Our heightened eco-awareness is shaping everything from the cars we drive to the cloths we wear. So it’s only logical that transitioning from gas guzzling SUVs to hybrid cars and from high priced designer clothes to vintage and hemp based threads would extend to what we drink. And I’m not talking about locally sourced fruit juices or recyclable water bottles. A growing number of organic liquors are distilled and packaged using sustainable practices. Look for the following:
Rain Organics Vodka
Rain Organics is hand-made from scratch, exclusively at Buffalo Trace Distillery, three-time winner of Malt Advocate Magazine’s “Distillery of the Year” award. Crafting their small batches requires a 20 day production process which includes using cold water, white organic corn, sweet mash fermentation, and seven distinct distillations. In the final polishing stage, they add pure limestone water for a distinct smoothness and taste. Resulting vodka flavors include cucumber lime, red grape hibiscus, and honey mango melon.
LOFT Organic Liqueurs
A ton of earth friendliness is packed into LOFT liqueurs. According to co-founders Lisa Averbuch and Sabrina
Moreno-Dolan, their entire line is made from the freshest, as-local-as-possible organic fruits and botanicals available. Absolutely no synthesized flavors or bright neon colors here! You can’t get closer to nature than their lavender, spicy ginger, and lemongrass. You’ll notice that the lavender is clear, not purple, even after maceration but the flavor is unmistakable. Another unique characteristic is that these liqueurs are mostly sweetened with agave nectar. The whole package wouldn’t be complete without their tree-free paper labels made from bamboo fibers, biodegradable inks, and 100% recycled cardboard cases.
TRU Organic Gin and Vodka
Husband-and-wife team Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew began concocting Artisan gin and vodka as a hobby because they couldn’t stand the flavor of mainstream vodka. Now they run Modern Spirits, offering a complete
lineup of foodie-friendly flavors like Black Truffle, Celery Peppercorn and Candied Ginger. Delicately balanced for food pairings and ideally suited for gourmet cocktails, they use 100% certified organic American wheat not only because it’s a gold standard ingredient but because it also reduces transportation pollution during production. Artisan techniques include lemon vodka infused with hand-zested organic California lemons; vanilla vodka infused with hand-scraped organic Bourbon vanilla beans; and their 14-botanical gin made from whole-ingredient maceration similar to the technique used by 16th century European doctors. Beyond using 25% less glass than traditional bottles and recycled packing materials, they plant a tree in partnership with Maine-based Sustainable Harvest International for each and every bottle of TRU Vodka they sell.
Square One Botanical
Rye, the base ingredient of Square One Botanical, follows in the foot steps of old world luxury vodkas while the botanical mixture departs from other traditional botanical spirits where juniper in gin or caraway in aquavit is the signature ingredient. This 90 proof organic rye spirit distilled with pristine water from the Teton Mountains is infused with not one but count them…8 organic botanicals: pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander and citrus peel.
Making its official debut at Tales of the Cocktail in July 2009, this spirit’s fruit and floral characteristics are out front yet don’t overpower the herbal botanicals. Think of the pairing possibilities!
And since their organic botanical essences are only seasonally available, this liquor is released with limited production. Square One’s other sustainable practices include using soy inks, tree-free face labels, and vegetable based transparent side labels.