21 June 2020

With the arrival of warmer weather in June, zero-waste beverages are taking centre stage. These aim to maximise the use of every ingredient and avoid any waste. Here are a few tips from expert mixologists to get you started at home for your next “zero-waste” summer aperitivo

2:00 min

1 Grow your own ingredients

Planting your own herb garden means fresher and more flavourful ingredients. Herbs are remarkably easy to grow, even for novice gardeners. They can be grown indoors or outdoors, in pots, in water without soil, or directly in the ground. Herbs thrive in a wide variety of temperatures and do not require much fertilising or special compost. Fresh herbs such as mint, lavender, basil, wild basil, lemon verbena, and oregano are great home-grown ingredients to add to your drinks. Cool off and stay hydrated with these herbaceous drink recipes.  

2 Learn how to make infusions

Infusion is a technique used to extract flavours from ingredients like fruit, herbs and spices into a liquid. Home infusions are a great way to make use of leftover kitchen scraps such as skins, rinds, pulp, seeds, pits, and stems. Instead of throwing away lemon peels, you can transform discarded skins into vinegars or syrups. Homemade tinctures and bitters are also a great way to repurpose what would normally be compost. For more inspiring ways on how to craft your own infusions, follow this expert’s guide for fool-proof drink recipes.

3 Dehydrate kitchen scraps

Many mixologists use dehydration techniques, primarily for garnishing purposes. By dehydrating an orange peel, the flavour and aroma of the skin is intensified as it becomes more concentrated. Since around 80 per cent of what we taste comes from smell, the aroma from the dehydrated orange peel on top of your drink will enhance your experience  of the beverage. This also means the once-useless orange peel won’t be discarded into your compost bin! Try one of these deliciously creative garnishing ideas for your next “aperitivo” hour.

4 Shop locally and seasonally

Planting, growing and harvesting herbs is much easier and more accessible than growing full lemon or pomegranate trees. The best approach to eco-friendly drinks is to purchase seasonal products. In-season ingredients are fresher, they taste better and carry more nutrients. What’s more, seasonal ingredients will fit with the weather, with light, refreshing flavours more prevalent in summer, and richer, full bodied tasting fruits available in winter. Enjoy more of these sustainable cocktail and mocktail recipes for a guilt-free summer happy hour. Cheers!