Brain Food

IT’S SO EASY (AND FUN) DRINKING GREEN

March 19, 2010

Story By Sharon Festinger

Photo by Jerry Errico

Are green cocktails riding a trend or feeding a cause? Well, probably a bit of both. These days everyone seems to be in on the green action. There are, though, definite merits to making and drinking environmentally sound cocktails. If you’re selective about what foods you eat it would follow that you care what you ingest in liquid form, too. Enter Paul Abercrombie’s recent book, “Organic, Shaken and Stirred.”

The book has plenty of eye candy and it’s full of substance, too. The photography is lush and inviting and the recipes well organized, if a bit unexpected. The drinks were culled from bartenders and beverage directors from around the world. And while the book caters to the cocktail novice, there is definitely some inventive mixology going on for those with more developed skills or palates. The average drinker may need to take a leap of faith here but to the industry professional the ingredients cited may be de rigueur. Maybe. Garlic? Carrot juice? Horseradish? Sure.

“It’s a natural extension of the whole organic foods movement,” said Abercrombie. People are hyper-aware these days of where their food comes from and how it’s produced. To Abercrombie it seems bonkers that you’d be at a restaurant eating a fully organic meal while no attention was paid to the provenance of the ingredients in the attendant cocktail. “People should start paying attention to what’s in the glass next to the plate,” he said.

And it’s not just what’s in the glass that matters. While what you pour down your gullet is important, the companies that put out the organic spirits tend to hold to greener production practices in general. They may plant a tree for each bottle sold, print their labels with soy-based ink, or power their plant with renewable energy.

It’s unlikely that going green with your cocktails will have a profound effect on the planet but every little bit helps. Are they healthy? Well, perhaps healthier versions of their traditional counterparts. May as well get some extra antioxidants from the Açaí-lum Sangria and some Vitamin A and iron from the Snap-pea-irinha. Couldn’t hurt.

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