Is drinking good for you? Well, that’s up for debate but many establishments are not only serving organic wine and beer but also combining alcohol with organic, local or sustainable mixers.
The Candle Café restaurants in Manhattan (www.candlecafe.com) have served organic beer and wine for quite some time, but recently added a separate menu for their hand-crafted eco-cocktails. One drink, called The Reforestation, is a concoction of wheatgrass-infused vodka, acai berry spirit by VeeV (a company which plants a tree for every cocktail sold), mint, and ginger-infused agave syrup. Instead of having a Grey Goose on the rocks, Candle Café bartender Josh Holly may encourage you to try either the Earl Grey-infused vodka from Fair Spirits, the first vodka to be created using quinoa and produced with Fair Trade-certified ingredients, or the blueberry-infused Kanon vodka, whose distillery is run solely on electricity sourced from wind and water power.
Gabriela Martinez, beverage director of the Candle Café Westside location, often takes her staff to wine tastings at nearby vineyards. She likes to work with companies that help sustain their local communities, and works with suppliers who can comply with the restaurant’s vegan principles.
Many websites offer recipes as well as reviews of organic and eco- friendly bars and restaurants. One website, called ECO-BAR (www.eco-bar.net), was launched by Beth Parentice after years of creating and mixing cocktails for friends at home. ECO-BAR provides bar catering and cocktail menus for private events. Parentice has also created a line of mixers and sodas called SIPP (www.haveasipp.com), which are sold nationally. Her upcoming book, ECO-BAR, Your Guide to Eco-licious Libations, tells readers how to entertain in an eco-chic fashion.
Adam Morganstern co-founded the Organic Wine Journal (www.organicwinejournal.com) after meeting an organic wine producer who complained no one was promoting this segment of the wine industry. Traditionally organic wines were viewed as lower quality and were relegated to the bottom shelf in the back of liquor stores. Today the market has evolved with many wine shops displaying descriptions of vineyard practices. To your health!