SB Voices: A socially conscious eraBy Nicola Carruthers
In today’s cocktail culture, leading bartenders from around the world are driving change with progressive initiatives.
Socially conscious bartenders have stepped up their efforts with increasing effectiveness and productivity. It’s an impressive movement and one that invites society at large to do even more.
It’s important for the community to come together to discuss and tackle issues that are permeating the industry. There are a number of different events that are bringing bartenders from around the world together to share their ideas with one another. From P(our), a non-profit bartender collective that explores issues in the drinks industry, to Tales of the Cocktail (TOTC), a six-day New Orleans cocktail festival that includes seminars covering discrimination, mental health and harassment.
The representation of women in the industry has come to the fore with the likes of Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix, who founded female-only cocktail competition Speed Rack to raise money for breast cancer charities. TOTC also celebrates the work of women with its Dame Hall of Fame, which inducts notable women from the spirits and cocktail industries.
Meanwhile, there’s been a new wave of mixed drinks that could save money, time, and resources for bartenders. The sustainability message is being championed by the likes of bartending duo Trash Tiki, New York-based consultancy project Tin Roof Drink Community and bars such as London’s Scout and Singapore’s Native.
Hospitality is a career that’s often known for its ‘churn and burn’ attitude, and with the normality of the post-work drink and strange shift patterns that disrupt usual sleeping hours, it’s easy to see how the industry can neglect its health.
Tackling this widespread issue is Healthy Hospo, an initiative launched by former Bulleit brand ambassador Tim Etherington-Judge (pictured above left) that seeks to improve the health and wellness of the industry.
The project incorporates a website providing free-to-use information, advice and support, events including practical workshops and seminars on health and wellness, and a consultancy that will work with employers to improve the health of the workplace.
Chad Arnholt, co-founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, says bartenders are “investing in conscious decision making”.
“The thought leaders and industry influencers are in a really prime position to be able to set trends that hopefully the industry at large will follow.”
The on-trade has never been in better shape – we’re seeing more and more industry leaders contributing to making a difference for the bartenders and drinkers of the future. I’m excited to see what this ‘modern’ bartender will look like in 2030.