Sustainable cocktails need to be more than just an eco-friendly spirit

Norwegian Prima Sustainable Cocktails at Metropolitan, photo by Cristine Struble
Norwegian Prima Sustainable Cocktails at Metropolitan, photo by Cristine Struble /

Within the food world, many people are adapting a conscious approach to their choices. Beyond reducing food waste, expanding the backyard garden, or eating seasonally, being thoughtful with ingredients should not be limited to just the plate. When it comes to the glass, sustainable cocktails are more than just the liquor poured.

Many craft cocktails impress with a variety of flavors, garnishes, and presentations. While all those items make for a stunning libation, the extras might leave an orange half used or a bottle with a little left at the end of the night. Instead of those items going into the trash, there is a way to repurpose the food and give it a second life.

When Norwegian Cruise Line introduced its sustainable cocktails at the Metropolitan Bar on Prima, the idea was as helpful to the galley as it was delicious for the guests to enjoy. The multi-faceted offering reduced waste. More importantly it showed how ingredients, which might have been thrown away, could be repurposed in a more flavorful way.

Given that many cooks appreciate the root to stem concept of cooking, a similar idea, leaf to root, can be applied to cocktails. Efficiency in usage is important.

Although the master mixologists and beverage team from Norwegian Cruise Line can make the concept look easy, anyone can borrow some of those ideas and employ them at home. It can be as simple as using the whole lemon, not just the rind. Or, using some leftover sparkling wine to make a syrup or repurposing other ingredients to make an infusion.

From there, adding some sustainable spirits to the conversation heightens the movement. There are various liquor brands that have a responsible slant. Whether being certified as a Carbon Neutral or giving back to the environment, being thoughtful with the bottle is equally as important. A simple search can reveal a wide range of spirits that are eco-conscious.

The sustainable cocktails conversation can and should be front and center all the time, not just one day a year. Isn’t it time to think before you pour?