmental initiative called “The Bacardi Good Spirited sustainability” campaign. This campaign was designed to reduce environmental impact in the three areas critical to spirit production: sourcing, processing and packaging.
- Gray Whale Gin – Gray Whale Gin uses locally sourced botanicals and donates a portion of the profits to marine organizations that protect and preserve whale habitats.
Organic and Sustainable Cocktails
Sustainable cocktails are drinks that are in harmony with nature. These cocktails are all about saving energy and minimizing waste.
1. Eau de Lavender Cocktail
Sexy and smooth, this cocktail is a creative playground where the flavors and aromas blend to create delightful concoctions.
- 2 oz. Patron Silver Tequila
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. honey syrup
- 1 dash lavender bitters
- 1 egg white
- An edible flower for garnish
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain the chilled mixture into a coupe glass and garnish with the edible flower.
2. Earthy Espresso Martini
The Earthy Espresso Martini cocktail brings exquisite taste and a more conscious approach to the ingredients used.
- 1 ½ oz. Trust Me Vodka Organic
- 1 oz. organic coffee liqueur
- ½ oz. organic cold brew coffee
- ½ oz. simple syrup
Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice until well chilled. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy.
3. Manu de Chango
The Manu de Chango cocktail, a cross between a Paloma and a Margarita, is as delicious as it is sustainable.
- 1 ½ oz. Don Julio Tequila Blanco
- ½ oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
- ¾ oz. guava syrup
- 1 oz. grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. lime juice
- Guava fruit leather for garnish
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with the guava fruit leather.
4. Green Bee
The Green Bee cocktail is a refreshing, slightly sweet organic drink that incorporates herbal and citrus flavors.
- 2 oz. American Harvest Organic Vodka
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. agave nectar
- 5 mint leaves
- A lemon wedge for garnish
Muddle the mint leaves in a shaker. Add the vodka, lemon juice, agave nectar, some ice and shake vigorously. Strain the liquid into a cocktail glass and garnish with the lemon wedge.
5. New Slang
If you're looking for a zero-waste cocktail, consider trying this New Slang cocktail.
- 1 ¾ oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
- ¾ oz. pineapple juice
- ¾ oz. cherry shrub
- ½ oz. lime juice
- 3 oz. coconut water soda
- 2 dashes salt solution
- Maraschino cherries and lime wheels for garnish
Add all ingredients except the coconut water soda and shake in a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the soda, and then strain the cocktail into a Collins glass. Garnish with the maraschino cherries and lime wheels.
The future of organic and sustainable spirits looks promising. As consumers become more interested in the companies they're buying from and the ingredients used in their favorite spirits, distilleries will have no choice but to invest in sustainable practices to remain competitive.
Collaborations between regulatory bodies, producers and farmers can further simplify certification procedures and increase the accessibility of sustainable practices.
Not only the food we consume can be organic, but the drinks we enjoy as well. By choosing organic and sustainable spirits, consumers can participate in a movement that seeks to balance fun with environmental stewardship.
How are Sustainable Spirits Different from Conventional Spirits?
Sustainable spirits adhere to ethical sourcing, eco-friendly production methods and responsible packaging. These spirits aim to reduce environmental impact while promoting people's health.
Are Organic Spirits More Expensive than Traditional Spirits?
Sometimes, organic spirits can be slightly more expensive due to the cost of sourcing organic ingredients and adhering to sustainable practices.
Do Organic Spirits Taste Different from Traditional Spirits?
Yes, organic spirits tend to have a more natural and authentic flavor profile because they lack pesticides and additives.
Does Organic Alcohol Give You a Hangover?
Organic alcohol doesn't directly cause or prevent hangovers. Having a hangover is caused by a number of factors, such as the amount of alcohol consumed, hydration and genetics.