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No Waste Cocktail Recipe: Reclaimed Collins

Photos by Wildpine Photography

On the heels of big-name chefs, the food waste movement in restaurants is still gaining momentum. Now, bartenders all over the globe are getting in on the low-impact cocktail movement, giving new meaning to the term “getting trashed.”

At Salvage Supperclub’s recent dumpster dinner in Portland, veteran mixologist Nathan Gerdes whipped up drinks using products that typically get thrown out, like citrus peels and coffee grounds. He also used spirits whose origins hearken back to ingredient “recycling” and preservation. Don’t skip over his interesting and educational descriptions below!

Nathan has 15+ years of experience in the cocktail world. In 2012, he won a Bombay Sapphire national competition, beating out 1500 other mixologists for the title of “Most Imaginative Bartender.” Want to see him action? Catch him behind the bar at Portland’s La Moule.

Curious about Salvage Supperclub? Check out our feature on them here.

Reclaimed Collins

Serves: 1

Cocktail Ingredients

1/2 ounce Ransom Gewurztraminer grappa

“Grappa is a spirit made from the waste product of wine production. This particular local variety is from the northern section of Oregon’s Willamette Valley.”

1 ounce Aria gin

1/2 ounce Sauvie Island blueberry shrub (see recipe below)

“A shrub is a drinking vinegar and a beverage traditionally used to preserve perishable produce. The blueberries used here from a local property where the bushes were unattended and the fruit was going to waste.”

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce spent citrus Oleo (see recipe below)

“In most high-quality bars, citrus is juiced daily and the leftovers of those fruits are trashed. This oleo saccharum, essentially an oil simple syrup, is made from the rinds of used limes.”

2 ounces Topo Chico sparkling mineral water

Lemon swath and blueberries, to garnish

Blueberry Shrub Ingredients

Equal parts blueberries, sugar, and champagne vinegar.

Citrus Oleo Ingredients

Equal parts by weight citrus peels, sugar, and water.


Make the blueberry shrub:

  1. Put the blueberries and vinegar in an airtight jar with a lid. Infuse for one week.
  2. Strain the liquid and combine with the sugar. Heat mixture until the sugar dissolves, but do not boil.
  3. Let cool and bottle. It will last in the refrigerator for months!

Make the citrus oleo:

  1. Put the citrus peels and sugar in a container. Let sit for 48 hours while occasionally shaking.
  2. Add hot water to peels and sugar. Strain out the peels.
  3. Let cool and bottle. It will last in the refrigerator for months!

To make the cocktail:

  1. Shake all ingredients together except Topo Chico.
  2. Pour into a tall Collins glass and top with Topo Chico.
  3. Garnish with lemon swath and blueberries.


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