Green Wedding Guide: Bar & Drinks
How to Save Money and Resources at the Bar:
Consider offering specialty cocktails, which can reduce your purchasing and the energy needed to transport heavy bottles of booze. FIG Catering makes their own vermouth and bitters as well as seasonal fruit to create delicious specialty drinks. Check out their recipe for Any Other Name, a fall cocktail made with organic Prairie vodka, local pear butter, and house bitters.
Buy local! Select local, craft brewed beer, sustainable/organic or biodynamic wines, and craft distilled spirits.
Skip the toast! Champagne toasts require renting glassware and often end up being wasted. Let your guests either choose champagne at the bar or toast with their preferred drink and you'll save money and energy in the process.
Buy sustainable wines. Sustainably grown wines don’t have to be out of your budget. And while sustainable is a nebulous term, it takes into account the environment, biodiversity, and worker issues. New Zealand and Australia are leaders in sustainable wine, but there is wine from every region that is grown in sustainable ways.
Skip the plastic, and do not offer bottled water! Filtered or infused water can be served out of pitchers or decorative urns. Plastic is the hardest material to recycle and generally can only be down-cycled, converted into lesser quality plastics for reuse.
Think recycle-ability. Aluminum is light, uses less gas used to transport, and is easily recycled. Glass, while heavier, is a better alternative to plastic because it can be recycled endlessly. Many craft beers are in cans and Goose Island even offers sodas in glass bottles.
Less is more: Avoid unnecessary packaging & choose keg beer, spirits or wine.
Goose Island Catering is Chicago’s first & most well-known craft brewer and they can pair your menu with their locally-made beers for a perfect match. Plus sustainability has been a part of their mission since their founding.
FIG Catering offers a comprehensive list of responsibly grown wines and will also guide you if you’re buying wines retail.
FIG Catering’s Any Other Name Cocktail
1.5 oz. Vanilla-infused Prairie Organic vodka
.5 oz. Pear butter*
.5 oz. Rosemary simple syrup (see recipe below)
.5 oz Lime juice
Lime peel, for garnish
Angostura bitters (FIG makes bitters in house, but you can purchase them.)
Shake all ingredients over ice. Strain and serve over ice in a rocks or old fashioned glass. Garnish with lime peel.
Rosemary Syrup; Yield: 2 cups
1 cup Unprocessed or demeara sugar
1 cup Water
4 sprigs Fresh rosemary
In a sauce pot, bring all ingredients to a simmer. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and turn off heat. Let stand 30 minutes and strain through a mesh sieve.
*Like apple butter, pear butter does not contain any dairy but is more like a thickened pear sauce. Substitute apple butter if you can't find pear (or make your own).