While organic beer and wine are relatively easy to find, hard liquor (in case you haven’t noticed) is not.
But LET’S TAWK about the former for a moment… If you’re a true ECO WHORE, you’ll want to completely cut the FOOD MILES out all together and brew your own moonshine! it’s actually not hard at all, and pretty damn fun.
One more note about wine… I recently discovered the most amazing device thanks to HENNESSY WINE & LIQUOR. In the past I have gone through countless plastic wine pumps which extract the oxygen out of your half empty bottle and save it reasonably well until your next craving. But they inevitebly break and become useless land fill fodder with a half life of about ten thousand years. Not to mention that China apparently owns the intellectual patent on them, so think of the fossil fuel in shipping those babies. Unable to stand the waste, I switched to the RABBIT. Not the vibrator, but the wine preserver. And I must say, I was a little dissapointed. Maybe I was using it wrong…I dunno. But it doesn’t matter, for my Prince Charming has arrived in the form of PRIVATE PRESERVE! Apparently, I need to get out more. Because It’s what all the fancy restauraunts use when they have to open a special vintage of wine, scotch, ect. to serve by the glass without spoiling the whole bottle. This miraculous invention works by spraying a layer of safe gas into the open bottle that acts as a seal. Made in the USA, NO CFC’S, RECYCABLE ALUMANUM—pure genious in a can. It can also be used to preserve anything sensitive to oxygen… even oil paint! Check your local wine shop and if they don’t stock it, ask them to start!
Now back to the extra good stuff—vodka! Thank GOD for Square One Vodka! The only organic spirit I’ve been able to procure without importing from Europe. Still unavailable to everyone, rest assured it is not a myth, it does exist! Keep pressing your local liquor store to carry it. They’ll in turn keep asking their distributor, who will hopefully keep their eyes open for it. Spirit companies need a licensed distributor in each and every state, so there is the chance that they don’t have one YET in your state : (
The Square One website lists which states carry it and which don’t. So far I’ve only been able to find it in upscale manhattan spirit shops. And as with most “green goods,” it’s a bit on the pricey side for forty somethin’ a pop. But the bottle is so beautifully designed, it’s almost worth it just for that. The taste is very smooth, but anything is better mixed with fresh fruit juice, so try an Earth Day Cocktail next chance you get. Hint-hint, COUNTER in nyc serves Square One martinis. THREE CHEERS FOR SQUARE ONE VODKA!
Those forward-living Brits have a nice sized assortment of organic liquor, partly because they’re certification standards are different from the States, and partly because they’re just more environmentally minded. Thankfully though, they’re sending some alcoholic goodies over, just for us! My personal favorite of this entire post, being the OTT cat lover that I am, is SNOW LEOPARD VODKA. They give 15% of it’s profits to wildlife charities, with an emphasis on the Snow Leopard. It is planned to become available later this summer… in the interim, we’ll just have to make do with the virtual stuff at snowleopardvodka.com
The following alcohols are currently AVAILABLE in the States. All of them have been awarded the very prestigious Prince of Walesâ€™s Royal Warrant by His Royal Highness Prince Charles. Yup, as it turns out, the stealthy Charles has been a covert and hard core environmentalist all these years. Who knew?! a TRUE SCORPIO! Guess it’s time for me to stop hating him for cheating on Diana, huh? Again, ask your local liquor store to carry them and keep your fingers crossed. I encourage distributors to contact the importer… this is a growing market!
JUNIPER GREEN ORGANIC LONDON GIN
UTKINS U.K. 5 ORGANIC VODKA The only UNFILTERED vodka in the world!
HIGHLAND HARVEST ORGANIC SCOTCH WHISKEY
PAPAGAYO ORGANIC WHITE RUM
PAPAGAYO SPICED ORGANIC RUM
Well now that we have the contents of the glass all wrapped up, let’s get to the fun part—the container of the libational masterpiece, THE COCKTAIL GLASS! The best way to be green, is to repurpose. “Recycling is nice, but repurposing is where it’s at”—Shawn Dell Joyce, Sustainable Artist. Time for a little retail therapy at the Salvation Army! I picked this pretty little engraved gem up for a quarter.
Or, another noble option would be to purchase MADE IN THE USA, RECYCLED glassware by FIRE & LIGHT in California.
