This sustainable LA distillery has the world's largest portfolio of organic spirits, and yes, it translates to better flavor
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- Greenbar Distillery is a carbon-negative alcohol brand based out of LA that plants one tree for every bottle sold.
- A standard two-ounce cocktail made with Greenbar liquor helps remove enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make the average American carbon-negative for the day.
- The company only uses certified organic ingredients, has lightweight bottles and recycled labels made from 100% post-consumer waste, and has planted over 780,000 trees.
- You can order Greenbar Distillery liquor from shops in your area through Drizly. And, if you're in LA, you can take a tour of the distillery for 50% off with this Groupon.
When Litty Mathew and Melkon Khosrovian's distillery was accidentally delivered organic ingredients more than a decade ago, they didn't realize it would change everything about how their company operated.
The flavors tasted richer and more vivid. Recipes had to be rejiggered.
"When plants aren't given artificial crutches to help them grow quickly, they have to be strong on their own. An orange, for example, has to keep the Southern Fire Ant away by creating more oil. This translates to more aromatic fruit. That was the light bulb moment: organic = better flavor," Mathew told Business Insider.
Overnight, Mathew and Khosrovian decided to use only organic products to make their spirits. And, within a year, their fledgling organic liquor brand, Greenbar Distillery, had overtaken sales from the original.
Today, Greenbar boasts the largest portfolio of organic spirits in the world. Its liquor is also carbon-negative, and the company plants a tree for every bottle bought - which today amounts to more than 780,000 trees.
For Greenbar, organics gave the company the best taste. It was a simple decision. Learning from the growers and farmers how important organic practices were for keeping land, water, and air clean, they decided to make all the eco-friendly choices they could. Also a simple decision. Only after commissioning studies a year later would they realize those steps amounted to carbon-negative alcohol.
Since the average American produces 55 kilograms of carbon dioxide every day, and a standard two-ounce Greenbar cocktail removes 62 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, one cocktail effectively makes the drinker carbon-negative for the day.
To minimize waste, Greenbar bottles are lighter than the industry norm. Labels are made out of 100% post-consumer-waste recycled paper with water-soluble inks, and frosting and metallics that cause unnecessary environmental harm during production are nixed. Instead of PVC plastic, the bottles reusable and recyclable cork is secured with PET.
Behind the scenes, non-profit forestry programs also strengthen the communities wherein the tree-planting occurs. "They address deforestation at the root cause - poverty." Mathew told Business Insider. "Rather than spraying seeds from above, the non-profit trains farmers to plant higher-value, fair-trade crops like coffee and cacao. These crops need shade trees, which is what companies like us pay to plant. Now the farmers have a reason to protect the forest for the same exact reason they were slashing and burning it before - to make more money and better feed their families. This helps people live better lives while also creating a better world."
And if ordering carbon-negative liquor online sends off oxymoron warning bells in your head, it's worth noting that companies like Drizly typically source the alcohol from the shelves of your local stores. And when asked about the impact of cross-country shipping on the liquor's overall carbon footprint, Mathew and Khosrovian said they factor the full life cycle of spirits (including its journey to customers anywhere in the US) in that math.
We tested some of Greenbar's liquors to see if organic really does make for better taste. Our verdict is that, whether it's the organic ingredients or not, Greenbar liquor is pretty delicious - and particularly well suited to upgraded summer cocktails.
Shop all Greenbar Distillery products at Drizly. Scroll for three top sellers we tried:
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