The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2018

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Page 36 of 124

36  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2018 Associate Editor Mara Marski is The Tasting Panel's resident bartender. EASY SUSTAINABILITY TIPS FROM CLAIRE SPROUSE OF THE TIN ROOF DRINK COMMUNITY W aste is an unfortunate reality of our industry, but that doesn't stop my heart from breaking a little bit every time I drag out a bulging bag of trash from behind the bar. I'm always looking to reduce waste while on the clock, and this month I went straight to the experts. Claire Sprouse and fellow bartender Chad Arnholt co-founded the Tin Roof Drink Community, which focuses on making the industry more sustainable via bar design/retrofitting, drinks programming, and community outreach. Read on for some of Sprouse's tips for reducing your environmental impact behind the bar. Talking Trash You need to understand what you're throwing out before you can change it. I used to work at a bar with little trash—mostly tasting straws and napkins. We replaced these with reusable coasters, switched to paper straws, and in some cases, changed our drinks so they didn't need straws. Non-plastic straws are very accessible now, and they're also an easy way to engage your guests about what you're doing to cut down on waste. A Bright Idea Look for easy ways to save energy. Conserve water by waiting until the dishwasher is full to run it or curb your electricity usage by switch- ing to more efficient bulbs. On the Food Service Technology Center website (, you can see the amount of money you save per bulb per year: Switching eight incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents can save you $365 annually and also pays off in terms of reducing your carbon footprint. Shop Local When you buy from local farmers, your produce tastes better, has more nutrients, and keeps longer. Many techniques that bartenders love—like dehydrating fruit or making bitters and tinctures—evolved as a way to preserve flavors and reduce waste before refrigeration was an option. Sprouse's parting advice is to start small as you establish a guiding ideology for cutting down on waste. As she says, "Little things add up when you implement them across a whole industry." To join the sustain- ability discussion, visit PHOTO: DUSTIN DOWNING It's Not Easy Being Green PHOTO COURTESY OF TIN ROOF DRINK COMMUNITY Practical Application For the Copper Corn cocktail, Sprouse and her team took corn scraps and infused them into vodka. The resulting cream/curds were then turned over to the kitchen staff, who whipped them into ice cream with a slight corn and citrus flavor. This milk punch is clarified, which prolongs its shelf life for at least a few weeks. Copper Corn Makes one batch ◗ 12 oz. corncob- and husk-infused Absolut Elyx ◗ 12 oz. Chardonnay ◗ 6 oz. orange juice ◗ 3 oz. lemon juice ◗ 3 oz. simple syrup ◗ 12 oz. whole milk Combine all ingredients except milk and let sit for 30 minutes to fully incorporate. Slowly stir the mix into a larger container holding the milk. Let sit for 30 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter, allowing the curds to build up (this cream can be set aside for other uses) and strip away any solids until the punch runs clear. Store refrigerated and serve over an ice cube. X

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