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Sustainability on their mind: Bengaluru mixologists get innovative, use leftover cereals, watermelon rind, for cocktails

Restobars are using recycled ingredients to produce zero-waste drinks.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 20, 2019, 11.23 AM IST
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Representative image.
BENGALURU: Dry ice, liquid nitrogen and a whole lot of theatre make cocktails a fun experience. While restobars in the city work on the fun quotient, they have something else also on their mind — sustainability. In a bid to reduce kitchen waste and produce zero-waste drinks, they are making use of recycled or upcycled ingredients that otherwise would have been discarded as trash.

International bar tending and mixology competitions could be the reason, Robert Hospet, mixologist at restaurants Sanchez and Sriracha, said. Case in point: In May, Bengaluru-based mixologist Vedant Mehra won the top spot in a competition for a rum cocktail that used a homemade banana peel syrup. Another competition early this year focused on using all parts of a fruit for a drink.

It was here that Hospet came up with the avocado margarita, which is served in the shell. “We use a lot of avocado in our kitchens, and while we give the seeds to be planted, the skin is thrown away, which adds to the already large pile of kitchen waste. So, I decided to make one last use of it, by serving the drink in the shell.”

This is just one of his many creations. Another drink features the stems and seeds of bell peppers. Leftover lemon wheels are dehydrated, leftover guacamole is turned into a cordial and sparkling wine that has gone flat is made into a syrup.

Courtyard by Marriott launched a cocktail ‘breakfast for bed’ that uses leftover cereals from breakfast. Cornflakes, fruit loops and other cereals are toasted and soaked in milk, which is then infused with bourbon whiskey. “Cereal-infused milk is flavourful and works great with bourbon. This drink is becoming popular as a dessert option, and cuts down on waste, too,” Bhavya Verma, assistant manager, F&B, said.

Three Dots and a Dash has introduced a vodka-based cocktail that uses watermelon rind — the firm white part of the fruit that’s left behind after the red flesh has been scooped out. “The rind has a distinct flavour when muddled with vodka. The question ‘can this be used for something?’ should always be asked,” general manager Viktor Salter said.

Food and travel writer Purvi Kulkarni says one need not be a bartender to adopt these practices. “We’ve grown up seeing leftover rice becoming lemon rice for breakfast next morning, leftover fruit being juiced, vegetables on the edge of going bad ending up in sambar and curries. It’s the same logic for cocktails.”

Gin Day: Beat The Summer Heat With These Easy-To-Make, Fun Cocktails

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Shaken Or Stirred

8 Jun, 2019
Gin has made a uber-cool comeback on menus. The drink is suddenly everybody's go-to spirit - which is perfect for the summer as several gin cocktails feature fresh, citrus, floral and even fruity notes.So this Gin Day, we asked experts across the country to share their secret recipes for the perfect gin cocktail - from naughty with jägermeister to nice with tonic.

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