Cocktails

Best Eco-Friendly Alcoholic Drinks Brands

Food & Drink /


From net zero gin to a rum made from surplus honey

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Historically, the world of alcohol production has been pretty taxing on the planet. Elaborate packaging is often used, and the process tends to involve lots of water, heat and energy. Yet a number of savvy producers are taking steps in the right direction: ensuring the production process is energy efficient, repurposing products and eliminating single-use plastics from the chain. Below we highlight the eco-friendly alcohol brands to stock up your drinks cabinet with.

Doing Dry January? Here are some non-alcoholic tipples to try.

Best Eco-Friendly Alcohol Brands

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Beesou

Beesou

Mark and Andrei decided to launch Beesou after noticing that many drinks brands use E numbers to colour their liquid. They set out to create something with no artificial flavours or colouring, and fell in love with the idea of making an aperitif from raw English honey – which not only tastes delicious, but helps raise awareness about saving the bees. Beesou is B Corp certified, and 10 percent of its profits go to the Bees For Development charity, which works to alleviate poverty through beekeeping. The aperitif is made using all-natural ingredients, and has notes of cinchona bark, pink grapefruit and bitter orange.

beesou.london

Beeble Honey Whisky

Beeble

Beeble was born out of a desire to cut waste. It all began when founder Nicola bought her very first bee hive: she nourished the bees, and soon enough she was giving honey to all her friends, and eventually expanded to ten hives in the garden. She quickly noticed, however, that honey stuck to the frames was being wasted – so to combat this, she had the brainwave of soaking the frames in whiskey. The first batch of Beeble Honey Whiskey was made. Since then, Beeble has grown, with 130 hives across Milbury and Marlborough, with bees producing honey for not just whiskey, but vodka and rum too. All honey is ethically and sustainably produced, and the company uses the Idler Beekeeping Technique, which means honey is only taken from the hives a few times a year, when it’s in surplus.

beeble.buzz

Montanya

Montanya

Female-founded craft rum brand Montanya hails from the Rocky Mountains, but it recently became available in the UK. Its sustainability credentials are impressive: the distillery is wind-powered, the company offsets 110 per cent of its carbon production and uses water from a snowmelt-fed aquifer underneath the distillery. Eco-friendly decisions are made throughout the process – from sourcing sugarcane from a family run co-operative in Louisiana to bottling in Cradle to Cradle certified glass. Montanya’s hero drink is the Valentia variety, a dry, aromatic rum that’s aged at altitude for four years.

Available to buy in-store at Harvey Nichols and online from Master of Malt. montanyarum.com

Green Man Woodland Gin

Green Man Woodland Gin

The latest offering from Silent Pool Distillers is Green Man Woodland Gin, the first ever spirit to be packaged in a paper bottle. Its outer layer is made from 94 per cent recycled paper – which can be recycled itself, meaning it has a carbon footprint six times lower than glass or PET plastic bottles. Inspired by the woodlands of Surrey, this gin is handcrafted with 25 botanicals, with notes of Hawthorne, rosemary, pine and birch leaf, creating a fresh, herbal taste.

silentpooldistillers.com

Sapling Vodka

Sapling Vodka

The first climate-positive vodka, for every bottle of this London-made vodka sold, a tree is planted. From fruit trees in London to oaks in Bristol, a unique code on each bottle lets you know exactly what tree was planted and where as a result of your purchase. One tree can absorb up to 1.5 tonnes of carbon in a lifetime, while producing a bottle of vodka emits 2.5kg of vodka, so you can enjoy your eco-tipple safe in the knowledge that your bottle is paying back. Since its launch in 2018, the brand has planted just under 50,000 trees.

