eco-booze Feed

The Whole World Water Campaign

While I will try not to get too much into the eco-impacts of mailing bottled water around the world while researching water in spirits and cocktails here on Alcademics, I thought this large campaign was rather interesting. The Whole World Water Campaign is a charity project where instead of hotels selling commercial bottled water, they filter their own using a Vivreau filtration system and put it in a special, recyclable bottle. The hotel charges for the water and gives 10% of the profits to the charity fund that goes to support bringing drinking water to communities without access to it.... Read more →

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Alcohol and California's Proposed GMO Labelling Law

On the November ballot in California is a proposed law to require labelling of genetically modified foods. This article in USA Today brought up an important exception to the law: If passed, the law would take effect July 1, 2014, requiring that all foods containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled "Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering" or "May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering." Exceptions: alcohol and food sold in restaurants. Animals that are fed genetically altered food, and are then eaten by humans, are also exempt. This wasn't clear to me- is it "alcohol and food sold in restaurants" or... Read more →

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DonQ Rum Visit to Puerto Rico

This summer I visited the Destileria Serralles Puerto Rico, the home of DonQ Rum. DonQ is distilled in the southern part of Puerto Rico, in Ponce. The distillery has been on the same site since 1865. As with most rum distilleries, it was once the site of a sugar refinery and the distillery was a small part of the overall operation. Puerto Rico stopped producing sugar in the 1980s and the distillery became the important business. As with distilleries in the United States, during Prohibition Destileria Serralles was closed. After Prohibition ended, they rebuilt the distillery, this time with column... Read more →

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Sugarcane and the Environment

For the most part rum is made from molasses, the byproduct of sugar production. So when we study the issue of the environmental impact of sugarcane production we need to keep in mind that molasses is the waste product of sugar production. Rum is recycling! That said, we're studying not just sugar but sugarcane production so let's look at its impact. Most of this information comes from Sugar: A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott (2008). See the references page for more information. In Cuba where they couldn’t purchase pesticides and fertilizers due to economic issues, they made their own version... Read more →

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GMO-Free Liquor? Not As Far As You Know

So the TTB released the little bombshell below. Basically, you can't put "GMO-free" or something similar on an alcoholic beverage label, even if the product is. For the most part if you're drinking anything made from corn in the US (all bourbon, some vodkas) you're drinking genetically modified corn. Spirits from other crops too. In many (most? all?) export markets, however, you can't use this. Thus many (all?) bourbons make a GMO-free version for export. Because most of Four Roses bourbon is sold in Japan, however, their product is GMO-free, even in the US. However, distiller Jim Rutledge said he... Read more →

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