There is no doubt that the environment – and our relationship with it – has been changing in recent years and these cocktails at bars and restaurants around San Fransisco show that making just a small change can have a positive effect.
Made with Slane Irish Whiskey, these creative cocktails use recycled, vegan and local ingredients which are helping do their part in the sustainability movement. Here are some sustainable Slane Irish Whiskey drinks to try now at spots around San Francisco.
Dean O’Banion at Branch Line Bar
The Dean O’Banion cocktail at Branch Line Bar is sure to bring up some feelings of nostalgia – and that’s exactly the point. Made by Reina Iñiguez with Slane Irish Whiskey, Earl Grey tea-infused bar syrup, lavender bitters, Angostura bitters and orange bitters served over a large ice cube with a Maraschino cherry and orange peel spear, the Dean O’Banion will transport some back to childhood. “We created this cocktail because it was winter and we were all drinking teas like Lapsang Suchong tea and making Earl Grey tea syrups for the bar,” explains Iñiguez. “We tasted Slane Irish Whiskey and someone said it reminded them of being a kid having tea with mom. We grabbed tea syrup and Slane Irish Whiskey and created the drink.”
Iñiguez continues: “Being sustainable isn’t just about ensuring one part of your production is green. It is about ensuring the next generation will have the same opportunity to enjoy quality products that enable them to invent the future and understand lessons of the past. At Branch Line, we built efficient refrigeration that enables us to use products in multiple ways to help accomplish that. Because our product turns over quickly and with less waste means less worry about spoilage and better margins. We believe sustainability must be functional which is one of the reasons we chose Slane Irish Whiskey.”
5885 Hollis St #25, Emeryville, CA 94608; branchlinebar.com; @_branchline
Meyer Lemonlicious at Elixir
At Elixir, getting produce from local farms is key to sustainability – the Meyer Lemonlicious is proof. “We try to source as much as we can locally in order to reduce our carbon footprint in the supply chain,” says Elixir owner H. Joseph Ehrmann. Made with Slane Irish Whiskey, Meyer lemon juice, honey syrup, heavy whipping cream, tamarind powder, lavender sugar and garnished with a dried lemon wheel, the Meyer Lemonlicious takes full advantage of the delicious citrus available right in the area. “This cocktail takes advantage of the fact that many people in our neighborhood – and Northern California in general – have Meyer lemon trees in their yard. We have several neighbors and customers who voluntarily bring us boxes of this fruit and we use it all, either juicing and freezing the juice or slicing them and dehydrating them into garnish. The cream and lavender sugar are also local products.”
But the Meyer Lemonlicious is just one example of Elixir’s commitment to being earth-conscious. “Elixir was one of the first fifty businesses in San Francisco to become a Certified Green Business by the San Francisco Department of the Environment, thereby making it the first bar in the country to have any kind of government-issued green certification (and possibly the world),” adds Ehrmann. “Our goal has always been to be a role model in green business operations. If every bar in the world were to simply optimize their water and energy usage, we’d make a significant difference. Add to that a multitude of other potential efforts/practices and the bar business could be a leader in changing the environment through better business practices, thereby modeling change for our customers.”
3200 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103; elixirsf.com; @elixirsf
Midnight in Dublin at Tupper and Reed
The Midnight in Dublin at Tupper and Reed is a creative riff on the Irish Coffee and we are here for it. A blend of Slane Irish Whiskey, Mr. Black coffee liqueur, Tempus Fugit Creme de Noyaux, Old Fashioned bitters served over a king cube with a lemon peel garnish, Bar Manager Alyssa Trapani “wanted to make a cocktail that highlighted the flavor profiles of Slane Irish Whiskey.” Trapani continues: “I get a lot of baking spices with this spirit, and I decided to compliment those notes with clove and star anise coming through from the old fashioned bitters. The creme de Noyaux lends itself to highlight the spice notes in the Slane Irish Whiskey while the Mr. Black Coffee liqueur rounds out the cocktail providing a warm, comforting coffee base to the spiced baking notes. The expressed lemon, along with the lemon that is stirred while making the cocktail helps to give citrus notes to the nose and a tangy finish.”
As for the inspiration for the drink, “I wanted to make a cocktail that was a comforting homage to the classics,” Trapani says. “A cocktail that you could sit in a reading chair and enjoy during a cold winters night. The flavor profiles with Slane Irish Whiskey lend itself perfectly to this goal.”
At Tupper and Reed, “we have been making big strides in changing our practices towards a more sustainable ethos,” Trapani continues. “We have omitted using plastic coverings for garnishes and juices and switched to reusable lids, composting all of our fruit cutting waste, and dehydrating all of our unused lime and lemon wheels (to name a few). We discussed that ice is the most wasteful item in bars, so I decided to make this cocktail with zero ice waste. Instead of using a yari filled with ice to stir this cocktail, I simply placed a large cube in a double old-fashioned glass. Instead of dumping the ice after straining it into a new glassware from the yari, I skipped that step altogether as to save the ice.”
2271 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94720; tupperandreed.com; @tupperandreed
Tales of The Tain at The Wolf
Not only does the Tales of the Tain cocktail at The Wolf Oakland use locally brewed java but the espresso pods are also put to use. Concocted with Slane Irish Whiskey, Montenegro Amaro, housemade Highwire espresso liqueur and housemade cocoa nib and warm spiced bitters, garnished with an expressed orange twist, the Tales of the Tain is mindful of waste. “We use discarded espresso pods to make our House Espresso Liqueur,” explain bartenders Isabella Stryker Lisitza and Sam Elder. “The espresso is roasted just a mile away at Highwire coffee and the spices are sourced just two miles away at Oaktown Spice Shop. We also make the cocoa nib and warm spiced bitters in a sustainable manner by using the discarded ingredients from making a chocolate liqueur for a different house cocktail and soaking them in our well vodka for two months.”
The cocktail was borne from the team’s desire to “make a cocktail reminiscent two classics, the Irish Coffee and the Manhattan,” say Lisitza and Elder. “We also wanted a beverage that will warm you up on a cold day. While our drink is not heated, the espresso liqueur and warm spices in the chocolate bitters work well with the whiskey and the orange tones of the Montenegro Amaro. There’s a beautiful balance of heat from the whiskey, citrus, coffee, chocolate and warm spice!”
3853 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611; thewolfoakland.com; @thewolfoakland
Beauty Brown at True Laurel
Seasonal produce is key at True Laurel and the Beauty Brown cocktail highlights a delicious winter citrus grown right in the area: grapefruit. A mix of Slane Irish Whiskey, Pampleau wine, Lofi dry vermouth, citric acid solution, the real sustainable star is the grapefruit peel-infused honey. “Our goal is to be close to the produce we use, and so we only use grapefruit in the winter and early spring when its actually being grown close to us,” explains Nicolas Torres, partner and Bar Director at True Laurel. “When in season, however, we truly celebrate it and we go through a lot of juice. The peel is such an aromatic and oily citrus, and its shame to go to waste. We peel all the grapefruit prior to juicing so we get some use out of it. This time we macerated them in some local honey because I wanted to make a stirred sipping rendition of the Brown Derby. Using a smooth whiskey like Slane fit the bill perfectly, and a heavy dose of wine tied it all together.”
753 Alabama St, San Francisco, CA 94110; truelaurelsf.com; @truelaurelsf
All photography by Ashley Rose Conway; craftandcocktails.co; @craftandcocktails
Watch the video below as Slane Irish Whiskey co-founder Alex Conyngham’s discusses the exciting sustainability practices happening at bars and restaurants in cities around the country.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.SLANEIRISHWHISKEY.COM.
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