Photos by Wildpine Photography
On the heels of big-name chefs, the food waste movement in restaurants is somewhat old news. 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.
New Life Old Fashioned
2 ounces Bull Run American whiskey
“Whiskey historically began as a way of preserving extra grain from particularly bountiful harvests. This, like the grappa in the Reclaimed Collins, is a great local variety.”
1/4 ounce spent coffee and beer syrup (see recipe below)
“Coffee is made daily at many bars and restaurants. After brewing, most people throw away the grounds even though they still have plenty of flavor. This ingredient also captures the foam overflow from beer taps. This foam, or “beer head,” is 30% liquid so it can be captured and turned back into beer.”
2 dashes Bittermens spiced cranberry bitters
Orange swath, for garnish
Coffee-Beer Syrup Ingredients
Equal parts by weight beer, coffee grounds, and water.
Make the coffee and beer syrup:
- Combine beer, coffee grounds, and water in a pot and heat until the coffee dissolves.
- Strain through a coffee filter.
- Let cool and bottle. It will last in the refrigerator for months!
Assemble the cocktail:
- Stir all ingredients together and serve in an Old Fashioned glass with a large ice cube.
- Garnish with orange swath.