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    Oct16

    Blog Action Day

    green cocktail

    [ed. A question about green cocktails was posed during one of the panels at Rum Fest yesterday which just happened to coincide with Blog Action Day, so I've consulted our resident environmentally friendly forest creature and connoisseur of fine exotic cocktails, Adam. Adam provided the deliciously green photo above as well.]

    Yesterday was Blog Action Day, and bloggers all around the ‘sphere are looking at their little corner of the world and how they can make it greener.

    Rick and I recently read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which the author attempts to discern the provenance of the foods on his dinner plate to determine their impact on the environment. What if we took a closer look at what goes into the creation of our cocktails?

    Like most tiki drinks, the principal ingredient of the lovely “green cocktail” shown above is rum. According to the WWF’s 2004 Sugar and the Environment report, “The cultivation and processing of sugar produce environmental impacts through the loss of natural habitats, intensive use of water, heavy use of agro-chemicals, discharge and runoff of polluted effluent and air pollution. This leads to the degradation of wildlife, soil, air and water. Although many of the environmental impacts are generic to agriculture, some impacts are distinct, particularly in their severity.”

    I won’t go into the details, but you can check out the report if you’re interested. The rum also has to be transported to and around the United States.

    So how can we make our rum-based cocktails “greener” (outside of adding blue curacao, as I have here)? Well, there are three organic rums being produced today, though they are not available in the U.S. (but can be ordered online).

    - Papagayo Organic Rum (Paraguay)
    - Utkins Fairtrade White Rum (Paraguay)
    - Matraga White Rum (Brazil)
    - Rivers Royal (Grenada)

    Of course, we can also use other locally produced and/or organic ingredients in our drinks (produce, juices, etc.), and be sure to check the Energy Star rating when purchasing a new refrigerator. And of course, there are many other ways you can reduce your environmental footprint.

    I look at making my home bar more environmentally friendly as a fun challenge. What do you think?

    In addition, Adam has provided a tasty-looking green drink of his own. He says it’s not perfected yet, so give it a try and post your thoughts.

    Climate Cooler

    • 2oz pineapple juice
    • 1/2oz lime juice
    • 1oz Barbados rum
    • 1 1/2oz bourbon
    • 1/2oz orgeat
    • 1/2oz passion fruit syrup
    • 8 drops Herbsaint
    • Blue Curacao to color
    • 6oz crushed ice

    Flash blend and pour into a fun glass.

    Adam


    9 Responses to “Blog Action Day”

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    9 Comments to “ Blog Action Day”
    1. Heck, even blogging and site hosting has its proponents. Put in a google search for “green site hosting”, plenty come up.

      There’s also renewable energy credits.

      As for myself, I figure I’m saving the world from another lime rotting on the ground, or molasses gone to waste.

      Now, as soon as House Spirits puts out their rum, it’ll be only a short hop to the distiller. Won’t that be convenient!

    2. AnitaNo Gravatar says:

      Not that we drink much vodka, but Square One is organic, and uses 25% wind power in distillation:
      http://www.squareonevodka.com/SingularSpirit/SS_beyondOrganic.html

      On a semi-related note: We tasted 20+ locally-produced items on Friday night at the Independent Spirits Fest. Most of them were quite nice; some are well-known nationally (Junipero gin, Hangar One vodka) but most were not (St. George’s awesome single malt, Charbay’s new Pastis). It was a treat to find there are so many liquors produced within 100 miles of our home bar. Everyone talks about food miles; maybe booze miles are next?

    3. AdamNo Gravatar says:

      Homebrew is definitely another approach to drinking locally that I support.

      @Anita: Wow, I’m sorry I missed this! We’ll have to be sure to cover that event next year. I know the St. George’s stuff is made on Alameda… not far from Forbidden Island, I hear.

    4. ScottesNo Gravatar says:

      Haleakala Distillers, maker of Maui Rums, is quite environmentally-conscious. Their sales and delivery vehicle run on a bio-fuel many from recycled cooking oils. Most distilleries and sugar cane growers, by the way, burn the bagasse (the sugar cane left over after sugar extraction) to power their stills and evaporation units, etc, etc. The big sugar company in Maui (I can’t remember the name) has left-over power they sell back to the grid, providing over 6 megawatts. At one point in the early 1900s the sugar companies of Maui provided ALL the electrical power for the island. The country of Brazil is big in bio-fuels and makes ethanol from sugar cane to fuel cars. It’s half the cost of gasoline and is carbon-neutral.

    5. JoeNo Gravatar says:

      The in-flight magazine for Hawaiian Airlines, Hana Hou, recently had an article about the water resources of Hawaii, in particular of the island of Oahu, where a significant fraction of the fresh water was diverted in the last century to feed the sugar industry. The results of that, as well as what happened to all the water when the sugar industry left, is rather interesting.

      The article can be found here:
      http://www.hanahou.com/pages/Magazine.asp?Action=DrawArticle&ArticleID=604&MagazineID=38

      Joe

    6. AdamNo Gravatar says:

      @Scottes: That’s good to hear! I’ve never tried Maui rums, but I’ll definitely give them a shot after reading this. Maybe they’ll be offering tours by the time I get out to visit Hawai’i next February.

    7. Dave CurrieNo Gravatar says:

      Surely the best way to ensure your drinks are eco-friendly is just to make everything yourself? For spirits it can get quite complicated (and er.. y’know, illegal), and you really need a couple of fields if you want to grow cereals to make beer, but I think making a decent carbon-neutral wine shouldn’t be too hard — plant some vines, pick the grapes, stomp on them, add yeast and barrel. (Yes, I know it’s not that simple. :) )
      Of course, if we’re talking cocktail ingredients here, then you’re pretty much stuck with Sangría…

    8. Thanks for this tasty spin on Blog Action Day. Off to check out that report …

    9. [...] thirsty for more eco-booze news? check out some posts here: KAISER PENGUIN EXPLORE THE POUR MARTINI GROOVE THE LIQUID [...]

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    About

    Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

    Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

    It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.

    Contact: rick@kaiserpenguin.com