A note on straws: THEY SUCK! yes, of course they do you say. But really, they suck twice. Granted, they do facilitate the consumption of a Banana Daquari. But, what to do once you’ve finished with the drink? Well, throw it away duh! Straws are not recycled anywhere that I know of. Hence, destination landfill—future home of all straws. Will somebody please invent a corn, soy, or bamboo based straw all ready?! Oh wait, someone all ready did-
check em out at nat-urstore.com (just waiting for the GMO free variety now : )
And while we’re on the subject of corn, soy and agricultural crops… There is an URGENT message that I am compelled to disperse: G.M.O. crops are B.A.D. The Europeans and Japanese figured this out a while ago, but good ‘ole US of A is still in denial, Along with China. The latter governments claim there are minimal side effects of GMO crops. GMO stands for GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM. The DNA structure of a seed is altered to make crops pest resistant. Sounds good yes. But unfortunetely, it also makes those same crops resistant to other types of friendly insects. Such as our beautiful Monarch Butterly, and China’s Mulberry Silkworm. I know this for a fact because my teacher, Cheryl Kolander, of AURORA SILK ships silkworm larvae to teachers for school projects around the country. She has been recently getting reports of the larvae dying, which never occured before. She deduced that each report had occured within five miles of a GMO crop planting. In the entire United States, there is only one county in California that prohibits the use of GM crops. Now Mexico is even blaming the US for killing 75% of their precious Monarch Butterly Population. Noone has any idea how grave this situation could become. These are results that we see. Imagine what we are not seeing? Spread the word, and try to avoid purchasing anything made with GM seed. This is near impossible today as it has basically taken over the world, but for the record, you can be sure that anything Certified Organic does not contain GM seed. Oh, and say goodbye to silk and butterflies.
When you throw your cocktail party, supply your guests with paper napkins by MARCAL. Serious eco-points in purchasing these outstanding nappies. In fact, I give them THE ROYAL SEAL OF INTOXICATED ZODIAC. That’s how good they are! They are made with paper, from paper—100% recycled! They are made in our beautiful garden state (New Jersey)! Their parent company DOESN’T conduct useless, cruel, antiquated tests on innocent white bunnies! They’re inexpensive! Now what more can you ask for in a discardable face wipe?
Last but not least on my list of Green Cocktails, is the use of organic ingredients. A good rule of thumb is: If you can’t buy organic, buy local. If you can’t buy local, buy seasonal. My favorite place on the planet for incredibly awesome produce is Blooming Hill Farm, in New York’s Hudson Valley. They also set up at NYC’s Union Square Market & the Nyack Farmer’s Market (check their site for schedule). Swing by and check em out, you won’t be dissapointed. I’ve become so spoiled by their Mesclun mix that I am almost physically incapable of purchasing lettuce in a conventional grocery store. Even during winter, the farm grows every one of the thirty varieties of lettuce that make up their Mesclun mix.
To furthur save the planet (you can stop wretching now, I know, I’m an eco goodie two shoes) mix your cream-based cocktails with SOY CREAMER rather than regular cream. This is because the dairy industry works hand in hand with the meat industry. One could not exist without the other. Meat is expotentially worse for the environment than vegetables. Fact. Choose soy, but do be aware that even this magic bean is not without it’s controversy. The Amazon’s rainforest was felled for more than one soy plantation. Here’s the irony though: the soy beans aren’t just shipped back to us vegetarians. Nope, most of it is fed to our livestock! Whatever happened to good ‘ole grass? If the amazon’s soya crops were strictly for human consumption, the damage would be SO much less. And our cattle wouldn’t be forced to eat soybeans—which is not part of a typical bovine diet and gives them gastrointestinal pain. That’s why it’s more environmentally friendly to mix with soy creamer than real cream. (Photo Credit)
And any advertising agency worth their beans these days will make a light-hearted play on the social issues of our day, such as the environment. SVEDKA ran this ad in The New York Times Styles Section (one of my favorite things to read BTW.) But, to really help the environment, the sexy robot SVEDKA_GRL should be drinking her vodka neat, rather than up, to save the energy it takes to make the ice. Unless she’s using solar panels to supply energy to her home, which in that case, she can guiltlessly add an iceberg into that glass.
This page, of a four page spread, for DIESEL ran in VANITY FAIR’S “green” issue. It’s really funny actually. Funny, scary and potentially accurate. Note the Empire State Building half underwater as the hot chick pours, what we can only assume to be a Gin & Tonic, into her Adonis’ thirsty mouth.
This last ad is just SPOOKY. I took it myself while on the West Side Highway in Manhattan. We’ve come to rely on Kenny boy to bring us politically creative, and humorous advertising. But what the hell are those grey contrail-like streams up in the air above the billboard? My camera lens was clean, and each photo I have shows the streams in different positions. Ironically, an industrial chimney sat adjacent to the billboard (which I cut out of the picture.) I am assuming that these streams of smoke are continually released into the air, and for some reason, were captured on my film. Niiiiiice…. Does anyone have any feedback on this? Please leave me a comment and enlighten me!