Hospitality, an industry that can consume a lot of energy and resources, is nevertheless making giant strides in sustainability – not least through initiatives such as Zero Waste Cocktailswhich encourages bars, cafes and restaurants to reduce their footprint and food waste.
“We’ve come a long way, but there’s definitely more to do,” says Cara Devine, manager of Melbourne tapas restaurant Bomba. However, she is still optimistic about a sustainable future. “If everyone does a little, then together we can have a reasonable impact,” she says.
The Bomba team is looking to reduce waste by using fewer bottles and buying spirits in bulk. “When you’re making cocktails, rather than throwing away 10 glass bottles, you’re pouring from a tall container,” Devine explains. The house wine is courtesy of Hey Tomorrow, a bag-in-box wine line run by the owners of Bomba. “We also use sparkling water on tap rather than soda bottles.”
Another strategy for making a hospitality venue more sustainable is to rethink the menu. This requires being “smarter in how you come up with cocktails and food,” says Devine.
“We think a lot about our food waste — this idea of trying to make sure we’re really getting the most out of every piece of fruit,” she says. Garnishes are salvaged from scraps during syrup making, and citrus bits left over from cocktail making are tossed into the sangria.
Devine has developed a cocktail made from sustainable ingredients that she has dubbed Apples and Oranges. Leftover fruit is the star of this cocktail. Leftover apple and hibiscus from making the Bomba apple and hibiscus shrub (a syrup made by soaking apple and hibiscus in sugar and vinegar) are mixed with a little red wine to make a puree of apple, hibiscus and red wine in two stages.
Peeled oranges, leftover from making orange twists for Negroni glasses, are reused to make acid-adjusted orange juice – an alternative to freshly squeezed lemons. “You have that riper, warmer note of orange, but with added citric acid for that balancing effect,” Devine explains.
Flor de Caña, a cane sugar rum made in Nicaragua, is distilled with 100% renewable energy and naturally aged in bourbon barrels. It is also produced sustainably and ethically with carbon neutral and fair trade certification. Flor de Caña Distillery provides free education and health care to employees and runs community outreach programs. “It’s important to me too,” Devine says.
Altogether, Apples and Oranges is a rich cocktail perfect for chilly days. The warm notes of the fruit complement the spiciness of Flor de Caña’s 12-year-old rum, Devine says. “When a spirit ages, you get notes from the wood, like caramel, vanilla, and cloves,” she says. “They blend quite naturally with the fruits of the orchard. The hibiscus adds a nice floral note, then the amaretto obviously gives it a nice nutty base note as well.
Apples and oranges
About. 4.92 standard drinks
100g whole apples (approx. 1 apple)
5g dried hibiscus flowers
20g of sugar
10ml apple cider vinegar
120 ml Flor de Caña 12 year old rum
60ml fresh orange juice
Chop whole apples and add dried hibiscus flowers (hibiscus flowers can be used first to make hibiscus syrup if desired), sugar, apple cider vinegar and water.
Either sous vide for 3 hours at 65 degrees or leave overnight at room temperature – the juice should come out of the apples to create a syrup.
Mix well to make sure all the sugar is dissolved, then strain out the solids (be sure to save them for the next step) and bottle.
After making an apple and hibiscus shrub, drain the liquid and mix the leftover apple and hibiscus with a bit of slightly overwhelmed red wine to make a mash.
Combine ingredients with Flor de Caña rum, amaretto and orange juice adjusted in citrus. Shake and strain twice into a coupe glass (served to minimize the use of ice).
This article was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Flower of Cana.