Ways to be Sustainable

Making sustainable cocktails with zero waste by author Sam Orrock, bar owner and drink consultant. 

Watch a recap of the Sustainability Seminar below:


Use every cocktail ingredient to its full potential to reduce waste and close that loop. Squeezing juice from a citrus fruit is one popular way to add acidity to a serve, but peel the rind and you can use it to make zesty syrups and garnishes.

Orange, lemon and lime rinds are particularly easy to reuse and turn into attractive garnishes – so next time you think about throwing the used fruit in the bin, save it for garnishing your next cocktail.

As for creating syrups, watermelon rind isn’t pleasant to eat but it’s incredibly flavorful in a watermelon syrup. If you’ve got lots of leftover celery from those Bloody Mary cocktails; save them – make celery juice and salt.

Takeaway: Following a zero-waste approach by getting the most from your ingredients to create syrups, garnishes and juices in a cost-effective way.


If produce isn’t in season, it has to be transported to you. This has a big impact on the environment.

Before you buy produce, ask ‘How far did this travel?’. The further the ingredient has to travel, the less eco-friendly it is. Support local businesses, minimize your carbon footprint and switch up your menu to feature seasonal serves. Being located in Bermuda, definitely minimizes the potential ingredients which can be utilized however maybe we should have more Loquat-cured cocktails on island. Just a thought.

Looking for sustainable cocktail recipe inspiration to get you started? Laura from Alquimico Bar, voted number 10 in the World’s 50 Best Bars, shows us how to make an Uramba cocktail using all ingredients from their local farm in Colombia: 

Takeaway: Use seasonal, local produce where possible as it will help reduce your carbon footprint and keep your menu fresh.


As bars are facing increased energy costs and there’s a global shift towards water conservation, ice is a hot topic. But, how do you make this essential ingredient that requires both water and energy more wallet and planet-friendly? Find alternative ways to chill your drinks that don’t require ice!

Cue pre-batching. Batched cocktails are stored in the freezer or fridge so they’re always ice cold. Batched cocktails also speed up service and ensure consistency.

Additionally, when using ice, consider different ways to conserve water. For example, save up your melted ice and use it to clean the bar and water plants.

Takeaway: Batching cocktails and storing them in the freezer helps reduce the need for ice.


Are plastic straws really a problem? Yes.

On the surface, there’s nothing sinister about your average straw. Conventional straws, however, are single use plastic more likely to end up in the ocean; increasing marine pollution. This is concerning for health, environmental, and economic reasons.

So, let’s reduce single use plastic in bars where we can! From stirrers and straws to cling film, make time to find eco-friendly alternatives made from metal or recyclable materials. Get creative and introduce edible straws or papaya leaf stem straws. This small tip helps lessen environmental impacts and gives your cocktails a real edge that customers will love.

Watch the video above for a recap of the Sustainability Seminar hosted by Beyond Plastics Bermuda discussing “The Eco-minded Cocktail is Good for Business”.

Takeaway: Avoid single-use plastic. For example, swap plastic straws and stirrers for eco-friendly alternatives.


Dehydrated fruit makes great cocktail garnishes and increases the shelf life of your fresh fruit and vegetables. Reusing and preserving ingredients cuts down on food waste and has an impact on your costs, saving you money in the long run.

One tip is to be cautious about using non-energy-efficient equipment to dehydrate your fruit. This can hike up your energy bills, which we’re all more aware of right now.

Takeaway: Dehydrating fruit is a quick and easy way to increase the shelf life of your garnishes and lessens food waste.