Alcohol can be great. If you drink responsibility that is. Here in the UK it is a huge part of our culture. From nights out, cocktail brunches to a casual pint down the pub, many people like a drink and I can understand why. Perhaps because it relieves us of our responsibilities, you cannot work if you have had a drink. Whatever it is, drinking can be a great experience if done safely. Yet there are so many different types of alcohol to consume and unfortunately they are not always eco-friendly. Meaning they could also be harming our planet. Well I think a recreational drink should also be sustainable and at the very least vegetarian (primarily vegan). Well I have been going through the tough task of trying a number of alcoholic drinks to be able to recommend them to you. So if you are looking for an eco-friendly drink after a long week, a toast for a celebration, an evening out or you just want to let loose, here are my favourite drinks to pick up:
Nc’Nean (pronounced: Nc Nee an) Organic Single Malt Whisky
I do not know much about whisky but I was incredibly excited to pick this up. This was the first eco-friendly, sustainable alcohol I ever bought. This is a single malt whiskey from Scotland, it is certified organic and what I find very unique is it is made in their verified carbon neutral distillery. This is one of the main reasons I picked it up. Single malts are usually considered premium over blended whiskey, as it is believed to have a more uniformed taste as it is from a single malt origin. It is a great tasting whisky that has won a number of awards, which I have enjoyed. I have recently moved to the Scottish Highlands and I often see it in the many dedicated whisky stores up here, so I think that shows it is a decent whisky. As usual the packaging is all recyclable and the bottle itself (which is stunning) is made from 100% recycled glass. To top this all off they are also a Certified B Corporation.
Vodka is a famous spirit for shots but also as a mixer, whether that is tomato juice, cola, lemonade, tonic, orange juice, cranberry juice or whatever your current choice is. Therefore, this could be a great choice for you, especially if you are in the UK, as it is distilled in the UK using British wheat and it is also vegan and gluten free. To also further reduce any carbon impact they plant a tree with each bottle you buy, which as they state can absorb up to 1.5 tonnes of carbon in its life. This would make your new bottle of vodka carbon negative, as it only takes 2.5kg of carbon to produce, which obviously makes it very sustainable. You can also track the tree they plant for your bottle, so you can check up on how it is doing. Again the packaging is all recyclable or compostable with the inside made from mushroom cultures and agricultural matter helping you reduce your waste. They are also a certified B corporation.
Highland Boundary Birch & Elderflower Liqueur
I found this on a local market stall and found out it was being made so close to my new home I quickly picked it up. This drink is distilled in Scotland by the brand ‘Highland Boundary’ who makes ‘Wild & botanical Spirits’. On top of their botanical spirits they also provide some great cocktail recipes, so check out their website. I have always found that elderflower makes a nice cordial but I do not think I have ever seen it as a spirit, so I was excited to pick this up and see how it would taste. I can confirm it does taste great, it is very refreshing when you add it to some cold lemonade. Buying local is vital to reduce our carbon footprint and helps to give money to your local community, which helps create jobs for your friends, family and neighbours, improve public infrastructure and is an investment to the social and economics of your community. This is also seen environmentally as Highland Boundary plant trees at their distillery and help the local wildlife. Further than this they also farm sustainably only taking small amounts that would be browsed naturally, so that the plants stay healthy and there is plenty left for the wildlife. A great choice, especially if you are a Scottish Resident.
Beeble Honey Infused Whisky
Another great choice if you are living in the UK or understand how important bees are and how they help our wild plants and wildlife. This is because Beeble infuses honey with whisky to make this amazing tasting spirit. I should also mention they do not just do whiskey but also rum and vodka, so you can pick your preferred spirit. They also have a great set of values built on ; ‘Teamwork, Passion, Generosity and Tenacity” focusing on caring for the bees, reducing waste and giving back. Beeble are based in the Cotswold and is another Certified B Corporation, again meeting high social and environmental criteria, so are a great choice if you like honey and whisky.
Two Drifters Lightly Spiced Rum
Rum is probably mine and my partner's favourite drink and I am sure it is of many of you. Also, in the light of rum instead of eco-warrior I would rather go by eco-pirate, which this drink will make you feel like. This great company based in Devon provides a wide variety of rums including their signature rum, white rum, spiced rum and even a pineapple rum. Environmentally, I think they are great as they are not just carbon neutral but actually carbon negative. They proudly (rightly so) highlight the amount of CO2 avoided (170.32 Tonnes as of writing this) and CO2 removed (35.932 Tonnes as of writing this) in their operations. Again they have another great set of values including and importantly not harming the planet, avoiding CO2 emissions and to be socially responsible. Further to this, to me they are one of the most transparent companies I have seen, detailing much about their company, product and materials they use. This is vital for a sustainable and environmentally considerate future, so extra points to them.
In regards to my sustainable credentials I would say I am not a perfect eco individual, as it is very hard to be. Yet I believe you can begin to transition to a wide range of sustainable alternatives that if they are even a little bit better than the typical option it makes a great change. This also goes for the alcohol you drink. I thoroughly enjoyed trying these alcohols knowing I could do so consciously free made them even better. Now this should go without saying but drink sensible and make sure you are of the right legal age to drink where you are. I brought all of these drinks myself and none of the companies know I am even writing this and this is purely the drinks I liked the sound of and were green. I will admit when selecting these I primarily chose brands that are based in the UK, as this is where I live, so it helps me reduce my carbon impact. Therefore, I would recommend you look for some that are closer to your home to help lessen your carbon impact. Let me know what you think and if you would like to see another list of more eco-conscious drinks or have some suggestions for me to try.