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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Sustainable Sips

Drink responsibly with these liquor companies that put a high priority on the environment.


By Misty Milioto

This Valentine’s Day, plan a little something special with lovey-dovey cocktails made from eco-friendly spirits. While there are quite a few on the market, these are a few of our favorites.


Don Q

Eco-friendly rum producer Don Q is a leader in environmentally-friendly production practices. Based in Puerto Rico, the spirits company has invested significant time, knowledge, and resources to develop a wastewater reclamation program. By connecting a series of self-contained processes into an innovative cycle of wastewater treatment and energy harvest, the distillery is able to maximize its production capacity while also protecting the vibrant ecosystem of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Sea. donq.com



Based in Colorado, female-founded craft rum brand Montanya has an impressive list of sustainability initiatives. For starters, the distillery, barrel room, warehouse, and tasting room are 100% wind-powered. The company works with Terrapass to offset carbon production through programs that plant trees, install innovative renewable energy (like photo-voltaic solar grids), and capture methane from landfills. Montanya also installed a biodigester that processes organic waste into gray water that can be used to fertilize gardens. In addition to printing on recycled stocks using soy inks, Montanya prints labels and case boxes on FSC certified paper. Moreover, the company became certified Plastic Neutral through a partnership with rePurpose Global that funds the collection and processing of nature-bound plastic.The tasting room and office are LEED-certified, and Montanya has eliminated all plastic from its packaging and tasting room. montanyarum.com


Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur

Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur is handcrafted from distilled spirits and fresh passion fruit on the remote Samaná Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. Named after the Dominican passion fruit, which locals pronounce as chee-noh-lah, the liqueur balances the fruit’s unique tartness with natural sweetness and tropical essence. The company is committed to authenticity and sustainability practices, including the use of non-GMO passion fruit; crop rotation with turmeric, pineapple, and plantains; using honeybees to assist with fruit pollination; and growing only a fraction of the fruit and then sharing agricultural best practices with local farmers who are responsible for the majority of the crops that are then purchased back. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Chinola has partnered with Vesta Chocolate to create limited-edition Chinola bonbon and ganache chocolates made with Dominican cacao. While Chinola follows a vine-to-bottle approach using fresh passion fruit and no additives in each bottle, Vesta takes a bean-to-bonbon approach using organic cacao beans and organic cane sugar to produce artisanal chocolate. The single-origin collection features Vesta’s signature 66% chocolate bonbons and dark chocolate ganache with a caramel filling made with Chinola liqueur. Once bitten, the bonbons burst forth with bright and juicy Chinola, including subtle notes of citrus and spices. shopchinola.com; vestachocolate.com



Lovely Libation

For an easy Valentine’s Day cocktail, try the Chismosa Royale


4 oz. Brut Champagne 

.75 oz. Chinola 

.25 oz. Grand Marnier 

1 dash Angostura Bitters 



Use a channel knife to curl a four-inch orange peel.


Pour Chinola, Grand Marnier, and Angostura Bitters into a Champagne flute. Top with chilled Champagne. Garnish with orange peel.


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