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From Peel to Pour: Closed-Loop at 3BR

Welcome to an exploration of Closed-Loop Cocktail practices —a concept centered on sustainability in mixology. In simple terms, closed-loop practices mean using every part of an ingredient to minimize waste and maximize efficiency.

The team at 3BR puts these practices to use in a few products and you can try it for our ongoing Closed-Loop Cocktail Contest.

A fan favorite, The Blueberry Lemon Bar includes a lemon simple syrup that is made from fresh lemon juice and white sugar. The juice comes from the lemons that we peel during service for twists and other fancy garnishes.

In our early Spring 2024 menu, The Banana Nut Old Fashioned would use up every part of the banana. We infuse the

base spirit, our XABAHA (HAVANA) "Soviet rum", with banana peels overnight. Another component of the cocktail, the bananas foster simple syrup, is made from the flesh of the banana, and the garnish was made with the additional bananas left over from the previous process. The hazelnut bitters we used in the Banana Nut Old Fashioned were made by infusing hazelnuts into a 60% house vodka. This cocktail is the closest that we have to closing the loop.

Fun fact: 3BR's house vodka refers to a vodka we produce for infusions and bitters but do not bottle anymore called LADA. When we distill the LADA, we also use the heads as a cleaning solution behind the bar. Heads refers to the beginning of a distillation run where you would get undesirable components like methanol and acetone. The hearts are what we want. And the tails would be the end of the run which, like the heads, has compounds we do not want. Undiluted, the heads cleaning solution is great at removing Sharpie from surfaces, and in addition to using high proof vodka in making bitters, the LADA hearts are diluted turned into tasty liqueurs like the KOFI coffee liqueur, GINGER BEAR ginger + honey liqueur, and CHILITROIKA pertsovka-style liqueur.

In the Baby Carrot cocktail, we see a similar approach to the Banana Nut OF. We use one carrot three different ways: we peel ribbons from the carrot and use it as the garnish for the cocktail. We juice the scraps with a high powered juicer to supplement carrot juice in a carrot simple syrup, and finally, we use the carrot greens for the garnish in addition to the ribbon.

Embracing closed-loop practices in mixology means finding creative ways to use every part of an ingredient. Whether you're a seasoned pro or an amateur mixologist, adopting these practices can enhance both sustainability and flavor in your cocktails. Not to mention, you can save on ingredients. Consider joining our Closed-Loop Cocktail Contest.


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