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You'll never believe how wasteful bartending is: Reduce, Reuse, Reflavor with Trash Tiki


I had the privilege last month to attend the Trash Tiki pop up in Seattle. If you’re not familiar Trash Tiki is a pop up and online platform focused on reducing the mass consumption of single-use items in the booming craft cocktail scene. They've been on a global tour to spread their message through a series of keynotes and pop ups.

I spent the afternoon listening to creators Kelsey Ramage (from Dandelyan) and Iain Griffiths (from Mr. Lyan) chat about the incredible amount of waste created by the cocktail industry and ways we can all work together to reduce our effect on the environment.

While their raison d’être is most applicable to the bar world you can easily transfer the ideas to home bartending.

As a home bartender you may only be going through a few citrus at a time compared to the hundred used at a bar but we still treat them as single-use, and throw away a rind that still has plenty of flavor. Instead of throwing away those citrus rinds consider:

  • Peeling the citrus first to use as garnish

  • Infuse a liquor

  • Make a homemade bitters

  • Make a citrus stock

I’m a particular fan of the citrus stock. It allows you to further extract the flavors in the citrus left after juicing. Next time you’re planning a party take advantage of this option to cut down on cost (fewer citrus needed) and effort (fewer citrus to squeeze).  

The Trash Tiki website is a great tool to find crafty and tasty ways to reduce waste and add character to your cocktails. A couple of my favorites are:

These are super fun ways to take advantage of something that would regularly be thrown out and add a unique ingredient to your cocktails.

Next time you set our to make a drink for yourself or throw a party think about any single-use ingredients and if there are ways you can reduce your consumption and impact on the environment while creating a cocktail you or your guest will remember.



CJ is our resident Tiki expert who spends his days finding ways to make more people love Tiki. 

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