Industry News

Tales of the Cocktail to Host First-Ever Sustainability Summit

Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse
Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse will moderate his immersive day-long summit will give bar professionals a detailed roadmap for bringing more sustainable practices to their establishments.

Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce their first Sustainability Summit, an event designed to help bartenders and bar owners strive toward sustainability in their establishments. Over the course of the day, participants will learn what sustainability behind the bar means, how it can be measured, and what steps the bartending community can take to change it’s collective impact on the environment. This special event is being held Tuesday, July 18 in New Orleans as part of the 15th Annual Tales of the Cocktail®.

“Sustainability isn’t just good for the Earth, it can be good for a bar’s bottom line as well,” said Ann Tuennerman, Founder of Tales of the Cocktail. “The strategies that will be shared at the Sustainability Summit will help bar professionals have a positive effect on both.”

Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse of the Tin Roof Drink Community, recipients of a Tales of the Cocktail® 2016 Sustainable Spirit Award, will moderate this event. Founded in 2014, the Tin Roof Drink Company drives for sustainability in the cocktail industry through both community outreach and individual consultations. Through a combination of environmental consciousness and an extensive background in drink preparation, Arnholt and Sprouse have implemented a wide range of sustainability efforts in multiple bars. As moderators, Arnholt and Sprouse will be curating content with the goal of accessible environmental education, addressing how to utilize green bartending methods while still mixing a quality drink.

“The bar community has time and again proven that our collective voice and action can move our impact beyond the glass,” said Chad Arnoult of Tin Roof Drink Community. “Our aim with the Sustainability Summit is a to create awareness, promote collaboration, and motivate bartenders to face everyday challenges head-on. Through optimism, education, and leadership, we can make lasting changes within our industry.”

The Sustainability Summit will be split up into multiple hour to hour-and-a-half long segments, each one centering on a specific level of drink production. Throughout the day, each concept will be brought to life by focusing on the Mai Tai as as a working example. By tracing the life cycle of the Mai Tai, from its ingredients to what happens beyond the trash can, the summit will offer realistic and approachable sustainable solutions that can be applied to everyday life behind the bar.

The Sustainability Summit is the latest effort from Tales of the Cocktail® and the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society to promote sustainability within the spirits industry. Last year Tales of the Cocktail® debuted the Sustainable Spirit Awards, recognizing bar professionals who are committed to green initiatives through the work in their own bars while encouraging others to follow their lead. These formal initiatives follow a long-standing commitment by Tales of the Cocktail to reducing waste at the annual event in New Orleans. Every year, the Tales team recycles more than 200,000 sampling cups and 10,000 glass bottles while composting more than 5,000 pounds of organic waste.

Outline for the Sustainability Summit:

Introduction: Sustainability and the Bar (10:00 AM-10:30 AM)

  • What does sustainability behind the bar mean?
  • How do we measure sustainability?
    • Carbon footprint
    • Water, and why it matters everywhere
    • Biodiversity in Agriculture
    • The human element
      • Cultural sustainability
      • Public Health and Public Safety
    • What are the goals for the day?
      • Actionable
      • Realistic
      • Approachable
    • What is Materials Economy?
      • Everyday Example: the lifecycle of a cell phone
      • Introduce our Working Example for the day: the MAI TAI
    • Speakers:
      • Claire Sprouse, Chad Arnholt, Tin Roof

    Supply Chain of Ingredients (11:30 AM-1 PM)

    • Production of raw materials
      • How does sustainable agriculture work?
      • Biodiversity in agriculture
        • Example: polycultures in agave and wheat
        • Affecting other species
          • Example: agave/cane harvesting affecting bat populations
          • Seasonality effects on footprint
            • Example: Hot house grown plants, like tomatoes
            • Water
              • Example: non-indigenous and non-drought resistant crops, like Almonds
            • Production of Booze
              • Waste streams of making alcohol
              • Sustainable production methods being used at distilleries today
            • Packaging & Shipping Concerns
              • Packaging
                • Footprint of a bottle
                • Footprint of delivery to your bar
                • Footprint of delivery: method, geography, storage, etc.
              • Takeaways
                • How do our ingredient choices make a difference?
                • What are some questions to ask producers?
                • How can these choices affect the bottom line at your bar?

              Lunch (1 PM-2 PM)

              Making all of the Drinks (2 PM-3 PM)

              • Equipment Choices
                • Electricity & Carbon footprint
                • Water - usage/waste
              • Drink Production
                • What can you sacrifice?
                  • Example: maybe you don’t need six different types of ice to still make good cocktails
                • Steps of service
                  • Methods in making a drink
                  • Quick examples of how to cut down on your bars footprint
                  • Cleaning
              • Takeaways:
                • Where can a bartender access information about equipment/tool options?
                • What are some service choices that can be made to cut down the footprint of a cocktail?
                • What small steps during pre-service and after-service can alter your footprint?
                • How do these choices affect the bottom line at your bar?

              Wasted (3 PM-4:30 PM)

              • Where does it go?
                • Landfill emissions and the footprint of trash
                • Miscellaneous Trash
                  • Examples: straws, napkins, menus, bottles, etc
              • Where does it not go?
                • Food Waste and World Hunger
              • Ideas and creative ways to utilize ingredients to their fullest potential
              • Takeaways:
                • What are the ramifications of trash waste in the bar?
                • What are some methods or choices that can be used to lower the amount of waste output at your bar?
                • Understand the true meaning of Food Waste
                • How can menu design alter your bar’s footprint?
                • What are some creative ways to use an ingredient to its fullest potential?
                • How can these decisions affect the bottom line at your bar?

              Group Actions and Closing Remarks (4:30 PM-5 PM)

              • Group Actionable Items
                • Example: Packaging Laws
                • Example: pledging Carbon offsets for travel
              • Conclusion
              • Q&A

              About Tales of the Cocktail®

              Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail® has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail® is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques.

              Tales of the Cocktail® also produces a number of other events and programs such as Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, Tales 365®, Tales of the Toddy® and New Orleans Daiquiri Month, all to further the mission of supporting and growing the international cocktail community.

              About the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society

              Tales of the Cocktail® is produced by the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), a non-profit organization committed to supporting, promoting and growing the cocktail industry in New Orleans and around the world. In addition to offering opportunities to learn and acquire new skills through Tales of the Cocktail® events and Tales 365®, the NOCCPS invests the proceeds back into the spirits industry. Since 2008, the NOCCPS has invested more than $600,000 into programs like the Cocktail Apprentice Program, a tuition reimbursement program, the Apprentice medical aid fund, educational scholarships and a new health and wellness program for members of the hospitality industry.

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