saplingspirits.com

Folc

Folc

Founded during lockdown, rosé brand Folc is the brainchild of Elisha Rai and Tom Cannon. It was born out of a belief that great wine should be inclusive, feature quality ingredients and commit to sustainable practices. Its winemakers are accredited through Wine GB’s sustainability scheme, meaning they are committed to environmental conservation and biodiversity. Folc is already using plant-based corks and recyclable materials across its labelling and packaging – but its long-term ambition is to become a fully carbon-neutral business. Try the 2020 Vintage Rosé, crafted in a collective of family-run vineyards in Kent and East Sussex and offering a crisp taste with hints of English strawberries. One of the tastiest eco-friendly drinks around.

drinkfolc.com

Good Beer Society

Really Good Beer Society

This B-Corp pending craft beer business was launched just a few months ago by friends Rich Dilley and Paul Adams, who set out to create a beer that does more than just taste good. Two Degrees Craft Lager, for instance, supports Soil Association UK, while Hive PA Hazy NEIPA helps save our bees through the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

reallygoodbeers.com

Mermaid Gin

Mermaid Gin

Not only is this one of the prettiest gin bottles around, it’s also certified net zero and completely plastic-free. Made by the Isle of Wight’s sole distillery, Mermaid Gin is designed to live in harmony with the natural world – just like its namesake. Its bottles are fully recyclable – though part of the reason founders Xavier Baker and Conrad Gauntlett created such a beautiful bottle was to encourage people to repurpose it. The brand also gets involved with a number of environmental projects, including a recent collaboration with The Ocean Foundation, a company working to protect the Jobos Bay Reserve through its SeaGrass Grow project.

isleofwightdistillery.com

Old Pulteney

Old Pulteney

One of Scotland’s most northerly distilleries based in the coastal town of Wick, Old Pulteney is influenced by its intrinsic connection to the sea – which it’s dedicated to protecting. The distillery has significantly reduced its carbon footprint by using a sustainable fuel source, using a ‘community heating’ scheme which utilises wood chip to generate steam. And, to tie in with World Oceans Day last year, the brand partnered with kelp restoration non-profit, SeaTrees, making a commitment to plant more than 4,000 mangrove trees globally, and restore 2,665 square-feet of kelp forest.

oldpulteney.com

The Apiarist

The Apiarist

A family business based in Lichfield, The Apiarist began with couple Alex and Natalie Conti’s simple interest in the honeybee. This developed into a larger environmental project which includes a bee forest, a pollinator-friendly planting scheme – and, most recently, an eco-friendly alcohol offering. During lockdown, the pair commissioned a local craftsman to extend their home apiary in a bid to encourage more family time outdoors. As a result, they were left with surplus honey – which they decided to use to make their own gin. They partnered with the local Greywood Distillery to create a debut batch, which became popular pretty quickly. Since then they’ve added a rum to the mix, which has been rapid aged to the equivalent of three-year barrel rum and contains aromas of vanilla and almond with hints of lemon.

theapiaristdrinks.com

Two Drifters Distillery

Two Drifters Distillery

All rums in Two Drifters Distillery’s five-strong range are produced with a carbon negative footprint. The eco-friendly alcohol brand is spearheaded by husband-and-wife duo Russ and Gemma Wakeham, who set out to create well-rounded rums that limit their impact on the planet – something Russ is an expert in, having spent years studying carbon capture on utilisation techniques. For a bit of extra help, Two Drifters works with Climeworks, a company which captures CO2 from the air, turning it into stone and storing it underground. Alongside this, staff cycle to work, there’s an electric van for deliveries and waste molasses are donated to local farmers. All varieties – which range from pineapple to spiced rum – can be enjoyed neat or as a base for cocktails.

twodriftersrum.com

Warner's Gin

Warner’s Gin

Husband and wife team Tom and Tina Warner founded their gin distillery in 2012 on Falls Farm, which still operates as a working livestock farm. Championing the farm-to-table method, Warner’s gin is made using water from the farm’s own spring, botanicals from its gardens and fresh honey from its beehives. Waste ingredients such as discarded citrus peel, meanwhile, are rescued and used in recipes. Not only this, but the company has planted over five acres of wildflower meadow in the local area to create conservation areas and habitats for pollinators.

warnersdistillery.com