Virtually every aspect of a functioning bar has room for optimization in terms of sustainability.
As we gear up for a brand-new year we reflect on the past and make a commitment to do better for ourselves and our surroundings in the future.
Every day, environmentally conscious mixologists are uncovering new ways to take as much pressure off our planet as humanly possible. For instance, three SoCal bartenders are currently employing the practice of integrating waste-eliminating garnishes (specifically dehydrated versions) into their cocktails for a sip that is both beautiful and a part of a smarter, more sustainable bar operation. For these pro mixologists, a dehydrated dragon fruit slice or upcycled strawberry scrap serves a far more noble cause than an aesthetically pleasing cocktail.
We follow three west coast bartenders at some of the top bars in the area to find out how to garnish more sustainably. Our second in the series, Behind the Garnish, highlights Bar Manager Eric Johnson’s Beach Plum Berry cocktail.
Bar Manager, Eric Johnson
Waverly, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA | Beach Plum Berry
Talk to us about your waste-free garnishes at your bar
Edible flowers that the kitchen uses on its dishes are also used as a garnish for our drinks. Almost all garnishes are edible on our cocktail menu.
Why is it important to create a more sustainable program at your bar?
Waste is always something our bars are trying to slim. Whatever we can use from the kitchen or from slightly used products in their entirety is the goal.
Give us some tips for using waste-eliminating garnishes.
We cut wheels for our dehydrated garnish. By doing that, we can get more slices out of fruit than a wedge not dehydrated.
We try to use all the fruit, whether for garnish, juice, making syrups, or oleo Saccharum.
What is important for bartenders to know?
Being cautious about using as much product without waste is key. We are doing our part to save the planet.
Story Behind the Garnish
The Beach Plum Berry is meant to evoke sunset in drink form, stacked with dehydrated pineapple flowers, oranges, and limes. This seltzer-resembling cocktail is made with Peché de Vigné, lime acid, soda, and vodka. Served on draft for easy access, this cocktail comes out clear and bubbly with a higher abv than your average seltzer. Bar Manager Eric Johnson dehydrates most of his fruits and utilizes ingredients such as citric acid to save from using an excessive number of limes.
Beach Plum Berry
- 2 oz Tito’s
- 3/4 oz Giffard Peche de Vigne (peach)
- 1/2 oz citric acid
- Topped with plum soda
Preparation: Combine ingredients in highball over ice. Garnish with dehydrated fruits.