Sunday, May 19, 2024

From Garden to Glass: The Eco Spirits Trend Takes Off at Luxury Hotels

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Cocktail bar menus at luxury resorts and hotels are now featuring locally grown ingredients and eco spirits as part of their sustainability commitments.

Luxury hotel bars have long been the epitome of elegance and sophistication. And recently, there’s been a shift in how these hotels apply that elevated ethos to include responsible practices.

The hotel industry is increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainability and is taking concerted steps to adopt more environmentally-friendly practices. Many hotels are now implementing measures to reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and support renewable resources. These practices include the use of energy-efficient lighting, solar panels, water-saving devices, and recycling programs.

Several hotel chains have even introduced green certification programs to motivate others in the industry to follow suit. Such initiatives reflect not only a growing commitment to the planet but also cater to a new generation of travelers who prioritize eco-friendly services.

The move toward sustainability in the hotel industry signifies a positive shift in corporate responsibility and a meaningful response to consumer expectations. And it’s not just happening in guest rooms and operations. A growing number are also bringing sustainability to their cocktail menus.

Air Vodka is made from CO2
Courtesy Air Company

Driven by environmental consciousness and the desire for authentic, fresh flavors, luxury hotel bars are embracing a new trend: eco spirits and locally grown botanicals.

At the forefront of this eco-revolution is Bermuda’s Hamilton Princess and Beach Club. Last year, the resort’s Director of Food and Beverage, Shawn Lekki, ushered in a partnership with ecoSPIRITS, Bermuda Gin Co., and Goslings Rum to cut down on single-use glass waste and reduce the resort’s carbon footprint.

“Sustainable ecoSPIRITS are produced with a focus on minimizing the negative impact on the environment. It has had no negative effect on flavor profiles of the spirits,” Lekki told Ethos via email. The move has been well received by the Hamilton Princess clientele.

The very essence of eco-friendly luxury seems to be rooted in the idea of ‘garden-to-glass’ or ‘garden-to-plate’. Hamilton Princess first embarked on this journey in 2019, inspired by its chefs’ desire to have fresh herbs readily available. “The chefs wished to have fresh herbs at their fingertips, and there was no closer location than on property at the hotel,” Lekki says. “The garden is replenished seasonally according to the needs of the hotel kitchens.”

The Bermuda Hamilton Princess Beach Club
The Bermuda Hamilton Princess Beach Club | Courtesy

Half a world away from Bermuda in Oregon’s wine country, The Allison Inn and Spa is also putting eco spirits on the menu. Master Gardener and Beekeeper, Anna Ashby, says the hotel has had a commitment to sustainability from its inception in 2009. For the Inn, every vegetable, herb, and fruit is a testimony to the hotel’s commitment.

“Guests who visit the garden to see where the vegetables grow are extremely enthusiastic and rave about the taste of the food,” Ashby says. Built with “green eyes,” the property, envisioned by Ken and Joan Austin, was designed to be Oregon’s first luxury, eco-friendly destination resort.

The hotel prides itself on an array of green initiatives, from LEED Gold Certification to waste and recycle management systems. Furthering their sustainable efforts, the property’s signature restaurant, JORY, delivers an authentic farm-to-table dining experience.

It’s a trend also taking hold at The Aerial hotel in the British Virgin Islands. The Aerial takes eco spirits and sustainable dining to another level. CEO and Founder, Britnie Turner, believes in the power of food to elevate health and consciousness. “Our food ethos is: To heal people and raise their frequency via food,” she tells Ethos.

The Aerial’s ‘Island Farmacy’ garden, a cornerstone since the resort’s 2021 inauguration, underlines Turner’s commitment to offering guests a transformative dining experience.

The Aerial's ‘Island Farmacy’
The Aerial BVI’s ‘island farmacy’ | Courtesy

“Having a garden on my island to feed my guests healthy food is a passion that is deeply rooted in my values and aspirations,” says Turner. “I believe in the importance of sustainable living and responsible food choices. By cultivating our own garden, we can minimize the carbon footprint associated with transporting food from distant places, thus contributing to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.”

The impact of this focus on wellness can be experienced throughout a guest’s stay. “During a four-night stay, people lose on average between three to 10 pounds while on island, never being hungry and eating the most delicious food of their life,” Turner says.

Beyond gastronomy, The Aerial is a beacon of eco-friendly practices, with composting, zero waste management, and sustainable job training programs.

“When it comes to guests, I am genuinely concerned about their well-being and want to offer them the best possible life experience,” Turner says. “By serving them fresh, organic produce from our garden, we can provide meals that are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients and free from harmful pesticides or chemicals.”

Turner says the desire to prioritize her guests’ well-being while creating a memorable dining experience aligns with her values to make a positive impact on both the lives of her guests and the environment. “Knowing that we are contributing to their health and happiness brings me great satisfaction,” she says.

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