Noah Rothbaum /
For The Daily Green
Youve already given your car, home and office a green makeover. Whats left? Your cocktail.
Over the last few years an environmentally friendly alcohol movement has started and there are now a handful of green spirits on the market. (And, no, were not talking about green beer for St. Patricks Day.)
One of the first on the market was the Icelandic Reyka Vodka, which was introduced in 2005 and is made in a distillery powered by affordable and renewable geothermal energy. (Its actually the countrys only distillery.) Iceland may not be sitting on top of large oil reserves but it has numerous natural hot springs, which are almost as valuable. The boiling hot water is converted to energy.
But its also whats in the bottle thats gone green. Square One Vodka is made from organically grown North Dakota rye and is produced in a distillery that gets 25% of its energy from a wind farm. According to brand because the rye and its water is of such high quality the vodka doesnt have to be distilled multiple times. After the distillation is finished the left over rye mash is packaged and then sold as organic feed to diary farmers. How concerned is Square One about the earth? To offset travel incurred promoting the vodka the brand has even purchased carbon credits.
Even liquor bottles have become more environmentally friendly. McCormick Distillings new 360 Vodka is packed in a bottle made from 85% recycled glass. And for every bottle sold the company will donate a dollar to an environmental organization.
Vodkas may be leading the way but other spirits are also embracing sustainable energy sources. The Scottish whiskey Bruichladdich announced this past spring that they want to turn their new Port Charlotte distillery into a green facility with a "zero carbon footprint." Over the next few years no doubt other spirit companies will also go green. Until then pour yourself a dram of one of these environmentally friendly spirits and drink to the health of the earth.
Noah Rothbaum is the author of The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink ($24.95, Kaplan).
About the book: "Walk into a liquor store today and youll be faced with an unprecedented variety of vodka, gin, whisky, cognac, rum and even tequila. Celebrating the acumen of the businessmen and craftsmen responsible for this phenomenal sales growth, The Business of Spirits is a cocktail of history and insight into a rapidly growing industry. Rothbaum takes readers from the cellars of Cognac, France, to the Scottish Highlands to the agave fields of Mexico to find out whats now driving this age old industry. The book explores new production techniques, cutting-edge marketing campaigns and introduces a new crop of crafty entrepreneurs."
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