Enjoy sustainably this holiday season by sipping our top picks for people- and planet-friendly tipples
Our top recommendations for people-friendly and planet-friendly tipples will help you sip sustainably this holiday season
How d’ya like these apples? Each bottle of AvallenCalvados removes 2.73kgs of CO2e. There is no need to offset. It’s a yuletide miracle. This delicious apple brandy is made from Normandy apples grown in wildflower orchards. It has a floral honeysuckle aroma and a toffee apple finish. What’s more, the labels are made from waste apple pulp and the company donates to bee-saving charities via 1% For The Planet. After a Christmas cocktail or two, it won’t just be the bees who are buzzing.
England’s first carbon-negative gin brings together the bounties of rural Yorkshire with locally-sourced wheat and ethically-sourced botanicals. What is the result? The result? Their bright, herbaceous Discovery Gin, produced in collaboration with London’s Natural History Museum, should be top of your Christmas list.
This limited-run whisky from Bruichladdich, located on the small island of Islay, Scotland, is the world’s first-ever biodynamic scotch. In 2011, the distillation was done using biodynamic barley from a single carbon neutral farm. The farmers used the same closed, chemical-free systems as sustainable winegrowers and regenerative farming techniques. Once the whisky had been distilled, it was then aged in a cask that had previously held Bourbon. The whisky has a fruity, rich taste with notes of apple as well as pear.
All of the rums made by Devon’s Two Drifters are carbon negative. That means you can enjoy their full-bodied Signature Rum – a rich buttery delight with hints of treacle, toffee, ginger and muscovado sugar – completely guilt-free. The distillery uses 100% renewable energy and has carbon-neutral packaging. There are also zero transport emissions thanks to the fleet of electric cars. Two Drifters captures and turns any unavoidable carbon dioxide into stone.
1953. That’s when this forward-thinking distillery began to think about sustainable ways of making vodka. Back then, they used leftovers from the food sector, but today their vodka is made entirely from regeneratively-farmed barley. Using 100 per cent of every grain – first in their vegan, gluten- and GMO-free vodka, then for its packaging, then as biofuel for the onsite power plant, and then cow feed – the agricultural methods used at their Finnish farms aim to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in the ground. We’ll drink to that.
Fungtn beer is a winning Christmas beverage. Started in lockdown, this new B Corp creates 100 per cent vegan, alcohol-free craft beer made from organic Nordic mushrooms, such as Lion’s Mane and Reishi varieties. The mushrooms are grown by a circular producer from Finland. The current selection includes a lager and an IPA. They are all available in recyclable and plastic-free packaging.
£34.80 for 12; fungtn.com
Top of Santa’s good list, Toast Ale uses surplus bread to brew a host of excellent beers, while reducing food waste and the demand for malted barley. They’re not making bread either, all their profits go to charities fixing the food system. Soil Heroes and Rainforest Trust UK are the current beneficiaries of their Companion Series. This series has 24 breweries creating 26 new beers out of waste bread. Try Meantime’s 8% blonde doppelbock lager, Tick Tock Bock.
£24 for 12; toastale.com
For something completely different, now. Three Spirit creates plant-based alcohol alternatives that make it easier to socialize. These drinks harness the power of natural ingredients such as the Ecuadorian tribal stimulant guayusa or the Mexican aphrodisiac damiiana. They can be a great way to get up, make you more outgoing, or just relax with a nightcap.
You are looking for a sustainable, low-sulphite Christmas Day fizz. The Pale Fox Prosecco is an organic option. This sparkling wine from Northern Italy is made using 100% renewable energy sources and minimal use of pesticides. The grapes are handpicked and bentonite Clay is used for fining. Ecologi plants a tree for every order.
One of the first wines to receive certification by Sustainable Wines of Great BritainOn the Nod, a delicate bacchus with hints honeysuckle, rose and ripe orchard fruit, is available. It is a low-intervention plonk. The grapes are hand-harvested, minimally processed and made at a fully sustainable winery in Canterbury.
A box is a better option than a bottle of red wine. BIB Wine (Bag in Box) is now making it easier to get a bottle of red wine into a cardboard container. The team selects sustainable fine wines from Europe and makes them available in fully recyclable packaging. This reduces wine wastage as well as rubbish going to landfill. This Monastrell is rich and organically grown with hints of sweet spice and black cherries.
Main image: Johann Trasch
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