Expert Tips for Zero-Waste Cocktails
We have partnered with our friends over at Seedlip or Æcorn to bring you tips and tricks for zero ABV, no waste cocktails. Making cocktails at home can be a surprisingly wasteful activity. Often, recipes call for only limited use of certain ingredients. (Think about how much of a lemon goes in the bin if you’re only using the peel!) So, re-using ingredients where possible, and repurposing where appropriate, will lead to less waste without sacrificing great flavour.
One of our favourite solutions is to use a homemade ingredient called a “shrub”. A shrub is a traditional way of preserving fruits and vegetables, using vinegar and sugar, and makes a delicious addition to a simple highball cocktail. We’ve made shrubs using various ingredients, from leftover carrot peels to end-of-season blackberries. Shrubs are a great way to preserve produce; and added to Seedlip or Æcorn and some soda water in a highball glass over ice, makes for a delicious and simple cocktail.
Beyond cocktails at home, we see bartenders across the country actively designing drinks menus around the seasonality of produce, especially using certain local ingredients at particular times of the year, which is fantastic. At Seedlip this has always been one of the key factors when desigining their bi-annual seasonal serves, but they also wanted to take this idea further.
They're developing serve ideas and masterclass concepts that focus on seasonality and on reducing food waste. For example, they've really enjoyed a simple masterclass they've been delivering during lockdown that they call 'Grapefruit Three-Ways'. In the class, they make three simple, delicious cocktails with Seedlip Spice 94 as the base, which incorporates a single Pink Grapefruit using three different techniques to make sure they get the most out of the produce and end up with as little waste as possible.
Remove the zest from your grapefruit in wide flat strips with a vegetable peeler and cut it into segments.
Put aside your most appealing peel. This will be the garnish for your first cocktail, the Seedlip Spice 94 & Tonic.
Seedlip Spice 94 & Tonic
In a highball full of ice, pour 50ml Seedlip Spice 94, top with a premium tonic water, and garnish with your chosen Grapefruit Peel.
- 50 ml Seedlip Spice 94
- Premium Tonic Water
- Grapefruit peel
- Highball glass
Transfer the rest of the peels to a bowl and mix with about ½ a cup of granulated sugar, covering the surface of the peels. Leave the bowl covered for between 3 and 12 hours. The sugar is going to draw the oils out of the peels and leaving them for longer will intensify the flavour.
Strain into a container, making sure to press as much oil as possible out. This is a grapefruit oleo saccharum and will keep in a fridge for a week.
Returning to the grapefruit, juice the segments, and set aside 30ml to make the Mr Howard cocktail.
Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a piece of Star Anise.
- 50ml Seedlip Spice 94
- 30ml Grapefruit Juice
- 20ml Lemon Juice
- 15ml Sugar Syrup
- 1 Star Anise
- Martini glass
With the remaining juice, combine with the oleo saccharum, to make a really intensely flavoured grapefruit cordial. Mix this liquid with the same amount again of Seedlip Spice 94, and keep chilled in the fridge for a go-to ready to drink Grapefruit Gimlet.
Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled martini glass.
- 50ml Seedlip Spice 94
- 50ml Grapefruit Cordial
- Martini glass
If you want to get even more out of your grapefruit, you can also blitz up the pulp of the juiced segments with hot water, combine with granulated sugar and strain for a super delicious grapefruit syrup that can be used in a variety of simple cocktails. Feeling more adventurous? Use the juice in a cocktail and take the peels and dehydrate them in an oven on very low temperature. Finely blend these dehydrated peels and mix them for salt, for a delicious salty/zesty rim for a non-alcoholic margarita.