Raise a Toast: Six Delicious Drinks for more Sustainable Sipping

Planet Saving Drinks

From cutting food waste, to championing re-use and refill, and going carbon neutral – this little list champions a few of my favourite booze brands making delicious drinks, and doing their bit for the planet at the same time.

1. Toast’s Hazy Pale Ale

Toast are a London-based brewery who make beer using surplus bread (to replace virgin barley), therefore using less land, water and energy, and avoiding carbon emissions. They give all profits to charity, not shareholders, thus funding the systemic change needed to fix the food system. I love their beer (and their ethos) so much, I put it on the bar at my wedding (see above)!

This week, they launched a brand new beer in collaboration with the Co-op. Their Hazy Pale Ale (4%) has been brewed with surplus bread from Co-op’s bakery suppliers, helping to rescue over half a tonne of surplus loaves (replacing some of the malted barley). It will be sold as a 4-Pack, exclusively available at Co-op stores.

It’s super juicy and perfect for the lazy, hazy days of summer. The haziness of the beer comes from only part-filtering in the final stages of production, leaving behind more flavour and aromas of passionfruit, peach and pineapple. There’s also a silky-smooth bitterness, and the late kettle hops deliver a soft mix of mango, orange, lychee and floral notes.

2. Hawksbill Caribbean Spiced Rum

10% of all profits from the sale of Hawksbill Caribbean Rum goes directly towards turtle conservation projects overseas and beach cleaning in the UK; they recently commitment to 365 days of litter picking and waste clean-ups at beaches and parks across the UK in 2021. You can read more about their efforts to protect critically endangered marine creatures by clicking here. I was #gifted a bottle of this rum to help me celebrate Earth Day; the packaging looks bloody gorgeous, and I loved the warm vanilla notes – perfect with ginger beer and lots of ice.

3. St Davids Ramsey Island Gin

This unique Welsh gin contains botanicals hand-foraged from Ramsey Island, about 1 kilometre off St David’s Head in Pembrokeshire on the northern side of St Brides Bay. A donation from the sale of each bottle of Ramsey Island Gin goes towards funding wildlife projects on and around the island, all carried out by the RSPB.

We were given a bottle of this as a wedding present (as St Davids is my husband’s fave place in Wales); it’s bloody lush.

4. Silver Circle refillable Wye Valley Gin

Silver Circle Distillery, in Catbrook, recently unveiled three new ways for trade customers and members of the public to refill bottles of its most popular, award-winning Wye Valley Gin. The new refill and reuse initiatives were revealed on World Refill Day, a global public awareness campaign, which aims to make it easier for people to find places to eat, drink and shop with less waste.

5. National History Museum’s Discovery Gin

London’s Natural History Museum recently launched a delicious new carbon-negative gin, created in partnership with independent York distillery, Cooper King, available via the Museum’s online shop. Herbaceous, refreshing and vibrant, the gin has a cool smoothness from its cold distillation, Discovery Gin is made using fresh basil, balanced with fragrant lemongrass and aromatic clove.

For every 70cl bottle, one kilo of carbon dioxide equivalents (including carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases) is removed from the atmosphere – the labelling and bottling into recycled glass is all done using renewable energy too. Even the bottle’s seal is made in the UK from sustainably sourced wood cellulose, which will biodegrade in home compost in 12 weeks. What’s more, £1 from every bottle sold is donated to the distillery’s tree-planting charity partner, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

In addition, every purchase  helps the Museum care for its collection of 80 million specimens and supports 300 scientists to continue studying the natural world.

6. Discarded Grape Skin Vodka

Back on the topic of tackling food waste, the Discarded Spirits Co was set up in 2018, to specifically address this issue in the drinks business. Their Discarded Grape Skin Vodka uses the fruit recovered from the wine making process – using the stems, seeds and skins to make something new.

This summer, a partnership between Discarded Spirits and The Pickled Hen at the Marriott Hotel has created a new sustainable destination for cocktail lovers in the Big Smoke. The Discarded Terrace attempts to answer the question “what if waste was beautiful?” with signature serves including a “Pineapple Rind Negroni”, featuring Discarded Sweet Cascara Vermouth, Hendricks Gin and House-Made Pineapple Rind infused Campari using leftover pineapple rind from the restaurant’s breakfast buffet; and the Discarded Espresso Martini” which is a sustainable twist on the classic, featuring Discarded Grape Skin Vodka, Discarded Sweet Cascara Vermouth, Espresso and Coffee Grind Syrup – giving used coffee grounds from the bar’s cappuccinos and lattes a new life.

Keen to read more about sustainable booze? Check out this guide to lower impact beer from Ethical Consumer: ethicalconsumer.org/food-drink/shopping-guide/beer-lager.

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