April 22 is Earth Day, and while I strongly suggest you do some earth-friendly activities and think about ways to better help out the planet in the following year on that day, I also think it’s a nice idea to raise a cocktail or two in honor of the day – and the earth. When hosting said cocktails, go organic to keep in the spirit of things.
Not too many years ago, “going organic” with your cocktails wouldn’t have been easy. But in the last decade, the cocktail and spirit universe has shaded greener, with a host of organic distilleries opening. We here in WA State have a number of distilleries thinking organic, including Bluewater Distilling in Everett. Not only certified organic by the USDA, they are also part of 1% for the Planet, which is an organization of responsibly-minded businesses donating 1% of gross profits to environmental organizations. And if that wasn’t enough, their gin and vodka both taste good, too. So this Earth Day do your part and then celebrate by supporting not only the earth but also your local distillers with one of the following three mixes.
When having this drink, do me a favor. Toast the earth, sure, but also raise a toast to the awesome Bond Huberman, web editor for Seattle magazine. She’s leaving the magazine and website, sadly. And, as this drink was originally created for another pal moving from one job to another, it’s ideal for the occasion. The recipe’s from Good Spirits: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add 2 ounces of Bainbridge Legacy organic vodka, and 1/2 ounce Sidetrack raspberry liqueur. Shake well. Add 4 or 5 organic frozen raspberries to a cocktail glass. Strain the mix over the raspberries and into the glass. Top off the glass with Domaine Carneros organic sparkling wine.
Purple Basil Gimlet
This is from Paul Abercrombie’s wonderful book Organic, Shaken and Stirred, which is packed with tasty drinks that utilize organic ingredients. This one has a layered spice and citrus flavor that plays off of juniper-forward Bluewater Halcyon gin. Combine 2 ounces Bluewater Halcyon organic gin, 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed organic lime juice, 1⁄2 ounce organic agave nectar, and 4 organic purple basil leaves in an ice cube-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, then fine strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass. Float 1 more basil leaf on top of the drink.
Sun Gold Zinger
It may be that we don’t actually see the sun on Earth Day here in Seattle. But you can bring the sun, and a bit of the garden, into your house with this zingy organic cocktail. It’s also from Organic, Shaken and Stirred: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 orange-hued organic cherry tomatoes (if you can’t find orange, red will do), a generous pinch of organic sea salt, and 1⁄2 ounce freshly squeezed organic lemon juice until the tomatoes are mashed. Add 1-3⁄4 ounces Bluewater vodka and 1⁄4 ounce organic agave nectar, and fill the shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously, and then strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with one more tomato, speared on a toothpick.
Photo copyright Jerry Errico and Harvard Common Press, 2009.