Three Cheers for Organic

By O'Rya Hyde-Keller

Your wine rack could practically earn the USDA Organic seal, but what about your liquor cabinet? Organic liquors made from ingredients grown without synthetic chemicals or pesticides abound these days. Plus, many organic brands implement ethical and environmentally friendly business practices that make buying their booze a no-brainer. These tasty cocktail recipes featuring our favorite organic liquors and mixers offer some added health boosts and serious perks for our planet.

South American Cider
Combine 1 gallon organic apple cider, 5 organic cinnamon sticks, 4 organic whole cloves, 4 organic allspice berries, and 1 each organic lemon and orange peel (cut into strips). Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, let sit for 15 minutes, and mix in 32 ounces Papagayo Organic Spiced Rum (maisonjomere.com). Strain, serve in mugs, and garnish with cinnamon sticks. Makes 20 8-ounce servings.
Good for you: Apples help lower cholesterol and improve lung health—cider gives you the goods in concentrated form.
Good for earth: Papagayo was founded specifically to improve Paraguayan sugarcane producers’ standard of living: The organic sugarcane fetches much higher prices than its conventional counterpart, and the communities avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.

Bitterly Cold
Combine 3 ounces TRU2 Organic Gin (truvodka.com) with ice, 2 teaspoons organic lemon juice, 1/2 ounce Nature’s Flavors Organic Triple Sec (naturesflavors.com), and 2 dashes Urban Moonshine Organic Bitters (urbanmoonshine.com) in a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled; pour into martini glasses.
Good for you: Bitters strengthen the digestive system and ease indigestion and acid reflux.
Good for Earth: TRU2 plants one tree in Central America for every bottle sold.

Açai Bubbly
Combine ice with 2 ounces organic Vodka 14 (vodka14.com) and 2 ounces Sambazon Organic Açai Juice (sambazon.com) in a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled, pour into champagne glasses, and top with 2 ounces Domaine Carneros 2005 Vintage Brut organic sparkling wine (domainecarneros.com).
Good for you: Açai juice delivers a solid antioxidant punch.
Good for Earth: Vodka 14’s packaging is 100 percent Earth friendly—from the bottle decorated with baked-on ceramic pigments in lieu of plastic to the safety seal made from recycled, nontoxic materials instead of the usual PVC.