Earth Day Cocktails: Vegan Drinks Inspired By Our Planet

At Bottleneck, we look for ways that we can to do our part to better the planet. Some of our environmentally conscious practices include only serving water and straws upon request, minimizing waste with our draft systems for both beer and wine, hosting charity events with each new restaurant opening, and volunteering throughout the year to help world hunger.

Inspired to care for our planet in her own ways, manager Katie Williams of City Works Minneapolis created a limited-time vegan cocktail offering for Earth Day. Read Katie’s story on the development of her eco-influenced vegan cocktails below, and stop into City Works in Minneapolis from Sunday, April 21 – Saturday, April 27 to taste one for yourself. $1 per drink is being donated to the Natural Resource Defense Council.

At a point in time when environmental issues have become increasingly detrimental, our goal with this feature is to take a moment to celebrate some of the breathtaking natural beauty that makes our planet home.

When constructing these cocktail recipes, we wanted to create balanced cocktails by combining nature’s nectarous sweetness with the refreshing tartness of her citrus fruits.

In order to acknowledge environmental phenomena across all plains, each cocktail was developed with one of the four earth elements—Earth, Air, Water, Fire—in mind. Below are a few examples of our inspiration when selecting ingredients for these recipes.

The Cocktails

Served in a goblet glass to represent the globe, Tectonic Drift is the representation of the Earth Element. To signify this, we utilized the delicate floral profile of Bloom Gin, which features chamomile, honeysuckle, and pomelo botanicals. Combined with the agave nectar and mint, this cocktail captures a sweet and refreshing sense of the upcoming spring.

For our Water Element, we wanted to create a smooth tropical cocktail that would be reminiscent of laying on the beach, ocean-side, relaxing to the sounds of the crashing waves. Bioluminescent Wave, an almost key-lime pie style martini, does exactly that—even when you live in Minneapolis, where a mid-April snow storm is not uncommon.

Solar Flare is essentially our version of a spicy margarita, because the only thing better than a margarita is one that has some heat to it. To give it an additional kick, we also created a sriracha-lime salt to rim the glass. Further exemplifying the Fire Element we were inspired by, the Solar Flare is served in a goblet glass to resemble the sun.

The Air Element is based on a classic cocktail—The Aviation—but with our own unique twist. The cassis in Northern Lights gives it a beautiful lavender hue, but by changing the base liquor to pear vodka, and topping it off with orange bitters, it gives the cocktail a broader spectrum of colorful flavors to explore.

The reason we chose to use Agave nectar in the cocktails as opposed to simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) is that Agave nectar is much sweeter and is a little more similar to honey, but without the use of animal byproducts.

We hope you enjoy drinking these as much as we did creating them. – Katie Williams