Five ways bartenders are changing the world

26th November, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers



Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse, Tin Roof

Sustainability is a hot topic in the bartending community, with closed-loop cocktails, seasonally curated menus and eco­-friendly bar practices coming to the fore.

Ryan Chetiyawardana’s White Lyan in London hit headlines in 2013 for its sustainable approach to bartending by removing the use of perishable ingredients and ice – a world first for the on-­trade. Bars channelling the green movement also include Oslo’s Himkok, London’s Duck & Waffle and Scout, Paris’s Bisou and Amsterdam’s Vesper. Another initiative that has taken the global on-­trade by storm is Trash Tiki, a touring project that educates bartenders on ways of using waste. Meanwhile, the Tequila Interchange Project aims to preserve traditional production practices for agave-­based spirits.

In 2014, Claire Sprouse and Chad Arnholt launched New York-­based bar consultancy Tin Roof Drink Community to tackle the idea of sustainability with a focus on education.

“People have become more accepting of this notion that everything we do every day has consequences,” Arnholt explains. “What you see now is bartenders 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. We’re in a particular political climate where you can see a lot of industries going this way.”

As well as various consultancy projects, the duo is planning to open a sustainable bar in Brooklyn. The Hunky Dory bar will “address the goal of lowering waste, whether that’s water, electricity, disposable or organic waste”, Sprouse explains. “We’re gonna set our goals really high. The idea is to share our day­-to-­day learning and be really transparent. If some of these things fail, I want to find a better way to achieve them and start a conversation about how to do that.”

One Response to “Five ways bartenders are changing the world”

  1. Hello Nicola,
    Thank you for this article. For so many years there has been a stigma associated with bartending responsibly. Alcohol promotes many behavior changes. First inhibitions are lowered. We over serve our customers and they become vulnerable to suggestions and sadly, predators. The creativity, attention to detail and rise of the activist bartender is refreshing. However, the conflict with management directives to ring up the cash register for the almighty dollar grab may interfere. I hope not.

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