Here at Onin.London you know we love Slingsby Gin (we’ll be putting a full review up soon) but first we thought we’d share the top 5 tips on how to make zero-waste cocktails.
Using Citrus Husks and Peels to create cordials and shrubs
Making cocktails often requires the use of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes with the spent husks often thrown away after juicing. Often these fruits are imported from all over the globe leaving a massive carbon footprint behind for a relatively small amount of juice. We recommend making the most out of your citrus fruits by creating shrubs and cordials. Before you juice your citrus fruits, wash them in warm water to remove any wax and use a Y-peeler or sharp knife to remove the fruit peel. Make sure the skin is thin with minimal amounts of pith and combine with sugar in a kilner jar for a few days. This draws out the zesty essential oils from the skins to create a beautifully sweet oleo saccharum (Latin for oil-sugar). Combining this with some of the citrus juice and water can create a cordial, with the addition of a vinegar turning this into a shrub.
Mint Stalk Syrup
With the mojito being one of the most popular cocktails in both bars and at home, we go through an extortionate amount of mint making tasty libations. A lot of the time, many people pick mint leaves and discard the stalks however, mint stalks can provide great complexity to a simple sugar syrup.
No, we aren’t talking about how you feel after one too many gin and tonics the night before. Dehydrating is a great way to preserve fruit and ingredients that you maybe won’t get round to using and eating. If you have some grapefruits that you didn’t get to make those palomas with or excess lemons from over-estimating how many people were going to be drinking your own cocktails, why not create some cool edible garnishes. Dehydrators are pretty expensive but fear not, you can just as easily do it in your oven.
For citrus fruits, pop your oven onto the lowest setting, between 60-80oC and place your sliced fruit about 5cm thick onto a lined sheet pan for up to 8-10 hours. When trying to dehydrate apples or pears, you can use a higher temperature, approximately 100 oC but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Grow your Own!
It sounds simple, maybe too simple, but it really does make a difference. As soon as fruits and herbs are picked, they begin to lose flavour and aroma. So, by growing your own, you’re going to have fresher ingredients and you’re reducing your carbon footprint (win win we’d say). It’s easy to pick up potted herbs from your local supermarket, it’s slightly less easy keeping them alive however, but give it a shot!
Drinking at home and in bars is fun, but we often forget, or don’t even realise, how much waste we create from our lovely libations. One of the biggest wastes in cocktails is the amount of plastic we consume in the form of straws so why not go metal? Metal straws are easy to keep clean and they largely reduce the amount of plastic we use. If metal straws get your teeth too cold, don’t worry, washable, BPA-free and food grade straws are also available that are suitable for hot and cold drinks. Every year, it is estimated that we consume 8.5 billion single use plastic straws are thrown away in the UK, most of which end up in landfill or accumulating offshore.
For more information please visit: https://www.spiritofharrogate.co.uk/