Almost half of cocktail customers are prepared to pay a premium for eco-products, a survey has found.
At least one venue has cut waste by around three-quarters in response to the growing sustainability trend, according to organisers of this year’s World Class barmen’s competition in Mexico City.
Expert judges considered creations using Lithuanian herbs originally deployed in medicine, ice made with Caribbean rain water and a German “Bees and Trees” entry which sounded like it could have come from a Heidi novel.
Leading cocktail maker Dre Masso said: “The world is waking up to the impact that their choices have both on their bodies and the environment.
“Sustainable and reusable methods and ingredients are becoming increasingly important.
“The mixologists who embrace this new reality are the ones who will flourish.”
In a recent poll, nearly one in two customers expressed a willingness to pay a 10% premium for goods produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way, according to the competition organisers.
Ryan Chetiyawardana, a businessman from the Dandelyan bar in London, said this approach had cut waste at his venue by as much as 75%.
Among recipes showcased in Mexico City were the Seven Seas Cocktail from the Cayman Islands to raise awareness of the campaign to keep the oceans blue.
It used ice made from captured rain water and was lightly sprayed with salty seawater to drive home the message.
Cork's Andy Ferreira bids for glory. pic.twitter.com/5iKvxeeQwb— michael mchugh (@mmchugh02) August 22, 2017
The German offering also focused on using fresh ingredients sourced locally, while Irish entrant Andy Ferreira said he forages for blackberries in the gorse near his Cork bar.
He added: “I am really passionate about sustainability; it was the thing I was most excited about coming to this competition.”
So-called culinary cocktails have also become increasingly popular.
They can include a foie gras and salted caramel-infused Manhattan’s, a Kobe Old Fashioned, made with beef fat from the Japanese delicacy, or a Margherita pizza cocktail featuring gin-infused with pizza crusts, tomato juice cooked with onions, basil, oregano, and warm Burrata cheese foam.
Australian MasterChef host and judge Matt Preston said: “With the rise in the last decade or so of celebrity chefs and the increased interest in cuisine, the most enlightened mixologists will explore and experiment with flavours, textures, ingredients and techniques borrowed from their peers in the world of fine dining.”