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Sustainable Valentines Day Cocktails - and the concept of Closed-Loop drinks!

Happy Valentines Day!


For some, it's about expressing one's love with the other half in the form of spending a romantic time, exchanging gifts, or even sharing an experience.


But if you were able to combine all three with the addition of making everything sustainable, then you would really hit the jackpot.

So why not give your other half the gift of making cocktails together...not just any cocktails...but sustainable cocktails!


Because most bars and restaurants are closed this year, one of the best things you can do is make cocktails together at home, with each other, for each other, using seasonal and sustainable ingredients.

And besides generating love in the air, you'll also be able to learn some new techniques!

This post, in specific, will show you the concept of closed-loop cocktails, as well as how to make 2 of them, and we will be doing it using only 2 main ingredients.

  1. Beetroot, and

  2. Pomegranate

In my previous posts, I've already shown you how to use Pomegranate Skin and the Leftover Pulp of Beetroot to make sustainable ingredients out of them, but today, we will be using the actual main parts of these fruits and veggies, in combination with their leftovers, so that each part of the fruit gets used for both drinks!


Their Juices, Pulp, and Skins will be used together to make 2 different cocktails, one for each lovebird (or both for yourself if you're single, even better...)!


By using different parts of each fruit and vegetable, each ingredient will have different flavors to give with the addition of making sure that nothing goes to waste!


And even though both will contain pomegranate and beetroot, they will both taste radically different.


What is a Closed-Loop Cocktail?


A Closed-Loop cocktail is a drink that combines any leftover ingredients from the other cocktails on your menu.


Just like two true lovers that can't be without each other, the same goes for these drinks.


Both of them use Pomegranate and Beetroot, but each one needs what the other doesn't have.


While one uses Pom Juice and Beet Pulp, the other uses Beet Juice and Pom Skin!


Heart Grenade

Using Pomegranate Juice and Beetroot Pulp

  • 60ml Scotch Whisky

  • 30ml Lemon Juice

  • 20ml Beet Powder Grenadine

  • 20ml Aquafaba

Wet Shake, then Dry Shake (aka Reverse Shake)


This cocktail is a twist on a 'Wild-Eyed Rose' which is basically a sour with Irish Whiskey and Grenadine. Lucious, thick, juicy, and filled with great mouthfeel and texture!


Heart Beet

Using Pomegranate Skin and Beetroot Juice

  • 50ml Gin

  • 30ml Lemon Juice

  • 15ml Simple Syrup

Shake & Strain

  • Beet Juice + Pom Skin Air (+ aquafaba)

This cocktail is a twist on a 'Pink Rose.' Coincidentally having a similar name as the other drink (Rose), this drink twist will be 'reversed' compared to the previous one, having the red layer on top with the white on the bottom.


The sweet, earthy, and fruity flavors will come from the top layer, while the citrus and spirit balance it as an aftertaste from the lower half.


In combination, both of these cocktails are closed-loop because they use each others' leftover ingredients (one the beet pulp, and the other the pom skin).


If you haven't noticed yet, they both use the same exact ingredients besides the main spirit which are:

- Sugar,

- Lemon Juice,

- and Aquafaba. This is for keeping things simple, efficient, AND sustainable for a cocktail menu or home bar.

Closed-loop cocktails serve the purpose of closing the food-waste cycle of a venue but they can also be applied at home. Anything that you waste can be simply transformed into a cocktail-friendly ingredient, and re-introduced into a cocktail to 'close the loop' on your household's waste!


As you're about to see you can make 2 cocktails that taste different even if they share the same ingredients!

Part 1

Juice both of your ingredients


The first part for both of your cocktails is to entirely juice both ingredients SEPARATELY.


For your beetroot, wash and scrub the outside of it making sure to remove any dirt. Chop it up into pieces and blend it with a bit of water, or juice it if you have a juicer.



Save the Pulp and follow the recipe for Making Powdered Beetroot using the leftover pulp.

Simply dehydrate all of the beet pulp, and once dried, crush it with a spice/coffee grinder.


For your Pomegranate, be sure to wash the outside of the skin very well. Peel off the skin and save it for later.

Open up your pomegranate and remove all of the seeds/fruit.


Juice your seeds either by crushing them by hand using a cheesecloth, blending them with a bit of water in a blender, or using a juiced to extract all of the juice.



Now, before proceeding you should have 4 ingredients ready:

  1. Pomegranate Juice

  2. Beetroot Juice

  3. Pomegranate Skin

  4. Beetroot Dust (from dehydrated pulp)


Part 2

Make Beet Powder Grenadine

&

Heart Grenade


Beet pulp grenadine is the combination of Pomegranate Juice, Beetroot Dust, and Sugar.


For every 120ml of Pomegranate Juice, combine half a barspoon of Beetroot Powder and 120ml of Sugar.


Put on the stove and stir for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.


Strain out the beet powder using a very fine mesh strainer, and bottle it up.


This grenadine will have the perfect balance of a beet meeting a pomegranate. Sweet, Earthy, Tart, Fruity, but most of all....balanced!


Now follow the recipe previously listed to make Heart Grenade!



Part 3

Make Beet/Pom Skin Air

&

Heart Beet


This 'Air' is a combination of Beetroot Juice and Pomegranate Skin.


Infuse the leftover Pomegranate skins with the Beet juice and extra water in a stove pot over medium heat.

For every 120ml of Beet juice, combine 10g of Pom skins and 60ml of Water.

Bring to a boil and set it to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.


Remove the skins and refrigerate the juice.


Your infused juice won't taste like beets as much as before because of the mellow flavor from the pomegranate skins.

(The skins, now super red from the color of the beets, can also be dehydrated and used as a powder for cocktails).


Once your infused juice is cold, place it in any large container.


For every 120ml of juice, add 20ml of aquafaba and agitate the mixture using an immersion blender or milk frother.


WARNING: if you are using an immersion blender be sure to use a very large and tall container to prevent messy splattering everywhere.




Once you've blended the mixture, let it settle for a minute or two. You'll notice a lot of foam building on the top of the juice.


Scoop up just the top where the foam is using a spoon, or better, a tea or julep strainer, and place it on top of your drink following the recipe of the Heart Beet! The leftover juice that cannot be turned to foam can still be added to cocktails to add flavor and texture.

Conclusion


As you have seen, this is the perfect concept of Closed-Loop cocktails, cocktails which share yet use ingredients in different ways.


A sustainable bar or home bar need to have ingredients that cross over to other drinks, otherwise, there will always be some form of food waste.


By changing the look, texture, and mouthfeel of each ingredient, you can make drinks taste completely different from each other regardless of the similar ingredients that they share.


And by using different parts of a fruit or vegetable, you can achieve different flavors for any drink.


This is the magic of when Mixology meets Sustainability!


Stay Sustainable! 🌱




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