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Raising the bar: Drinking green

Ave at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

As it is for many columnists, inspiration for my content often comes from the modern holiday and observances calendar.

In the search for something new and now, these online calendars have become less about the “big” stuff, like Christmas, Easter and the first day of summer, etc., and more about increasingly banal celebrations of daily minutiae like National Pillowcase Day or the International Day of Wotsits — the cheesy puffed British equivalent of, well, Cheese Puffs.

Some of these days have real meaning, of course, and the difference between “National” and “International” becomes less and less relevant. One such date is 22 April, or Earth Day.

Being a day focused on the planet on which every current (known) life form resides, boundaries like differences fade into insignificance, especially in the light of climate change, depleted fossil fuels and oceans filling with micro and not-so-micro plastics.

“What has this to do with drinks?” you might ask. Well, like the food movement, the beverage industry has started taking a long, hard look at its environmental impact over the last few years, and found its ecosystem definitely lacking.

Campaigns to remove single use plastic straws, recycling initiatives and massive amounts of education have changed the way the average bartender — and bar managers and owners, too — thinks about drinks.

Using local produce as much as possible when making a drink helps reduce its carbon footprint compared to using produce shipped from overseas.

In the Cayman Islands, there is a plethora of delicious, interesting fruit and vegetables that are delicious ingredients for drinks – mangoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, coconuts, guava and many more — just pop down to Camana Bay’s market on Wednesdays and see what's in season.

At Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, where I work, we’re incredibly environmentally conscious, but our wonderful guests consume far too much to make it possible to source everything locally. So ... we pick our battles where it makes sense. We use the lemongrass from Coccoloba for our "Homegrown Margaritas" and bitter oranges from the East End for the "Clearly Swanky" drink in Ave's bar.

Also in Ave you’ll find the "Dis Be Leaf," a local aloe in a Champagne cocktail that originated from Kimpton Seafire’s Green Room event. Even the gin we use plants a tree in the Amazon rainforest for every bottle sold.

Next time you’re out raising a glass, remember "drinking green" isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day — it's also a way of doing your part in keeping our Earth green, too.

Jim Wrigley is the beverage manager at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

This article appears in print in the April 2022 edition of Camana Bay Times.

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