Today I wanted to share my favorite items to stock a vegan and zero waste bar cart! Okay, it doesn't have to be a bar cart obvs but how adorable are styled bar carts?
This post has a lot rolled into one, vegan and sustainable liquors, plastic free mix-ins and my favorite recipes that combine them all!
I won't get into explaining vegan alcohol but I will share some of my favorite brands below! It goes without saying that sustainably made liquor is important as well.
You all know I don't like the term zero waste so I really try to use plastic free instead. The only way to have completely zero waste cocktails would to be to make your own...even then I don't know if it's zero waste. But anyway, there will be some recyclables, we are just here to focus on plastic free!
Below are some great vegan and responsibly made liquors. I don't know if any don't package in plastic at all, but I know all come in a glass bottle version, so obviously purchase that one.
Tito's Vodka: vodka for dog people! They are made in Texas from 100% corn (psst gluten free) and donate a portion of proceeds to help dogs in need. Veev: It is made from Brazilian Rainforest Acai Berriers and other all natural ingredients. It is made in LA and their distillery is run by 100% renewable energy. Forest 360: Based in Missouri this vodka is dedicated to reducing their wastes, renewable resources and to date have planted more than 225 trees around their facility. Blue Ice Organic American Wheat Vodka: Made in Idaho and certified organic! Organic Nation Vodka: This Oregon based vodka is made from organic rye, wheat and corn. They have certification through Tilth which is a non-profit that is dedicated to responsible agriculture. True Organic Vodka: They plant a tree for every purchase! They also use various tree-free or recycled stocks and uses vegetable inks whenever possible.
Bluecoat American Gin: Made in Philly and without the use of any additives. They also use allergenic ingredients. Elephant Gin: Since they first being this Germany based company has been donating 15% of their proceeds to African elephant conservation efforts. Peak Spirits CapRock Organic Gin: 12 different organic botanicals as well as Jonathan and Braeburn apples are the secret sauce to this Colorado Gin. They also use clean, naturally filtered, high altitude water in their distillery.
Whistle Pig Whiskey: Made in Vermont and highly rated by experts across the country. They are also certified organic. Woodford Reserve Whiskey: This Kentucky born and bred company is passionate about their sustainability. They partnered with the Kentucky Chapter of Nature Conservancy, have added 400 trees to their property, provide bee friendly wildlife and plant vegetation to prevent erosion. Bruichladdich: This organic Scotch Whiskey partners with local organic farms. They pride themselves on being progressive distillers and the future is organic! Highland Harvest Organic Scotch Whiskey: This whiskey is certified by both the Soil Association and the CCOF in the US.
123 Organic Tequila: Came as the most recommend organic tequila! Republic Tequila: Sustainability it at their core. The pulp remaining after the extraction of agave juice is recycled producing steam that powers our entire distillery operation.
Now that we covered wide variety of sustainable liquors, you might find it impossible to stock your bar. If you feel your friends drink variety, pick one of each and roll with it!
We always try to have a bottle of Tito's and some kind of whiskey in the house, most people like one or the other. (Wine and beer could be a whole other post....someday soon I'll do that but check Barnivore.com to find them easily)
For the mix-ins again stick with plastic free, it's easier than you think.
One of my favorites is kombucha, especially cause it's easy to buy in large jars nowadays! Fresh squeezed juice is another easy and healthy option, we never drink soda and our cocktails are no exception.
If your friends aren't feeling soda free, encourage them to try it! Have the fix-ins for a couple options below and ask which they'd like to try! Even more fun, grab a cute little chalkboard to write down the recipes to make ordering easy like a real, legit bar ;)
Add in fresh fruit or herbs! Mint mojitos, fresh lime margaritas, make your drinks from scratch and have fun trying new things. They also add great flavors to pretty much any liquor.
For serving grab some simple glass cocktail glasses or even better find some cute vintage ones at a resale shop! They have the cutest glassware.
For the most part I don't find that a shaker is necessary, but reusable stir sticks are probably something good to get! They also have stainless ice cub trays or whiskey stones that help keep your cocktails zero waste.
Here are my favorite go-to recipes.
Kombucha Cocktails You can make these so many different ways and every way tastes delicious. I typically will just have vodka with whatever kombucha I have in the fridge.
If you'd like something a little crazier, try these Rose Lemonade Kombucha Cocktails. Rose Water
Blood Orange Gin Martini 2 ounches gin 1 ounce fresh blood orange juice Over ice Add fresh slice for garnish
Tequila Sunrise This is an old favorite from my bartending days! 2 ounches tequila 6 ounces fresh orange juice Splash pineapple juice Pour over ice and fresh pineapple for garnish!
Whiskey Iced Tea Punch Start by making a pitcher of iced tea, simple black tea works great! To the pitcher add fresh fruit. Peach is my personal favorite, but you can have fun with this. Let the fruit infuse the tea over night. To serve: 2 ounces whiskey 6 ounces infused tea Over ice. Garnish with fresh fruit!
I hope this gives you some ideas on simple, sustainable and plastic free cocktails for your next par-tay!
with love, Jackie