These Zero-Waste Cocktails Use Food Scraps To Refresh Drinks

Don't throw away those fruity pulps and husks! They can be reused to make some interesting new cocktails. Trash Tiki is touring all over the world to give us more awareness on the waste created from drinking with easy recipes that anyone can make.


May 24 2019, Updated 8:34 p.m. ET

Similar to food waste, cocktail creators are becoming more environmentally conscious about their drinks. Two London bartenders are stepping up with an organization called Trash Tiki, an open-source platform that hopes to inspire others to use ingredients that were otherwise destined to the trash.

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Trash Tiki was founded by Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths. Their focus is to make tasty anti-waste cocktails using ingredients such as corn cobs, orange peels, apple pulp, leftover juice, egg yolk, and so much more. All drinks are served in metal cups and bamboo straws that can be reused.

Inspiration for the drinks came when the bartenders worked with Dan Barber at “wastED London,” a community that links multiple positions -- be it chefs, farmers, or distributors -- to work together in eliminating waste. Trash Tiki was born as a side project and now they’re touring it around the world. It’s currently on a North American tour this summer with upcoming stops to Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle to round out the month of August.

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The duo isn’t focused on beating out competition. Instead, they want to bring inspiration and anyone is free to add their own recipes. They’re also injecting some attitude into sustainability -- a word they’re admittedly not a fan of -- and pushing the message of “#drinklikeyougiveafuck” on social media. Crude language can be found all over the website, but the awareness of using scraps is on every single recipe.

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Thoughts of using pineapple pulp and citrus husks doesn’t sound appealing initially, but when spruced up they can provide just as much flavor as freshly squeezed juice. Some leftover ingredients are used to create stock. For example, this citrus stock recipe could “extend the amount of liquid you get from one humble lime.” Ultimately, it can save bars some money instead of continually pressing fresh lime into every drink.

Both Ramage and Griffiths acknowledge that this movement won’t change the world, but every bit helps out the environment. “We wanted to prove that you don’t need to be an extreme eco-warrior to do something,” Ramage told “It’s about making small, easy changes while showing you can still be fast and fun -- and make good drinks that don’t mess up the planet!”

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Griffiths has been saving the environment since 2013 when him and Ryan Chetiyawardana opened up London bar White Lyan in 2013. According to Eater, cocktails were pre-made and bottled on-site. They required no ice and none of the alcohol was imported, which also lowers carbon emissions from transportation. By doing this, the duo was able to eliminate a lot of waste while saving a lot of money.

Finding a way to create tasty drinks without always needing to use fresh ingredients can be a game-changer. It increases shelf life, gives use to objects that would be thrown away, and cuts down on waste from many juiced items. With an opportunity to gain some money as well, many bars and restaurants should be very interested in Trash Tiki’s message.

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