Spirits of Choice

Spirits of Choice

Why Buy Organic Alcohol?
Buy organic alcohol for the same reasons you’d buy organic food: to avoid artificial additives, and to help promote sustainable farming practices and environmentally friendly packaging. And because it tastes amazing, helps prevent hangovers, and if you’re going to mix healthy nutritious ingredients, your alcohol and mixers should be a pure and quality product as well.

Organic List of Spirits
Below are my picks for spirits, including wine, sake and mixers for your home bar, with special attention given to small-batch, organic, and artisan producers that maintain sustainable practices and are impeccable with their ingredients; because no drink can ever rise above the quality of its ingredients.

Note: Please find many more great quality products listed in the resources section at the back of the book.

1. Square One Vodka
Square One helped pioneer organic hard-alcohol production when it released vodka made with certified organic American-grown rye in 2006. The company now has a few flavored varieties with a great one with infused organic cucumbers.

2. Rain Organics Vodka
It’s made from 100 percent organic white corn sourced from a single farm in Illinois and distilled in Kentucky earning a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition this year.

3. Prairie Organic Vodka
Another stellar organic vodka, Prairie is made in Minnesota, and stands out because the farmers who grow the corn for it also own the distillery, converting the leftover corncobs and other biomass into biogas to power the stills.

4. Copas Blanco Tequila
This is a 100 percent agave tequila. The company also makes añejo, reposado, and special-release tequilas—including an añejo packaged in a pretty bottle decorated with a sea turtle, with all proceeds donated to sea turtle conservation.

5. Del Maguey Single Village Mezcals
Del Maguey makes “single village” mezcals; each is named for the town in which it’s produced. The company claims to have always made its spirits organically, but it began the certification process in 2007.

6. Casa Noble Tequila
Award-winning Casa Noble is made from 100% organically farmed Blue Agave plants and is USDA certified organic. All the tequila is made harvest-to-bottle on the Casa Noble estate where water usage is carefully monitored and organic cleaning products dominate. Choose from silver, resposado, anejo, single barrel resposado, and single barrel anejo.

7. Papagayo Organic Rums
Papagayo’s rums, available in white or spiced, are made in Paraguay from sugarcane grown on small family farms. Both rums earned bronze awards at the third annual Polished Palate International Rum Festival this year.

8. Owney’s NYC Rum
White rum made from high quality, all-natural, non-GMO molasses. Distilled in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City. 

9. Bluecoat American Dry Gin
Bluecoat American Dry Gin is a handcrafted, small batch Gin distilled in a copper pot using only organic botanicals.

10. Juniper Green Organic London Dry Gin
This gin is made in London with juniper berries, coriander, angelica root, and savory. A bronze star winner at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

11. Benromach Organic Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
For fans of amber liquors, the organic options are slim. This single malt made in Speyside’s smallest working distillery is one of the few. It is made from organic barley and yeast and is casked in virgin oak for at least three years.

12. Highland Harvest Organic Blended Scotch Whisky
Made from a blend of three organic malts and an organic grain, this blended scotch has the nose of mature malt with gentle hints of age.

13. Balcones
This Texas single-malt whisky defeated nine brands, including famous Scottish houses like the Balvenie and the Macallan, in a blind panel of British spirits experts. 

14. Frey Organic Petite Sirah 2009
Winner of a gold medal at the 2010 Mendocino County Wine Competition, this organic petite sirah from America’s first organic winery is free of added sulfites.

15. Parducci Wine
Parducci wines are not only affordable they are made using organic grapes from family owned farms and come delivered in eco-friendly packaging. The Parducci estate uses solar and renewable energy to power itself, as well as sustainable farming practices. 

16. Domaine Carneros Sparkling Wine
Made from organic grapes, bubbly from Domaine Carneros is also vegan. (If you didn’t already know champagne and sparkling wine has animal products like egg whites in them.) The winery uses solar power and is a big fan of composting.

17. Tarantas Organic Cava Brut
This organic bubbly, produced by Spain’s oldest estate winery, received a rating of 90 from Wine & Spirits magazine. Tarantas uses traditional cava grape varieties (Spain’s answer to Champagne) to produce a pale yellow, creamy wine that the magazine lauded as “remarkably sophisticated for its price.”

18. Momokawa “Organic Junmai Ginjo Nigori”
Momokawa is from Oregon, USA. It is the first nogori to be certified organic.

19. Akira “Organic Junmai” 
From Ishikawa, Japan. Pure rice sake made from U.S. NOP certified organic rice. This sake is best described as a pioneering effort of a brewery in Japan trying to get USDA standards in Japan

20. Bison Brewing Organic India Pale Ale 
In 2010, Bison was selected as one the top sustainable U.S. breweries by USA Today. The company offsets its carbon footprint and makes six- and four-pack carriers from 100 percent recycled paper.

21. Fevertree Sodas and mixers
Award winning range of mixers now include 9 different flavors, including tonic, club soda, their outstanding ginger beer and  the elderflower tonic I use in the signature cocktail, Zen and Tonic.

22. Ayala’s Herbal Water
Ayala’s infuses organic herbal extracts in artesian water for an unusual mixer. The product is available in both still and sparkling formulations in a variety of flavors, such as lavender mint, ginger lemon peel and lemongrass mint vanilla. 

23. Q tonic
Quality soda and tonic waters for cocktails.

24. Bittermens Bitters and Spirits
New Orleans-based bitters company famous for a range of tinctures (grape fruit bitters, habanero shrub) and more experimental selections. They were once involved with Amor y Amargo, a tiny cocktail bar and bitters tasting room in New York City’s East Village, where many of their products can still be found.bittermens.com

25. The Spice Lab
Great source for exotic salts. They have a mixologist collection, and these fun Himalayan sea salt shot glasses.

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1 Comment

  1. This makes so much sense. If I am buying organic produce because I am conscious about the environment and what I feed my body, the same principles applies to my drinks!

    Reply

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