Drink More Green: Organic Booze
Eating an organic diet doesn’t have to mean giving up mixed drinks. I’m sure you know about the growing popularity of organic food and wine but did you know the availability of organic spirits are also expanding?
When it comes to spirits there are a lot of regulations for labeling as organic. When a spirit is labeled as “100% organic” it must contain 100 percent organically produced ingredients and it must be processed using organically produce processing aids. This doesn’t include water or salt. Labels must say who certified the product but are not required to have the USDA organic seal.
If the spirit is labeled as “organic” it must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients, not counting water and salt. It also can’t contain added sulfites. Again the labels must state who certified the product but do not have to have the USDA organic seal.
For spirits made with organic ingredients the label again must state who certified the product but they are not allowed to show the USDA organic seal.
Here are just a few of my favorite organic spirits.
Rain Vodka, made with 100% organic corn. Rain is very affordable and comes in very attractive bottles. It’s available in plain, honey mango melon, and cucumber lime.
American Harvest Vodka is another great and affordable vodka. It’s made from certified organic American grown wheat. American Harvest also supports renewable energy, one-third of their electrical consumption at the distillery comes from wind power. The recyclable glass bottles also use organic inks and water-soluble varnishes.
Crusoe Organic Silver Rum is made from organic molasses and is has a recycled label. Greenbar Collective makes the rum and also makes organic bitters, an organic liqueur, organic tequila, organic whiskey, organic gin, organic vodka, and more.
Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Silver is a moderate priced organic, award winning tequila that is a staple in my bar. It’s 100% organic and made from wild agave.
We have a few other organic spirits in our bar but these are the favorites. Organic spirits are normally very reasonably priced and at least some of them are pretty easy to find. Organic vodka seems to be the easiest to find and is a good start when creating an organic bar. Ask your local liquor store what organic liquor they can get.
Your bar won’t be complete with just the spirits, you can also get great organic mixers. Natural grenadine is a must. The Stirrings brand is a great one, it’s not organic but is free of dyes and uses cane sugar instead of the HFCS in most grenadines. Stirrings also makes simple syrup, blood orange bitters, clarified key lime, and dirty martini mixers. Whole Foods often carries these.
Maraschino cherries are another must for me. The Tillen Farms All-Natural Maraschino Cherries will knock your socks off! You will never want another kind of maraschino cherry again. These again are not organic but are free of the dyes and HFCS found in other cherries.
Organic juices are a quick and easy addition for your organic bar. You can also make your own mixers like simple syrup and sour mix. Below are the recipes I use for my simple syrup and sour mix.
Organic Simple Syrup
1 cup water
2 cups organic sugar
Simple syrup really is simple. Just bring the sugar and water to a boil and stir until all of the sugar dissolves. Don’t let it boil too long or it will become too thick. Let cool. It can be stored in the fridge for several months. This makes about a cup of syrup.
Organic Sour Mix
1 cup organic simple syrup
1 cup organic lemon juice
½ cup organic lime juice
Simply mix all of the ingredients and store in the fridge. It’s best to use within a week or so. You can add a bit of vodka to make it last a little bit longer but fresh is best. This makes 2.5 cups.
This is just the start. You can make your own liqueurs, grenadine, infused spirits, and more. Check out my Pinterest board, Organic Bar, for more great recipes and organic spirits.
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